(born April 4
in La Mirada, California
) is a former Major League Baseball
player and current minor league baseball
coach in the Philadelphia Phillies
Valent was an All-American at Canyon High School
in Anaheim, California
. On June 1
, he was drafted in the 26th round of the amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers
, but he did not sign and instead elected to attend college at UCLA
He had a standout career at UCLA
alongside teammates Troy Glaus
, Eric Byrnes
, Chase Utley
, and Garrett Atkins
. He helped lead UCLA to the college world series in 1997.
Valent has the most career home runs in Pac-10 history with 69, and career RBIs (219), in only three years of play.
He was the Pac-10 Player of the year in 1998. On June 2, 1998, Valent was selected in the first round of the supplemental draft by the Philadelphia Phillies (42nd overall).
Of his collegiate career, Valent perhaps prophetically said:
He went straight to the majors.
In his short career, he provided good power from the left side of the plate. A solid pinch-hitter
and valuable utility man; he is a competent first baseman
who can play either left
or right field
On August 31, 2003, Valent was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for catcher Kelly Stinnett.
Later that year, on December 15, Valent was drafted by the New York Mets in the Rule 5 draft.
With the Mets, Valent saw the majority of his career's playing time. On July 29, , Valent became the eighth player in Mets history to hit for the cycle in a game against the Montreal Expos. He also posted three pinch-hit home runs in late August. During his time with the Mets, Valent wore uniform number 57 (which is now worn by Mets pitcher Johan Santana).
On January 12, 2006, Valent was signed as a free agent by the San Diego Padres, but he was released on May 14 of that same year without having played a professional game with the team.
In a four-season career, Valent is a .234 hitter with 13 home runs and 36 RBI in 205 games.
Japanese Baseball League
After being released from the Padres organization, Valent signed a one-year contract worth 50 million Yen to play right field for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
in Japan's Pacific League
Valent is now a coach on the Class A Williamsport team of the Philadelphia Phillies.