Versatile Valdespin making his presence felt

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jordany Valdespin continues to make his presence felt, going 1-for-1 with an RBI single to center in the eighth inning of Sunday's 3-0 win over the Cardinals.

Valdespin is now hitting .360 this spring with two homers, five RBIs, a stolen base and five runs. He has struck out just twice.

"He's an aggressive guy," manager Terry Collins said. "He plays with enthusiasm, and he's got some excitement to him. But he swings and he's dangerous, because he's got some power."

Valdespin's versatility makes him a prime candidate to make the roster as a utility player. In a 94-game rookie season last year, the 25-year-old played second base and shortstop, and all three outfield positions. He was also 9-for-42 with nine runs, five homers and 10 RBIs as a pinch-hitter.

"Obviously, if you're going to be an extra player, the fact that you can play a lot of positions means a lot," Collins said. "And we saw it last year, the fact that he can come off the bench and be dangerous, also."

Valdespin, who hit .241 overall last year with a .710 OPS, said that the prospect of a utility role won't change his work or his preparation this spring.

"It's different, because the outfield is a different position, but I'm ready for any situation they want for me," Valdespin said. "I'm working hard, and last season I played second, played short, played outfield. I can do the role of the utility guy."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.