Born in the United States, Valera relocated to the Dominican and was eligible to sign with Cleveland as a 16-year-old in 2017, signing for $1.3 million. The massive power he generates from a 5’10’’ frame has turned heads on the backfields in Goodyear, AZ—his hit and power combo is advanced for his age (won’t be 18 until November), and the bat stood out in both my Spring Training and Extended looks in March and May.
The carry tool is his current 60, future 70-grade raw power, putting on a show in BP with pullside bombs and flashes of all-fields power. To put the power in perspective, Valera is as old as most high school juniors, and he’s showing plus big league raw power right now—though it’s partially a byproduct of a mature frame that developed quickly and is close to filled out. Valera’s low hand set-up and launch angle help him get to the zone quickly, but against higher quality fastballs, he is likely to be challenged by fastballs elevated. Valera shows enthusing ability to ID secondary pitches for a teenager, but what is a bigger swing overall might always be vulnerable to swing-and-miss, even within the zone.
Though he plays centerfield right now, the body and toolset fit a right field profile long-term. He gets good routes and jumps in center but lacks the raw straight-line speed to stay there, though those defensive attribtes translate well to a corner, where Valera projects to be an above-average defender. He shows an above-average arm that is plenty for the position. There’s risk in the profile given his age and whiff potential, but the power is special and there are signs of feel to hit. I think he can get to the power enough such that he reaches his ceiling, a regular in RF with prototype tools for the position.