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Hart grad Chris Valaika earns Marlins roster spot

Team announces Valaika will take utility infield spot

Posted: March 28, 2013 3:03 p.m.
Updated: March 28, 2013 3:03 p.m.

Hart High graduate Chris Valaika earned an opening-day roster spot with the Miami Marlins, the team announced Thursday.

 

Four days ahead of Major League Baseball's opening day, the Miami Marlins announced Hart graduate Chris Valaika has earned a roster spot, according to the Marlins' official website.

Valaika, a former third-round draft pick who spent two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, signed a minor league contract with the Marlins organization in November and was a non-roster invite into camp this season.

Prior to signing with the Marlins, Valaika had spent seven years in the Reds organization, making only brief appearances in the big leagues.

He spent nearly all of last season playing for the Triple-A Louisville Bats after tearing his ACL in September 2011 and requiring knee surgery.

After finishing the season batting .223 with 29 RBIs and six home runs in 85 games with Louisville and struggling to stay healthy throughout the season, Valaika didn’t receive a call-up to the MLB at all in 2012.

His last MLB appearance was Sept. 11, 2011, when he injured his knee against the Colorado Rockies.

Valaika was drafted 84th overall in the third round of the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of UC Santa Barbara.

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