John William Valentin (born February 18, 1967) is a former shortstop and third baseman in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played most of his major league career with the Boston Red Sox, with his final season being for the New York Mets. He batted and threw right-handed. He was also a coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
|Shortstop / Third baseman|
|Born: February 18, 1967|
Mineola, New York
|July 27, 1992, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 2002, for the New York Mets|
|Runs batted in||558|
|Career highlights and awards|
Valentin attended Seton Hall University, where he played college baseball for the Pirates under head coach Mike Sheppard. Valentin's teammates included future major leaguers Mo Vaughn and Craig Biggio. In 1988, he played collegiate summer baseball in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Hyannis Mets. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 5th round of the 1988 MLB Draft.
Valentin made his MLB debut as the starting shortstop against the Texas Rangers on July 27, 1992. He had one hit in four at-bats in his debut, with his first hit coming on an RBI single to short in the bottom of the 8th inning off of the Rangers Terry Mathews. He hit his first home run on August 22, 1992, off of Mike Schooler of the Seattle Mariners.
On July 8, 1994, Valentin turned the 10th unassisted triple play in MLB history, in a game against the Mariners. In the 6th inning, Valentin playing shortstop, caught Marc Newfield's line drive, tagged second base before Mike Blowers could return to tag up, and tagged out Keith Mitchell who had been attempting to advance to second base.
His best season was 1995, when he batted .298 with 27 home runs, 37 doubles, 20 stolen bases and 81 walks. Valentin finished ninth in the American League MVP voting, and helped lead the Red Sox to its first division title since 1990. Valentin had a .971 fielding percentage in his first three years as a shortstop for the Red Sox.
On June 6, 1996, he hit for the cycle. During the 1996 season, Red Sox prospect Nomar Garciaparra battled for the spot of shortstop with Valentin, who had held the position for his entire career. Garciaparra took over the shortstop position in 1997, forcing Valentin to second base. Later that season, he shifted to third base after the regular third baseman, Tim Naehring, was injured. Valentin spent four more seasons with the Red Sox (playing only a total of 30 games over his last two years in a Red Sox uniform, the 2000 and 2001 seasons)
He signed with the New York Mets as a free agent after the 2001 season and played in 114 games for them in 2002.
In January 2008, Valentin joined the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino (the High-A minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers) as hitting coach for the 2008 season. Shortly after accepting this assignment, manager Dave Collins resigned for personal reasons, and Valentin was promoted to manager of the 66ers . On Friday, October 31, 2008, he was named manager of the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League (AA). After one season at the helm of the Lookouts he was demoted to hitting coach for the 2010 season. In 2011, he was promoted to the coaching staff of the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes. On November 13, 2012, he joined the Dodgers Major League staff as the Assistant Hitting Coach. In 2016, the Dodgers reassigned him as the hitting coach for the Class-A Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League.
- Snyder, John (2009). 365 Oddball Days in Red Sox History. United States: Clerisy Press. p. 384. ISBN 1578603447..
- ie66ers.com: "66ers Staff Set For 2008"
- "Dodgers Announce 2013 Coaching Staff" (Press release). MLB.com. November 13, 2012.
- Great Lakes Loons (January 14, 2016). "Dodgers Finalize 2016 Loons Staff". milb.com. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
- Feuer, Alan. "He's a Team Player. Just Ask His Neighbors.", The New York Times, March 28, 1999. Accessed March 15, 2011. "By all accounts, Mr. Valentin, who has an unpublished number in Holmdel and is now working out with the Red Sox in preparation for the baseball season, was a pleasure to deal with, Mrs. Flinn and others said."