Mets notebook: Terry Collins reacts to suspension of Jordany Valdespin
Mets manager Terry Collins laid Jordany Valdespin’s future with the Mets at the feet of the now suspended infielder.
“The only thing I can tell you is when I first came to this organization I told [former General Manager] Omar Minaya the first time I ever saw Jordany Valdespin he was going to be the Minor League Player of the Year and I would guarantee it because I would not let him get off the path,” Collins said about Valdespin during his late afternoon press conference before Tuesday night’s series opener against the Rockies at Citi Field.
Valdespin, along with fellow Mets prospect Cesar Puello, were among the list of 12 players that MLB suspended for 50 games Monday for their involvement with the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t there every day and he got off the path a few times. Once he realizes what it really takes — and he’s been helped by a lot of guys: Robinson Cano has tried to help, Jose Reyes has tried to help — hopefully this is some time for him to reflect on what’s happened and get better.”
Valdespin had become a lightning rod for controversy in his 160 games with the Mets spanning the 2012 and 2013 seasons due to bouts of immaturity, including throwing a clubhouse fit after learning he was being sent to Triple-A Las Vegas following a 4-2 loss to the Pirates on July 14. He was also recently suspended for three games by the Pacific Coast League for his role in a brawl with the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Athletics.
Valdespin hit .188 with four home runs and 16 RBIs this season with the Mets. He was hitting .466 with 24 RBIs in 16 games with the 51s.
“In Jordany’s case, he’s got skills [and] a lot of them are off the charts,” Collins said. “He’s got power a guy his size you wouldn’t think has. He can run. He’s got a good arm. He’s just got to slow the game down. And he gets caught up. He’s an emotional guy. And I think a lot of times, with the emotions, a lot of it comes with maturity. I don’t care how old he is. Some people mature at different [ages]. You’ve got the likes of [Ruben] Tejada who was a mature kid at 21. Matt Harvey was a mature kid at this level at 22, 23 years old. Jordany might take a few more years. Certainly he’s got the skills and I hope he realizes a mistake’s been made and it’s time to just be a baseball player and not try to be a superstar.”
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.