Sep 28, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia (35) hits a one-run rbi single in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

What Danny Valencia Provides the Royals

Sep 13, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Danny Valencia (35) singles in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Baltimore defeated Toronto 5-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

We had all expected that the Royals would move one of their extra outfielders this offseason, so the fact that David Lough was traded is likely not anything surprising. What may be surprising, however, is that the Royals traded Lough to the Baltimore Orioles to acquire third baseman Danny Valencia.

What the Royals have acquired in Valencia may be a right handed complement to Mike Moustakas. While the Royals have waited for Moustakas to tap into this power potential, Valencia is another third baseman that has power potential, only from the right side. During his time in the majors, Valencia has hit 33 home runs, despite only having one season as an every day player. His power has not only manifested in home runs, as Valencia has also slugged 66 doubles, and over 8% of his at bats end up with an extra base hit.

Danny Valencia is also a bit of a rarity for a power hitter in that he does not strike out that often. While that does not translate into walks, as he has walked in only 5.6% of his plate appearances in the majors, Valencia has been able to put the bat on the ball, striking out in only 17.4% of his at bats. However, for a power hitter, Valenica does not hit many line drives, as his lien drive rate of 18% is slightly below average. When he does hit the ball in the air, he also hits slightly fewer balls out of the yard then the average hitter. Where these home runs come from is that Valencia is an extreme fly ball hitter, with a ground ball to fly ball ratio of 0.78 in his career.

As such an extreme fly ball hitter, it is likely that Valencia may see his production decrease in Kauffman Stadium. Yet, despite his fly ball tendencies and the large outfield, Valencia has actually hit well in Kansas City, producing at a .295/.358/.426 rate with one home run and twelve RBIs in 61 career at bats at Kauffman. If he is able to continue that type of production as part of a potential platoon with Moustakas, he could potentially be quite the bargain for the Royals.

It seemed likely that the Royals would look to find someone that could potentially push Mike Moustakas, aside from Emilio Bonifacio. With Danny Valencia, they not only did so, but also acquired another power bat for the bench. During an offseason where the Royals have made several solid moves, Valencia is just the latest one.

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  • jimfetterolf

    Hate to lose Lough but it was inevitable. What we got back was a platoon partner for Moose, Valencia being solid against lefties, as well as an RH pinch hitter with some pop. I think the move addresses the last hole in the line up, 3rd. Probably means Ciriaco is gone, two UIFs the most they’ll carry. I think this improves the team. Next trade is likely Dyson and maybe a reliever, probably for prospects.

    • Dave Hill

      I agree that this move seemingly makes a platoon with Moustakas inevitable. Both players have dramatic lefty/righty splits, so this may be the best way to get the most production from them.

    • hemroid

      Interesting thought, I was just wondering to myself this morning about Ciriaco. It would appear to me also, that he is probably now Omaha bound or to another team.

    • Eric Akers

      I think this might make Maxwell more likely to go than Dyson. Both Maxwell and Valencia seem to be lefty mashers, but only one guy on the team can go 1st to 3rd on consecutive pitches without the ball being put in play by the hitter. I would loved to have kept both Maxwell and Dyson, but I can see the backup third baseman being more important than another outfielder.

      This would make Boni our backup outfielder, and we can call up Christian Colon if one of our outfielders hit the DL.

      • Eric Akers

        Maybe Maxwell isn’t a lefty masher. I am not sure that changes my view on whom we should keep.

        • jimfetterolf

          Maxwell is a righty. Makes for interesting platoon possibilities against lefties with Maxwell giving Gordon a break and Valencia replacing Moose. I think they keep Max because he’s RH, plays all three OFs, and had pop.

          • Eric Akers

            I was thinking that he had a platoon split and hit the lefties rather well, but when I double checked, he does not have much of a power split.

            I still want both guys on the team, but if I had to choose one, I would go with Dyson at the moment. I am not sure how well Maxwell plays center, but I think Dyson would still give us a lot of value in center when/if Cain gets hurt.

            I am lamenting us letting Kottaras go. He could have been our LH power bat off the bench, complementing Valencia. He only sign for just above $1M, below the $1.3M estimated by MLBTradeRumors.

  • moretrouble

    I’m pleased for David Lough, who gets a shot at being a full-time player. I like the Baltimore side of the trade. For KC, it allows them to match-up better against lefties by pulling Moustakas, especially during inter-league games. Who remains as KC’s outfield bench guy is still to be determined and that may carry over into ST.

    What may look acceptable on paper by playing Aoki in CF and Maxwell in RF in case of another Cain injury may not look so good on the field. I’d be a bit careful about letting Dyson go. And, if I were Cain, I’d be doing the kind of winter conditioning that Gordon has done the last couple of years to prepare for the season.

  • Bigtexjayhawk

    This is an amazing trade for the boys in blue. One it serves as a warning to MM that he better get in shape and play better or see you later. Two, Valencia may feel the job his his if he plays better than MM so he comes in with a vengeance. Love the power. Need more!! No more coddling the young guys. Get the job done or get off my field!!!

    • jimfetterolf

      Here’s Valencia’s career line against RHP: ..229/.269/.360. Last year he was even worse. He’s Moose without the glove against righties.

      Good enough trade, Baltimore probably got more value, KC addressed one-third of the last hole in the line up. Win-win.

  • FOmeOLS

    The Royals got a winner. It looks as if he orioles also did well.
    Last year the Royals finished one game ahead of the Orioles, and it looks like quite the slugfest coming up.


    could someone please tell my what his value to this team as a starter could be other than defense?????? the guy did one thing right (other than hustle) and everything else at a below average MAJOR LEAGUE level…seriously…….I am glad he is gone so you guys can quit “man crushing” about the dude….good grief…Baltimore won this trade? seriously…..its about even…we got something we needed and they got someone that provided value to their team as well…..good riddance david lough…..good grief…