The first of the two PTBNL for Roberto Hernandez have been revealed, and it is Dodgers’ supplemental first round pick in 2012 Jesmuel Valentin (#51 overall). Valentin is the son of Jose Valentin who played 16 years in the major leagues. As an amateur he played second base next to Carlos Correa, and while there was some chance he would play SS, he has found his natural spot at 2B in the Dodgers system. Baseball America had this to say about him when he was drafted:
He’ll likely get a shot to play shortstop in pro ball and has the defensive versatility to play all over the diamond, but many scouts believe he’s best suited for the keystone. Valentin is a steady defender with a strong-arm and is a solid-average runner with good instincts on the bases. His tools play up because of his hard-nosed approach and instincts for the game. At the plate, he has a line-drive approach, and his strong forearms allow him to spray the ball from gap to gap with authority. Valentin projects more as a doubles hitter than a slugger, but he does have the strength and bat speed to hit the ball out of the park. A natural right-handed hitter, he has been switch-hitting for about a year and half and is still working to feel comfortable as a lefty.
Since then, he hit .211/.352/.316 in his draft year of 2012 and hit .264/.364/.367 in 2013 as he started in low-A and was demoted to short season ball. During those years he was rated #14 and #22 respectively in the Dodgers system. This year, in a return to the Midwest League, he has hit .282/.352/.433 and has shown more power at the plate. He is an interesting talent as a second baseman, but could play shortstop if forced into a utility role. He has enough bat to play 2B long-term, if he can keep his performance up going forward. He likely slots in front of Andrew Pullin (Phillies 5th round pick in 2012) at this time, and he could see action in Clearwater to finish out the season (they could also send him to Lakewood).
Overall a better get than expected for Roberto Hernandez. I would expect the second PTBNL to be of lower quality, although at this point that could be in question given that Valentin was a higher level than I expected in this deal. Valentin definitely will make my Top 30 prospects this off-season, though it will likely be in the 20s due to the depth ahead of him.*
*A big thanks to my (sometimes) editor (Princess Barf) for editing my post drinking ramblings on this.