When you think about great Miami Hurricanes baseball players, Danny Valencia probably isn’t the first person to pop into your head, but that’s okay. You probably think about Ryan Braun, Pat Burrell or maybe even Jon Jay. But what you probably don’t know is that Danny Valencia will make $3.5 million this year with the Seattle Mariners. That comes out to almost $22,000 PER GAME! Valencia is due for a breakout year.
As a college player, Valencia had two great seasons with the Hurricanes after spending his freshman year at UNC-Greensboro. In his two years at Miami, Valencia had a combined .312 batting average, hit 15 bombs and had 124 RBIs. Those are solid numbers for any college baseball player, especially in the ACC. Another reason why you probably wouldn’t think about Valencia is because he was drafted in the 19th round. As a matter of fact, 575 players were drafted before him in the 2006 amateur draft. This didn’t stop him from following his dreams though. Valencia worked his tail off for 4 years in the minor league before he finally got his debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2010. Since that day, Valencia has had to move so much he might as well be under witness protection. Valencia signed a deal with the Seattle Mariners this offseason which makes them the 7th team that he has played for. To put it in perspective, that is almost 1⁄4 of the entire league. With him only signing a one year deal, there is a chance he could add an eighth team to his resume in the near future. If he has a breakout year, which is very possible, hopefully he gets a longer contract after the 2017 season.
Valencia is a solid all round player. Since the 2013 season, Valencia has been a .280 hitter which is right above average for a solid MLB player. He is also capable of hitting close to 20 home runs per year and walking over 40 times per year as well. With this being a one year deal for Valencia, (that means he will be a free agent after this season) I expect him to play hard and consistent. In my opinion, this 2017 season is a make or break season for him. Teams are going to see how much he has been shuffled around and if he has a below average season, it will probably be tough to sign another $3.5 million deal. However, if Valencia comes out and has a great season, stays healthy and becomes a leader on this team, there’s no reason why he can’t stay put in Seattle for the duration of his career. Valencia is 32 years old which is actually quite old for an MLB player these days so signing a 3-4 year contract is likely the goal next offseason. The new trend has teams looking for young talent who they can pay little for a few years which is why this 2017 season is the most important season of Valencia’s career. It is his time to shine and prove that he can be an asset to the Mariner’s ball club.
Check out what Valencia is capable of with this THREE home run game: