Jordany V. Valdespin Guzman
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 150 lb.
Jordany Valdespin made his major league debut in 2012.
Valdespin was originally signed by New York Mets scouts Marciano Alvarez, Ramon Pena and international scouting director Ismael Cruz in 2007. He began his professional career that summer, playing for the DSL Mets. That year, he hit .245/.338/.369 with one home run and 16 RBI in 43 games. In 2008, he played for the GCL Mets, hitting .284/.319/.440 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 34 games. He split 2009 between the DSL Mets, GCL Mets, Brooklyn Cyclones and Savannah Sand Gnats, hitting a combined .298 with four home runs, 28 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 67 games while missing time with an ankle injury.
He split 2010 between the St. Lucie Mets (.289/.323/.437, 40 R in 65 G) and Binghamton Mets (.232/.243/.304 in 28 G), hitting a combined .272 with six home runs, 41 RBI and 17 stolen bases (caught 12 times) in 93 games. He missed over a month with a fractured finger. He then put on a fine show in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .355 with 18 runs in 19 games for the Mesa Solar Sox and placing 7th in the league in batting average.
In 2011, Valdespin played for Binghamton (.297/.341/.483, 33 SB, 14 CS, 15 HR in 107 G) and the Buffalo Bisons (.280/.304/.411 in 27 G). He tied Jordan Henry for 6th in the Eastern League in steals, tied Xavier Avery and Moises Sierra for second in times caught stealing, was 9th in average (between Will Middlebrooks and Matt Rizzotti) and was 8th in slugging (between Joe Benson and Allan Dykstra). He also led Mets farmhands in steals, tied Matt den Dekker for second in doubles (behind Josh Satin) and tied den Dekker and Adelin Rodriguez for 4th in home runs. One problem was his glove, as he made 35 errors, fielding .925 at SS and .976 at 2B.
Due to his defensive woes, he moved to the outfield to begin 2012 with Buffalo. After 17 games, he was hitting .276/.321/.368 with 13 runs in 17 games. He was called up to the majors when Ronny Cedeño was injured. In his major league debut, he pinch-hit for Manny Acosta with a 7-2 deficit, the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 8th against the San Francisco Giants. Facing Clay Hensley, he popped out to Brandon Crawford at short. He was 0 for 6 before getting his major league hit, doing so in spectacular fashion: on May 7th, he was called up to pinch-hit against Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon with two men on base in the 9th inning of a 2-2 tie. He hit a home run to give the Mets a 5-2 win. He ended up playing 94 games as a jack-of-all-trades for the Mets, appearing at all three outfield positions, second base, shortstop and DH. He hit .241/.286/.424, with 8 homers and 26 RBI; five of his home runs were hit as a pinch-hitter.
He was back in the same role with the Mets in 2013, and on April 24th was credited with the team's first walk-off grand slam since Kevin McReynolds on June 25, 1991. Facing Josh Wall of the Los Angeles Dodgers, he connected with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Mets a 7-3 win. On May 10th, he got himself in trouble with teammates and opponents when he hit a meaningless 9th-inning home run off Jose Contreras of the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-3 loss. Instead of simply trotting around the bases, he flipped his bat, admired the flight of the ball and jogged slowly around the bases, a piece of useless showboating that riled the Pirates, and found little support among teammates either. The Mets were expecting retaliation, and manager Terry Collins warned Valdespin to expect something when he sent him to pinch hit the next day; indeed, Bryan Morris drilled him on the second pitch of the at-bat. However, Jordany angered his teammates further by sending out angry messages on Twitter after the incident, claiming to be the victim. As veteran pitcher LaTroy Hawkins commented: "For some reason, he doesn't want to do things the right way. He wants to do it the hard way. Hopefully, he'll figure it out, because he's got a chance to be a damn good ballplayer." Valdespin had just been demoted to the minor leagues after hitting .188/.250/.316 over 66 games when he was one of 13 players suspended on August 5th because of his involvement in the Biogenesis Laboratories scandal. He chose not to contest the 50-game sentence handed by Major League Baseball.
Valdespin is known for his colorful personality. He had a budding modeling career at one point and was known to relentlessly share pictures of himself dressed in various high fashion outfits.