Originally Posted by HokieRed
Valaika had a .615 OPS last year at AAA as a 24 year old. He was injured, and that's certainly a factor, but he did have 366 AB's. He doesn't project as a SS, he's certainly not going to displace Phillips at 2b or Rolen (and the other 3b's we have) at 3b. So what's his future with the organization? Looks to me like another utility player, one with AAA stats that are miles behind those put up by Rosales and Sutton (I actually think he'll probably be a better player than Rosales). In the best of all possible worlds, of course you'd protect him, but remember that protecting Valaika means not protecting somebody else. So, for me, he remains a question. I don't see that he'd be a compelling pick for another club.
I think cherry picking one season where he got off to a slow start at a new level, missed significant time with an injury and then having to come back and start all over again with possible effects from said injury and calling that indicative is just wrong. The guy deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to hitting at least and he was 23 this past season BTW. Comparing him to 2 older guys in Sutton (26) and Rosales (26) isn't quite fair as neither of them are the natural hitter he is despite the fact that they have strengths of their own. He will bounce back next year and be better than ever IMO but despite that he has done well enough to protect.