In the midst of trade rumors that left fans skeptical the Dodgers did after all make a trade. On Sunday, April first, the team acquired minor league infielder Breyvic Valera from the Cardinals in exchange for 22-year-old outfield prospect, Johan Mieses.
Valera was designated for assignment by the Cardinals this past Wednesday after spending eight years in the farm system. His lone major league appearance came last year where he saw only 11 plate appearances. During that stretch, he walked once and got just one hit in his first ten big league at-bats.
The acquisition of the young Venezuelan second baseman was made not for his major league appearance but for his contributions as a minor leaguer and as a solid depth option. In 2017, Valera appeared in 117 minor league games at the Triple-A level. He hit .314 there with eight home runs, six triples, and 41 RBIs. Valera, who is also known for his speed, stole 11 bases but was caught 11 times.
The trade was a good one for the Dodgers who are known for building a strong team on both the major league roster and in the depths of the minor league system. Valera’s consistent bat and his defensive flexibility should allow the Dodgers to utilize him in the event of an injury or when his bat gets hot in the minor leagues.
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Along with his very strong track record in the minors, Valera won the MVP in the Venezuelan Winter League two years ago and was ranked as the number 30 overall prospect in the Cardinals’ organization.
Johan Mieses was an interesting minor league piece for the Dodgers. He was never ranked amongst the top 30 and due to his age and lack of advancement through the system, the front office slowly but surely moved on from the now, 22-year-old.
Mieses has never struggled in the power department as he slugged 24 across two levels last season and 28 in 2016 at the High-A level. Power as he may have, Mieses has always struggled to make consistent contact and perfectly fits the bill of a boom or bust players.
Last year, in 294 at-bats in Double-A, Mieses hit just .160 and struck out an enormous 116 times. The young outfielder will need to learn to reduce the strikeouts and keep the power if he wants to get to the big leagues.
Overall, this was a productive and proactive trade for the Dodgers as they acquired a batter who certainly has the ability to make an impact in both Triple-A and the majors when called upon. Mieses has a lot to learn and at 22, he is still a long ways away from a major league call-up.