Confidence and bravado are not traits that anyone can say New York Mets player Jordanny Valdespin lacks. Known for his brash phrase, “I’m the man right now” after hitting a three-run shot off Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon in May, Valdespin has been learning on the job from the veterans on the team. In a year where the Mets have had several key moments in their history, this young player might turn out to be something special as the years go by.
Valdespin has been a versatile player that has started at 2nd base, centerfield, right field and SS, and has even been a DH against the Tampa Bay Rays and drove in four runs. He has also joined Johan Santana(do I need to cite the no-no?) in the Mets record books for 5 pinch hit home runs this season and his fearlessness at the plate should be an eye-opener for manager Terry Collins and GM Sandy Alderson. Although Valdespin’s defense needs to improve, I think he can project as an above average second baseman or right fielder that will bring excitement for the fans a la Jose Reyes.
Valdespin walked into the Mets clubhouse before a recent game against the San Francisco Giants in just a white t-shirt and quickly learned another lesson about being a major league ballplayer. The veterans began to cut tassels into the shirt and write phrases like “El Hombre” and NY Loves Valdie” all over his freshly cut rags to point out that they have a self-imposed dress code. This lesson went well with Valdespin as he got the message and let it go after an initial moment of being upset.
If these lessons from veterans like David Wright and others can sink in and Valdespin continues to improve on the defensive end, then I’m sure Valdespin will enjoy a solid major league career. Already, he has captured the hearts of many Mets fans as Twitter blows up every time he is at the plate and with the anticipation of what he will say next. Here’s hoping that the witticisms and energy that Valdespin displays will be with the Mets for years to come so he can be part of the youth movement and bright future that lays ahead.
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