Born: February 14, 1987
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 205
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 7th round, 198th overall, 2004 (Reds)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Cegep Edouard Monpetit HS (Montreal)
Agent: Joshua Kusnick


Valiquette has had a straightforward story throughout his pro career:  He’s a left-handed reliever who throws very hard but has never had any consistent success due to weak command and the lack of a second pitch.  He has hit 100 mph with his fastball, but according to Baseball America he’s consistently sat at 93-94 and has more often topped out at 96.  He has a below average slider and has never developed a usable change.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2013.

R+:  2-1-0, 6.43 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 21.0 IP, 4.3 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
A:  2-5-0, 6.30 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, 64.1 IP, 6.2 BB/9, 5.9 K/9

Valiquette was very raw when he signed out of Canada, too late to play in 2004.  So raw, in fact, that he spoke only limited English.  The Reds nevertheless tried him in 2005 in full season ball, mostly as a starter.  It obviously didn’t go well and Valiquette didn’t do all that much better in seven games at the advanced rookie level.

A:  2-4-0, 7.54 ERA, 1.97 WHIP, 37.0 IP, 5.1 BB/9, 5.8 K/9

Valiquette went back to low A and continued to struggle, still mainly as a starter.  He went AWOL during the season, a result of homesickness, and he didn’t return until the following year.

R+:  3-1-3, 1.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 40.2 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 6.4 K/9
A:  1-2-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

After returning, Valiquette got into limited action back in advanced rookie ball, where he did well, and low A, where he didn’t.  The Reds used him strictly in relief; he hasn’t started a game since 2006.

A:  0-1-1, 3.12 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 26.0 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 11.1 K/9
A+:  2-2-2, 3.92 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 39.0 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 7.6 K/9

Valiquette made significant progress in low A, allowing far fewer baserunners and posting his first good K rate.  He didn’t fare as well in high A after a promotion.

A+:  1-1-6, 2.29 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 19.2 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
AA:  1-1-3, 2.76 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 32.2 IP, 5.5 BB/9, 7.4 K/9

Valiquette had his best year as a pro, mostly dominating in low A and pitching decently in high A.

AA:  2-0-4, 3.99 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 29.1 IP, 4.9 BB/9, 6.4 K/9
AAA:  2-1-1, 4.29 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 35.2 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

Valiquette split his time between AA and AAA, pitching much better at the higher level.

Did not play

Due to a torn pectoral muscle, Valiquette missed the entire season.  The Reds released him in mid-August and he signed with the Mariners five days later.

A+:  0-0-0, 4.00 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 9.0 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9
AA:  0-1-0, 8.49 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 3.1 K/9

Seattle released Valiquette at the end of spring training, before he’d ever pitched in a game with then.  The Brewers signed him in late April and he was able to get into 16 games, although the results weren’t good.

Valiquette obviously is a long shot for the Pirates, but probably worth a try due to the scarcity of hard-throwing lefties.  He could open at any level from high A to AAA, depending on how he looks in spring training.

Baseball Reference–Minors
2013: Minor league contract
Signing Bonus: $300,000
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/09
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 7th round, 198th overall pick; signed on August 27.
November 20, 2009: Contract purchased by the Cincinnati Reds.
August 18, 2011: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.
August 23, 2011: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Seattle Mariners.
March 29, 2012: Released by the Seattle Mariners.
April 20, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Milwaukee Brewers.
November 3, 2012: Became a free agent.
November 26, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.