Exclusive interview with Red Sox top prospect Enmanuel Valdez
One of the key storylines for the 2023 Boston Red Sox will be how young players are able to assimilate and contribute at the Major League level. This youth movement includes promising middle infielder Enmanual Valdez who was acquired last season in the Christian Vázquez trade.
Given the current Red Sox roster, Valdez will have an immediate opportunity to try and help the 2023 Boston Red Sox. Upon joining the organization mid-2022, he immediately ranked in the top 25 (#17, per MLB.com).
Red Sox infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez opens up to BoSox Injection about his past, present, and future
He was gracious enough to take some time to answer questions from BoSox Injection recently. See below for the full transcript.
You were traded in the middle of last season from the Astros to the Red Sox. How hard was it to adjust playing for a new team in a new city midseason?
"First of all, thanks for the opportunity. It wasn't that difficult because I knew which team I was going to play for. This team is very special and a winning city. As far as it goes, I came physically and mentally prepared, I came ready to help the team wherever they need me. I worked on all parts of my game and I think this year is going to be special, I hope to God that I am healthy for the whole year."
I read that the Red Sox were your favorite team growing up. How much does it mean for you to be part of this organization?
"The Boston organization means a lot to me, because all my family are fans of the Boston Red Sox, ever since I learned what baseball is, I always wanted to be part of them, during the signing process my agent and the scouts did not reach an agreement, but thank God today I am here, I am part of them, and I am happy to be here and my family is too."
What do you think you could bring to the Boston Red Sox this season to help them win?
"I will try to give my energy 100 percent and be ready to play in whatever situation it is, I'll be ready."
You play several positions. What is your favorite position to play?
"My position is second base, but I've been working the outfield and all of the infield since the offseason."
Have the Red Sox given you any guidance about what they want you to focus on?
"They want me to play multiple positions, that's what I have been working on since the offseason, I've been working hard, to be ready."
What players in the Astros and Red Sox organizations have been mentors for you?
"I didn't have a mentor in Houston, but when I arrived in Boston, when I was in triple A, Abraham Almonte was there and he helped me a lot. I was always close to him, asking him questions and talking to him, he helped me a lot. Now that I got to spring training, I was talking with Rafael Devers and he gave me some advice that I think will help me a lot during this whole process."
How much would it mean for you to one day play on the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic?
"It would be a pride to play for my country, in front of all your family, friends and colleagues since childhood, I really would not have a word to describe what I would feel at that moment."
The 2023 season will be important for the lifelong Red Sox fan, Valdez, as he tries to crack the major league roster. His dedication and passion will serve him well as he makes this transition. The team has asked him to prepare to play multiple positions and his willingness and versatility will improve his chances of sticking at the major league level.
It was also interesting to hear him say Rafael Devers has been a valuable resource this spring. After becoming the face of the franchise this offseason, this is more evidence that Devers seems to be embracing his leadership role.
Given Valdez's dedication, versatility, and affability, it will be very easy for Red Sox fans to root for him to have a "special" 2023 season.