The Los Angeles Angels signed 1B/ 3B Luis Valbuena to a two year contract in the off season. It was a move that was at least slightly questioned given the team having Yunel Escobar, Albert Pujols, CJ Cron, and Jefry Marte all still curently employed by the Angels.
As fate would have it for Valbuena and the Los Angeles Angels, the slugger was hurt in spring training. The injury caused Valbuena to miss the start of the season. As a result, it affects his grade at the one-third mark.
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While he started out steady collecting six hits in his first fifteen at-bats, he has cooled significantly in the fifteen games since then. Never a high average hitter, he has also not had the power numbers expected from him. With just two homeruns and zero doubles, his sub-.300 slugging percentage is less than what the Los Angeles Angels looked to get when they inked him to his two-year contract.
Valbuena is a career .230 hitter. However, has averaged 17 HR with 29 2B and 54 RBI over a full season for his career. With CJ Cron having just been sent down to Triple A Salt Lake and Yunel Escobar landing on the DL, Valbuena’s time to prove himself is right now.
Already, Angels faithful are not quite pleased with Cron’s demotion. Any pro-longed scuffling from Valbuena will only acerbate the Angels faithful and their feelings of another young first baseman wasted in the Sciossa era.
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Overall Grade: D. Valbuena just hasn’t done enough. The injury isn’t his fault. However, the sub .200 AVG in 70 AB without power numbers and a $6.5 million salary for a platoon player is not good. Hopefully he will turn it around before too long especially with Mike Trout is injured.