A 2010 graduate of Saint Joseph’s, Valesente finished his four-year career on Hawk Hill with a .323 batting average after starting 170 of the 179 games he played. He ranks fifth all-time on the Saint Joseph’s career hit list, having notched 216 while wearing the Crimson and Gray.
Upon his graduation, Valesente played for the Ottawa Fat Cats in Canada while catching bullpen sessions for the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A International League affiliate of the New York Mets.
Valesente signed with the Alpine Cowboys of the Pecos League in 2011 and was voted to the All-Star team before signing a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012. He was assigned to the State College Spikes, Pittsburgh’s affiliate in the Short-Season Single-A New York-Penn League, before playing the 2013 season with the Jamestown Jammers of the NYPL.
The Ithaca, New York native is one of five student-athletes to play under Hamburg at Saint Joseph’s before moving on to play professionally. Valesente’s classmate, Randy Mower, signed a free agent contract with the Washington Nationals in 2010, while Ryan Kemp (2011, Cincinnati Reds), A.J. Holland (2011, Atlanta Braves), and Jimmy Yacabonis (2013, Baltimore Orioles) were all selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The Hawks will open the 2014 season against Butler on Friday, February 14, at the USA Baseball Complex Classic in Cary, North Carolina.