Valencia was born in Miami to a Jewish mother and a Cuban father who converted to Judaism. Between 2010 and 2014, he played in 421 games for the Minnesota Twins, the Boston Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles, the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays. His rookie season was particularly successful, and he came in third place in the voting for the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year. During that season he also hit a grand slam off reigning Cy Young winner Zack Greinke to record his first home run. In the early part of the 2014 season, Valencia replaced the struggling Mike Moustakas at third base. Valencia was traded later that season to Toronto, and Moustakas ultimately played a huge role during the epic Royals’ postseason run.