The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League brought back a familiar face to the area when they signed former New York Met Jordany Valdespin for the 2018 season during the week.
Valdespin, inked as an undrafted free agent by the Mets in 2007, played with New York for two seasons (2012-13) and two more with the Miami Marlins (2014-15). He is entering his twelfth season of professional baseball this year.
Mets fans will remember the Dominican Republic native for breaking their franchise record for pinch-hit home runs in a single season with five.
Valdespin, 30, spent the 2017 season with Olmecas de Tabasco and Leones de Yucatan in the Mexican League. He totaled 72 games and posted a .332 batting average with four homers, 37 RBI, 48 runs, 13 doubles, four triples, 15 stolen bases and a .418 on-base percentage.
For his MLB career, Valdespin smacked 15 home runs, 52 RBI, 14 doubles and three triples while scoring 52 runs and stealing 15 bases in 214 big league contests.
The Eastern League named the six-foot lefty hitter as a 2011 Mid-Season All-Star with Binghamton (AA, Mets) when he hit .297 and set career-high marks in nearly every offensive category. The Arizona Fall League also selected him as a 2010 Rising Star when he amassed a .355 batting average with the Mesa Solar Sox.
Valdespin does have a few dubious distinctions. The infielder was suspended for 50 games during the 2013 Biogenesis baseball scandal. Plus, his attitude was held in question while in New York.
Still on the younger side, though, let’s hope Valdespin has straighten out and still has enough left in his back to rejoin an affiliated MLB organization.