Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo
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.
First of all Valaika's birthday is given as Aug, 1985, so he was 24 this year. Second, I don't see how you can describe as "cherry picking" looking at his most recent season at the highest level he's played: that's what GM's are going to be looking at when they evaluate whether they are going to take him in the rule 5 draft. Third, I didn't compare him to Sutton and Rosales, except to say I thought he'd be better than Rosales. The point is simply that those are guys whose AAA stats are a lot better than Valaika's and we've seen how they've fared in the major leagues. I like Valaika fine and think he'll be a decent utility player in the major leagues--if he doesn't get taken in the Rule 5 draft this year (which will result in his sitting on some major league bench when, as should be clear to every GM, he needs at least another full season at AAA). I repeat the question is not simply whether he's good enough to protect: it's who do you expose in order to protect a guy whose likely ceiling is that of a utility player.