Mathieu Vallée: a Quebecer in the « MLB Draft League »


The Quebec baseball player Mathieu Vallée says it himself: he starts from really far. The problem is less for the young man of 20 from Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, because he is rightly known for his high speed.

Vallée notably runs the 60-yard distance in 6.26 seconds, which is blazingly fast and allows him to steal goals in abundance.

After having spent the last two years with the Norsemen of the college Northeast Oklahoma (NEO), in the United States, Vallée evolves since the end of May in the new « MLB Draft League », a summer circuit intended for the prospects eligible for the next one. draft.

Quebecer Mathieu Vallée plays with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the new “MLB Draft League”.

COURTESY PHOTO / Mahoning Valley Sports

Luckily, his head coach with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Ohio, is former major ball player Coco Crisp.

« He told me that I looked a lot like him in my style of play, » said the Quebecer, speaking of his current manager. I have the opportunity to learn from him, in terms of his approach at batting, but also on goals. ”

Crisp, who played primarily for the Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, has had 309 stolen goals in major league baseball. Defensively, his speed allowed him to evolve in center field, precisely Vallée’s natural position.

In the case of the Quebecer, he committed 37 thefts in 40 attempts earlier this year with NEO. Vallée even had 22 stolen goals in just 13 games before suffering a shoulder dislocation when a suspicious pitcher tried to hold him back at first base. The Quebecer injured himself while diving for the cushion.

« After my injury, I took less distance on goals, my arm has not returned to 100% yet, but it is improving, » said Vallée, who also has 17 goals stolen in 18 games with the Scrappers .

Quebecer Mathieu Vallée plays with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the new “MLB Draft League”.

COURTESY PHOTO / Mahoning Valley Sports

Small, but very fast

If Vallée feels he is coming from nowhere, the outfielder is alluding to his late growth spurt, which necessarily hampered his opportunities in American colleges.

“I have always been fast, but I especially gained mass when I was 17 and 18 years old, noted the former of the Academy of baseball of Canada (ABC), which brings together the best players of Quebec. . Even today, I’m not that big at 165 pounds, but I continue to add muscle mass, which allows me to hit the ball with more power. ”

Beyond his stolen goals, the youngster has maintained an excellent batting average of .434 at NEO this season. He had an impressive 50 points counted, including 18 doubles and five homers, in 40 games.

And in the « MLB Draft League, » Vallée has hit 14 hits in 51 official appearances (. 275) so far, also having walked 19 walks, boosting his presence rate on goals where he is. is particularly dangerous, at .507.

Thanks to Édouard Savoie!

If he begins to talk about recruiters for the next draft, Vallée insists on talking about another Quebecer who was his teammate at NEO: Édouard Savoie.

« He was the one who pushed for me with the coach in Oklahoma, because at that point, I had no offer and I was never considered, » said Vallée. Edward had already played a season there when I arrived [en 2020]. I would say he saved my baseball career a bit. ”

For the draft, scheduled for July 11 to 13, Vallée has no expectations. Depending on his signing bonus, he might as well decide to continue his career with Dallas Baptist University, Texas, in the NCAA. His efforts effectively enabled him to obtain a scholarship to join this university.


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