One of the older players to appear in Major League Baseball this past season, César Valdez spent most of his time with the Los Angeles Angels for Triple-A Salt Lake, but he did appear with the big club early on.
The 37-year-old has spent 17 seasons in professional baseball, with his most recent time coming with the Salt Lake Bees in the Pacific Coast League. In 146.1 innings, he posted a 3.94 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and surrendered a .249 batting average to opposing hitters.
Because he was nearly 10 years older than his average opponents at Triple-A, Valdez enjoyed a fair amount of success as he’s been a Minor League demon in recent years. He made his debut for the Angels on May 17 against the Texas Rangers, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits.
He was designated for assignment just a day later, when he rejoined the Bees on May 21. At the conclusion of the regular season, Valdez elected free agency.
In 112 career big league innings, he’s posted a 6.11 ERA and has struggled to strike out opposing hitters, surrendering a .305 batting average.
In early December, the Angels brought him back on a minor league contract, which includes an invitation to Spring Training.
César Valdez 2022 highlight
On May 5, Valdez tossed a complete game against the Tacoma Rainiers, the Seattle Mariners Triple-A club. He allowed eight hits but limited the damage by striking out eight and working his way out of multiple jams.
This performance was enough to earn him a call-up to MLB for his debut a few weeks later.
There isn’t much left in the tank for the veteran pitcher, and his role within the organization will most likely fall into the category of depth and eating innings.
He could see some spot outings with the big club, but his years in professional baseball are a valuable commodity for young players and given he is still productive with his arsenal, Valdez is a neat piece for the Minor League system.
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