Nov 14, 2014

Former Italian /American Mets Player & Current A Ball Coach: Val Pascucci (2011)

Valentino Martin Pascucci was born on November 17th, 1978 in Bellflower, California.

The big six foot six right hander was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers but chose to go to college instead. He attended the University of Oklahoma, playing with the Sooners baseball team as a pitcher going 4-0. 

In 1999 he was drafted by the Montreal Expos as a position player in the 15th round. After playing three years at A ball he hit 27 HRs with 82 RBIs at AA Harrisburg in 2002 although he batted just .235.

In 2004 he made a brief appearance with the Expos in May but was sent back down, where he batted .98 with 25 HRs & 98 RBIs at AAA Edmonton. Pascucci earned a September call up to the major leagues and would play in the final game in Montreal Expos history that October.

The next year he went to play in Japan for two seasons with the Chiba Lotte Marines under Italian /American former Mets manager Bobby Valentine. He returned to the USA playing in 2007, for the Florida Marlins AAA Albuquerque Isotopes team hitting 34 HRs with 98 RBIs.

In 2008 he went over to the Phillies AAA club at Lehigh Valley but was then traded to the New York Mets organization. He hit .290 with 21 HRs & 81 RBIs in 114 games at AAA New Orleans playing right field as well as at first base in 2008.

It seems he was always on the move & after representing Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic he went to the Padres & Dodgers organizations.

His numbers fell off to 19 HRs 77 RBIs & a .248 batting average and he was back to the Mets organization as a free agent in January 2010.  

He played 14 games in the Independent League then 72 games at AAA Buffalo hitting 17 HRs for the 2010 Bison’s.

In 2011 he was their first baseman (85 games) & Designated hitter (38 games) hitting 21 HRs with 91 RBIs batting .264. In September at age 32 he got his second chance in the major leagues as a September call up.  

Pascucci debuted as a Met on September 8th as a pinch hitter for Willie Harris, getting a base hit. He would make eleven pinch hit appearances for the 2011 Mets getting three hits (.273).

On September 24th, he hit a game tying, seventh inning pinch hit HR off Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. The HR turned out to be the game winning 2-1 difference. The next day in the first game of a double header against the same Phillies, he had a pinch hit RBI base hit driving in Jason Pridie. He finished the year batting .273.  

In 2012 he played back at AAA Buffalo hitting 17 HRs with 62 RBIs but batted just .217 in 123 games as the clubs outfielder & first baseman. He was invited to the AAA All Star Game & HR derby which was played in Buffalo, NY. He won the HR derby & was a huge hit with the home town crowd.

He was cut & spent 2013 playing in both the Mexican & Independent Leagues.

In 2014 Pascucci became the hitting coach for the Mets single A team; the Savannah Sand Gnats.

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