But Valencia really struggled last season, batting just .198 in 34 games with the Twins. He was demoted to Triple-A and eventually was dealt to the Red Sox in August. Combined, he hit .188 with a .193 on-base percentage in 44 big-league games in 2012. Against left-handed pitching, however, Valencia is a career .316 hitter in 326 plate appearances over parts of three seasons.
"His real strength to a team is his capability to hit left-handed pitching," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said of Valencia. "At his age and his experience level, there is no reason he shouldn't be able to regain the level where he was a top vote-getter for Rookie of the Year."