Former Major League utilityman Wilson Valdez has signed with the Camden Riversharks as reported on the team’s official website. Valdez, who turned 35 years old on May 20, spent last season with the Reds, posting a .463 OPS in 208 trips to the plate while playing at short stop, second base, third base, and center field. The Giants had signed him to a Minor League deal for the 2013 but released him during spring training. He was picked up by the Marlins but dropped a week later in favor of Chris Valaika.
Valdez is still remembered in Philadelphia for pitching a scoreless inning of relief in the 19th inning and earning the win against the Reds on May 25, 2011.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.