The Red Sox will acquire outfield prospect Freddy Valdez from the Mets as one of the three players to be named later from February’s three-team Andrew Benintendi trade, reports Chad Jennings of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Red Sox and Royals will reportedly settle on the two players heading from Kansas City to Boston within the next week or so.
The 19-year-old Valdez has yet to progress to A-ball after splitting the 2019 season between the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League. The Mets signed him for a $1.4MM bonus as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic back in 2018. In his lone season of pro ball, he hit .274/.367/.448 with an 18 percent strikeout rate and an 11.4 percent walk rate.
Valdez is generally regarded as one of the Mets’ top 20 prospects, ranking 13th at The Athletic, 14th at MLB.com, 17th at Baseball America and 18th at FanGraphs. FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen calls Valdez an “absolute behemoth of a corner outfield prospect” with “thunderous” power, likening him to Indians slugger Franmil Reyes. The Athletic’s Keith Law writes that Valdez has “huge” power with above-average speed and a plus arm, though many scouting reports on Valdez raise questions about his hit tool and his defensive future.
Obviously, given Valdez’s age and the fact that he’s yet to even take a single at-bat in A-ball, he’s years from factoring into the Red Sox’ big league plans. On some levels, there figure to be comparisons to another player the Red Sox received in this trade: Franchy Cordero. Valdez, by all accounts, is a physical specimen at a young age with a tantalizing set of loud tools but has a ways to go before scouts will be sold that those tools can translate at the Major League level. As far as lower-level lottery tickets go, he’s the type that comes with considerable upside but also a fair bit of risk.
Valdez ought to slot into the middle tier of Boston’s farm system. He’ll join the aforementioned Cordero (acquired from the Royals) and minor league right-hander Josh Winckowski (acquired from the Mets) as the third of five players the Red Sox will eventually net from trading Benintendi.