photo: Breyvic Valera (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)
St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Tuesday) that they have recalled infielder Breyvic Valera (pronounced BRAY-vic VAH-lair-ah) from Memphis (AAA) and that he will join the team for tonight’s game in San Diego.
Valera, 25, a non-drafted free agent (signed on May 13, 2010) from Montalban, Venezuela, played in 800 career minor league games over eight seasons before arriving in the Major Leagues.
The switch-hitting infielder batted .314 with eight home runs, 41 RBI and 11 stolen bases and led the Redbirds in batting average, hits (133) and triples (6) during the 2017 season. From July 4 through the end of the season, Valera ranked 12th among all minor leaguers with a .359 average, tallying 24 multi-hit games and ran off a 26-game on-base streak from July 30-August 29, batting .366 with a .415 OBP during that stretch. He was recognized as the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for July 31-August 6.
The 5-10, 184-pound Valera struck out just 34 times in his 424 at-bats this season, and led Memphis down the stretch in their record-breaking 91-win season by batting .346 with 5 HR’s & 18 RBI in 25 games in August – earning the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month award for the month of August.
Over his 800 career minor league games, Valera has a .303 batting average including a .359 on-base percentage. He has been named to three mid-season All-Star Games (New York-Penn League 2012, Midwest League 2013 & Florida State League 2014) and was recognized as the 2016 Venezuelan Winter League Most Valuable Player.
Valera has been assigned uniform No. 41 and will become the 11th Cardinal to make his Major League debut this season.
Brian Walton’s take
With an exceptional second half, Valera earned The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Month award for both July and August. That revival may have opened the door for his Major League debut after Alex Mejia had passed him this summer and his 40-man roster spot, received last fall, seemed in potential jeopardy.
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