ADRIAN VALERIO, SHORTSTOP
|Born: March 13, 1997
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2013, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Valerio was one of the Pirates’ more prominent international signings in 2013. He’s considered an outstanding defensive shortstop, with a bat that’s behind his glove.
Valerio had a solid debut, showing the expected defensive potential and holding his own with the bat. For a 17-year-old, his numbers weren’t bad, and he made decent contact and showed a little gap power.
Valerio was the regular shortstop in the GCL. At the plate, he had largely the same season as the year before, with a higher K rate. He again showed some gap power. He didn’t look overmatched at bat and may simply need to get stronger. He showed the range, hands and arm to stay at short.
The Pirates sent Valerio to Bristol, either because they didn’t think he was ready for Morgantown or because they drafted Stephen Alemais, or both. He continued to show promising defensive ability while hitting about the same as the previous year. He did hit very well late in the season, going 17-for-45 (.378) over his last eleven games. Unlike a lot of switch hitters, he was better hitting right-handed, with a 310/341/357 line against LHPs and 216/240/305 against RHPs. He hit better right-handed in 2015 as well, although not by as much of a margin.
Valerio was slated to split the middle infield duties at West Virginia with Stephen Alemais. As it turned out, the two were seldom on the field at the same time. Valerio opened the season in extended spring training due to a broken hand he suffered from being hit by a pitch. He wasn’t able to play until mid-May, and even after he returned he went out again at later times due to an ankle injury and to being hit in the face by a throw. In between injuries, Valerio had a breakout season at the plate. He still drew almost no walks, but he began hitter for good power.
Valerio was eligible for the Rule 5 draft, but wasn’t selected. He spent the season as Bradenton’s regular shortstop and didn’t build on his progress from the previous year. He was very impatient and seldom got on base, while also seeing an increase in his K rate. He had only one month with an OPS above .635. His defense remained very strong.
Valerio divided his time between Bradenton and Altoona, with his assignments depending on injuries and promotions. He split his time more or less evenly between second and short, again depending on the other players available on his team. He continued to play strong defense, but declined even more with the bat, with continued poor plate discipline.
Valerio has another year until free agency. He’ll likely continue in an organizational infield role.
|2020: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $400,000
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2020
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 3, 2013: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.