There's been a lot of discussion about third baseman Danny Valencia as the A's infield makes an attempt at taking shape (as much as it can). So, I figured, it's time for a post on the 6'2" 31-year-old from Miami, Florida.
Valencia has been around the league, making pit-stops at five different teams since 2010, before arriving in Oakland in August of last season.
Currently, Valencia is one of two Jewish players on the roster (alongside Sam Fuld... third, when he was acquired, when Ike Davis was still around), though only one of nine in the rest of the league.
He hails from Miami and grew up with a dream that he'd one day play for U Miami. Unfortunately for Valencia, due to scholarship reasons, he ended up at University of North Carolina Greensboro. His hunger for Miami didn't falter, and after his freshman year he fought to transfer to U Miami.
Coincidentally, on Dec. 2, 2015, only four months after Valencia was scooped up off waivers, he was reunited with an old face from high school and fellow Hurricane, Yonder Alonso, who was acquired in a trade with the Padres.
Miami, Miami, Miami Hurricanes, Drive, drive, you Hurricanes...
Though he grew up in Miami, he's afraid of sharks. Could be problematic.
He also cites his mom as one of his two key hitting coaches. Go mom.
Last season, though late, Valencia showed the Oakland organization what he could do. Now, all he needs to do is stretch that into a full season. Perhaps being reunited with Alonso will help!
Will Valencia be able to overcome his fear of sharks and mow down opposing baserunners with lighting speed in 2016?! Find out in the next episode of ...