Eric Valent Called Up To Philadelphia Phillies

June 7, 2001

Philadephia, PA - Former UCLA outfielder Eric Valent was called up the Philadelphia Phillies and outfielder Rob Ducey was given his release, General Manageer Ed Wade announced after Wednesday night's game.

Valent is the fifth member of UCLA's 1997 College World Series team to play in the major league. He joins former teammates Jim Parque (Chicago White Sox), Troy Glaus (Anaheim Angels), Tom Jacquez (Philadelphia Phillies) and Eric Byrnes (Oakland Athletics). Two more teammates, Jake Meyer and Pete Zamora, are playing Triple-A ball this spring.

The 24-year-old Valent will join the Phillies in time for Thursday night's game against the New York Mets at Veterans Stadium. He will also be with the team as they head to Boston for the first round of Interleague Play.

'We have Boston coming up and with the DH, we have a couple of options (with Valent). I believe we'll be facing some right-handed pitching,' said Larry Bowa. 'He's going to play, whether it's at DH or in the outfield. He's not coming up to sit the bench.'

Valent, a product of UCLA was Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's leading hitter and among the International League leaders in several offensive categories as of Wednesday :

.304 average (10th in IL)
11 homers (tied for second)
45 RBI (first)
68 hits (third)
19 doubles (tied for second)
.536 slugging pct. (fifth)
30 extra-base hits (tied for second)

Valent has batted above .300 since April 19, his 14th game of the season.

The left-handed hitter has appeared in 58 games (again, as of Wednesday), playing in right field, at first base and in left field. He had one pinch-hit appearance, a game-tying homer in the ninth inning, Tuesday night against Louisville.

Valent had an 11-game hitting streak in April and an eight-game string in May. During the eight game streak, Valent had five homers among his 11 hits.

Valent was a supplemental selection (42nd player overall) in the June 1998 draft. In three-plus pro seasons, he's compiled a .288 average with 92 doubles, 66 homers and 294 RBI in 376 games. He is a two-time minor league All-Star (1999, Florida State League and 2000, Eastern League).

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