The Cleveland Guardians prospect George Valera isn’t letting things like stats get in the way of a healthy ego.
The Cleveland Guardians minor league is filled with fantastic talent with high ceilings (and deep floors). They are they key to sustained success in a small market like Cleveland, as the Major League format exists to ensure that the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. A healthy minor league system is the only way you can have sustained success in the Majors’ these days.
The two top clubs who have done so are Cleveland and the Tampa Bay Rays, and they’ve produced a host of top young talent over the years. For the Guardians, one name many are looking at is George Valera, an outfield prospect, ranked No. 51 across the minors by MLB itself. He’s a young hitter, who has a relatively healthy ego when it comes to his talents on a baseball field.
"When I’m in the box, I don’t care who you are. I’m going to compete and I’m going to try to beat you. It doesn’t matter if you’re my mom or my dad, I’m going to try my best.…I don’t really see it as Major League or Minor League pitchers. I just see it as competition and somebody I got to beat right now."
George Valera has a lot of holes in his game
Valera is someone who is getting hot-shotted through the minor leagues despite not being ready. There are some who clearly want to see him come to the Majors sooner rather than later, but his minor league slash is pretty bad for someone flying through the system. Across every level of the minors combined, his slash is just .248/.367/.467 with an OPS of .835
He does have some power, but he struggled hard against Triple-A pitching last year. In 42 games, he put up a slash of just .221/.324/.448 and an OPS of .772. Those aren’t great figures and those certainly are a sign that he’s not ready, even remotely close, to being called up.
Those are the type of figures we saw from the Bradley Zimmer and Matt LaPorta’s of the minor league system. The club needs to look more closely at guys who produce regardless of the level. Guys like Steven Kwan.
We were talking about Kwan being a prime candidate to succeed in the Majors two or three years before he was called up. He was constantly putting up the same figures regardless of the level. He adapted.
Valera is struggling with each promotion, and that is not a strong sign he’ll do well in the majors. He needs more time to develop consistency, otherwise, he’ll go right back down to Triple-A.