2010 Year in Review: Wilson Valdez – Phillies Nation
2010 Player Reviews

2010 Year in Review: Wilson Valdez

It is almost fitting that the Wilson Valdez review would come on Halloween.  Valdez dressed up all season for the Phillies wearing a lot of different hats.  In one way or another Valdez saw action in over two-thirds of the Phillies games this year.  He started 59 games at shortstop, 42 at second and eight at third with Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco all seeing time on the DL.

It really is amazing to think back and Valdez was just a non-roster invitee to Spring Training.  He had major league experience and could play a lot of different positions so it seemed plausible the Phillies could hold onto his services.  And when Rollins went on the DL just the second week of the season, those services were needed.

Now at the end of the season, Valdez was Mr. Everything for the Phillies.  No one expected Valdez to come in and hit .300 and 20 home runs.  We all know that did not happen.  Before this season, Valdez never hit over .256 and never amassed 150 at bats in a season.  The Phillies asked Valdez to swing the bat over 300 times and play three different positions.  He responded with a line of .258/.306/.360/.667.

As a fan of Valdez and his bleached blonde goatee, I was very impressed with his defensive consistency throughout the year.  He had over 400 chances in 108 games, and Valdez committed only three errors.  One of the big things throughout the season was Valdez’s ability to hit into double plays (20), but on the other side he was involved in turning 55 of his own in the field.

When looking at Valdez’s value compared to other replacements he was above average in my opinion.  His WAR was not that high at 1.7 but when you think about a standard starter having a WAR of +2, Valdez definitely filled in beautifully.  In all the categories for numbers above replacement Valdez had positive numbers.  So it could have been worse.

When you insert a guy like Valdez in a lineup with the likes of Ryan Howard, Jasyon Werth and Utley it is easy to say he is an inferior player.  The Phillies knew there was no way he was going to go in and put up numbers similar to those he was replacing.  And that is not what he was brought in to do.  So with that said, my grade for him might be a little higher than a lot of people expected but I am extremely happy with the way he came off the bench and performed.  Personally, I hope he is on the bench again next season.


PAT’S GRADE: 6.4/10 – Valdez was a great fill-in for the better part of the season at multiple positions. He stepped up when needed, however I graded him slightly lower because of the 275 double-plays.

PAUL’S GRADE: 6.0/10 – His defense proved to be better than a lot of people were expecting (mostly, I’m sure, because no one knew what to really expect), but to grade a .258/.306/.360 line in 363 PA on the same level as Utley and Howard would just be silly. Nice season, Wilson, but you’re still a backup.



  1. Sweet Dee

    October 31, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I don’t want to see him on the bench. I want to see him on the field! I think he’s proven he deserves and chance and gets the job done.

  2. Kate

    October 31, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I heard they sent him to the Arizona Fall League. Perhaps an attempt to get him swinging the bat some more?

    Valdez will be a pretty valuable bench player next year, especially if he does well in the Fall League.

  3. glenn

    October 31, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I think he very well could have played himself into above-replacement numbers had he put in 150+ games. What exactly is his contract status?

  4. Paul Boye

    October 31, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I don’t see him on an AFL roster, Kate. Maybe he’s in Venezuela or the Dominican for winter ball. I’ll check it out.

  5. joe

    October 31, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I want tosee him a shortstop next year!!!


    October 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm


  7. biz

    October 31, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    So we grade Howard down because he’s below his norm, and we grade Valdez down because he had a career year?


    Just go ahead and give Werth his 8.5 so we can get this nonsense over with.

  8. psujoe

    October 31, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Any way you guys can pin a thread or icon at the top for off season trade/acquisition discussions? A week after the WS it’s going to be on most fans minds.

  9. Kate

    October 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks, Paul. I might have been confused or maybe I wasn’t hearing correctly, but I’d like to know what some of these guys are up to during the off-season.

    Valdez had a pretty good year, but I agree with most of these analyses. I do, however, think that he deserves a very minor bump for stepping up and getting better as he went along.

    I also think it’s a bit unfair to compare him to a Chase Utley or a Ryan Howard or a healthy Jimmy Rollins. For Valdez, it was a good year for him.

  10. Chuck

    October 31, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    To grade this guy anywhere below a 7 is just plain silly. He did what was asked of him….MORE if you really think about it with the extra playing time and stellar defense. And yeah, putting it into WAR terms….he was only .3 below what a standard starter would be….amazing stuff.

    I’d really like him to see some good playing time next season. Give Chase, Jimmy and Polly all regular days off and get this guy 300 ABs again. He’s not gonna hurt us out there at all.

  11. Paul Boye

    October 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    We all might have very slight criteria differences in our grades. I weigh expectations, but I also try and keep everyone on the same relative scale. Utley and Howard graded in the low 7s, so I think it’s prudent to put Valdez at a 6.

    And if a .306 OBP is a career year, I shudder to think how Valdez might be as a backup next year in a “normal” season.

  12. Kate

    October 31, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    But Valdez is not on the same level as Rollins, Utley, and Howard. Where two of the three (Howard and Utley) disappointed this season, played below expectations (though I maintain Howard put up good numbers this year, just not Ryan Howard good), Valdez exceeded expectations.

    There’s a reason Valdez was platooning with Juan Castro and then there was a reason Valdez was upgraded to full-time back-up. Because he did better than was expected of him.

    Charlie Manuel himself called Valdez the club MVP. While I’m not sure I agree with him (Chooch!), none of the facts Charlie called upon to make that statement are in dispute.

    Valdez shouldn’t be judged on the same scale as the starters. That’s like putting Vance Worley up against Roy Halladay. Of course Worley’s grade would dip if you’re judging him against Roy Halladay.

    Valdez’s midseason defense was better than Chase Utley’s late-season defense. Yeah, I said it.

  13. Chuck

    October 31, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    You said it, Kate…..and I agree.


    Paul, before you “shudder”…..just remember….

    Wilson Valdez or Eric Bruntlett??

  14. Kate

    October 31, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    We could have done a hell of a lot worse than Wilson Valdez this year. Bruntlett was a bit better with the bat, but I’d rather take Valdez’s defensive skills than Bruntlett’s offensive skills.

    I remember, after Howard rolled his ankle, “If only they can just tread some water, just tread water until Utley and J-Roll come back.”

    Wilson Valdez helped to make those dark times just a little brighter. Because of him and everyone else who stepped up when they were needed, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. He helped get the team through to August.

  15. David the Shepherd

    October 31, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Just really glad the Phillies couldn’t even beat the Giants. I am a big Braves fan and am looking for a Phillie fan called “Phillistein.” He called me out about 2 months ago and I warned him then what would happen if he kept runnin’ his mouth. Just want to finish the conversation he started with me.

  16. jeff

    October 31, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    philliesnation grade…

    2 out of 10….

    some ok articles.. sites going down all the time.

    how does it feel boys

  17. brooks

    October 31, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Kate – awe c’mon, give the comment “Bruntlett was a bit better with the bat,..” some thought here.

    Eric Bruntlett could not hit anything. Bruntless hit .171 last year with the Phils and a whopping .217 the year before. The only thing Bruntless will be remembered for was that unassisted triple play that most likely I could have handled – the ball was hit just in the right spot.

  18. Ryan H.

    October 31, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    for his defensive skills alone, wilson valdez could be an everyday starter on half the teams in baseball if they signed him tomorrow. I truly believe his consistency as a fill in helped save the phillies season when it was on the brink during mid summer. his value will never be truly appreciated.

  19. Chuck

    November 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Bruntlett sucked at the plate.

  20. Bart Shart

    November 1, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Valdez was a highlight of the season. He played three positions with aplomb and did not embarass himself at the plate. A solid utility player who is both decent and happy with his role. He deserves a “7”.

  21. George

    November 1, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Sure, compared to everdyay players Valdez was a six or seven. But as a mere bench player he shouldn’t be compared with the likes of Utley, Howard, Werth, or even Victorino. Most reserves don’t produce at Valdez’s level, so compared to THOSE kinds of players, Valdez should get at least a nine. If expectations were weighed properly, he’d merit an eleven.

  22. Bob in Bucks

    November 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Valdez is a very solid utility infielder. Good defense, won’t kill you at the plate, good runner. A fine and necessary part of any team. I hope the Phils keep him for a few years.
    I won’t get into this number silliness – there are no rules or system involved so make up any number you want.

  23. Kate

    November 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    If we’re comparing Valdez with the starters, I’d give him a 7.

    If we’re comparing Valdez to Valdez, I’d say at least a 9.

    His 2010 season has been extremely underrated and unappreciated, to say the very least.

    Without Valdez, all this b*tching and complaining would have started well before the end of September rather than the last week of October.

  24. Roy Levitre

    November 3, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Daryl Baylock

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