By Jerry Del Priore
The High Point Rockers of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) signed former MLB infielder Jesmuel Valentin, who’s the son of ex-New York Met Jose Valentin, the club announced today.
The younger Valentin spent parts of 2018 in “The Bigs” with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In limited time with the Phillies last season, Valentin batted .177 with a home run and six RBI in 79 at-bats.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Valentin in the first round of the 2012 MLB Amatuer draft. The native of Puerto Rico was traded to the Phillies in 2014 and quickly rose through the ranks of their system.
After spending parts of three campaigns (2016-18) with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Philadelphia called up Valentin, 24, to the Majors early in the 2018 season. Valentin made his MLB debut on April 29 and played in a total of 46 games.
“Anytime you have a chance to sign someone who was in the big leagues so recently, it’s a great opportunity,” Rockers manager Jamie Keefe said on their website. “While we are excited to have Jesmuel as a part of our organization, we also know he has the kind of talent to be back in a Major League uniform very soon.”
With Valentin in the fold, High Point has inked its ninth former MLBer this year.
His father played two seasons with New York and was an integral part of the 2006 National League East division-winning team, hitting .271 with 18 long balls and 62 RBI.
The Rockers commence their inaugural season of play in the ALPB on Friday, April 26th, when they visit the Lancaster Barnstormers. That game will come just six days before lifting the curtian on the brand-new BB&T Point on Thursday, May 2nd at 7:00PM, when they take on the defending league champion Sugar Land Skeeters.