Top Guardians prospect hits ump and incites massive Triple-A brawl

Columbus Clippers right fielder George Valera. (Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch)
Columbus Clippers right fielder George Valera. (Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch) /

Cleveland Guardians top outfield prospect George Valera is in big trouble after sparking a brawl and striking an umpire in the process.

Thursday night’s Triple-A game between the Columbus Clippers and Nashville Sounds got heated as the benches cleared with a top Cleveland Guardians prospect at the center of it all.

Outfielder George Valera, who ranks No. 2 among Guardians prospects, shoved a ref and threw punches at Sounds catcher Alex Jackson as things got out of hand in Tennessee.

It looked like Valera and Jackson were arguing during an at-bat. The home plate umpire tried to separate the two and caught a stray as Valera went after Jackson.

Watch: Top Guardians prospect shoves ref, incites brawl

It wasn’t Valera’s smartest move to punch a catcher with mask in place, but that’s between him and his undoubtedly damaged knuckles. They don’t call them “knuckleheads” for nothing.

Both Valera and Jackson were ejected from the game and it seems likely suspensions will follow.

Despite the kerfuffle, Columbus went on to win the game 6-2. Valera was 1-for-1 before being replaced by Chris Roller.

Valera is a power-hitting lefty with hopes of breaking into the majors soon enough. However, he has struggled with multiple injury setbacks, from a broken hand to an oblique strain, since joining the Cleveland organization as part of the 2017 international class.

He hasn’t quite found his feet with Columbus. In 21 games, he is batting .187/.319/.227 with 21 strikeouts and no home runs.

This incident isn’t going to do his development any favors.

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