To be clear, Jordany Valdespin is likely not going to make a huge impact for the Miami Marlins, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be an asset. He can provide some depth in Triple-A and some speed off the bench at some point. It’s possible that he could even work his way into the outfield if Marcell Ozuna proves to need more time in the minors. Valdespin had some excellent statistics while in the minor leagues and is only 25 years old. The potential is still there and the Marlins were right to see if he can be anything like the talented player he was once thought to be.
Valdespin had a terrible 2013 that included a 50-game suspension while playing for the New York Mets. It was such a poor season that the Mets opted to non-tender Valdespin rather than auto-renew his contract at the Major League minimum. The Marlins signed Valdespin to a minor-league deal without a Spring Training invite which lets him know right from the start he’s going to have to earn his roster spot in Triple-A New Orleans. After losing Bryan Petersen and Kevin Mattison this offseason, the Marlins lacked some outfield depth at the Triple-A level.
Ozuna is likely to start the year as the starting center fielder, flanked by Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton. That will leave Jake Marisnick without a job and likely headed to the minors as the team would not want a prospect such as Marisnick riding the pine. Valdespin, on the other hand, is an option for a bench role and provides not only a little bit of pop with the bat, but aforementioned speed as well. Speed is something that the Marlins are lacking on the bench with the current roster and it would be a welcome addition to the team.
Again, expecting Valdespin to come in and be a key cog for the Marlins would not be recommended, but writing him off completely is also an error in judgment. There’s some potential and talent there, it’s just a matter of it showing again.