Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Jose Valverde, Lucas Duda, more

by Tim Heaney on April 25, 2013 @ 12:00:00 PDT


Pages 1 | 2 | all's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market gives you candid reviews and ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball leagues. Are they trade bait? Are they worth your FAAB dollars in your fantasy baseball games?

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Jose Valverde, RP, Detroit Tigers

New York Mets OF Lucas Duda
Cowabunga, Duda!

Nearly a month after being a hot waiver-wire item, he reappears after he's named closer and registers a 1-2-3 closure in his 2013 debut Wednesday. Whether they were proactive or reactive, his owners should enjoy the happy medium of his perfect 2011 and putrid 2012. Recent reports of his stuff said he was back to near-peak form; farm numbers validated it, to a degree.

Bruce Rondon, as Closer Hot Seat noted Tuesday, may still represent the ultimate option for Detroit saves this year, but a successful Valverde will delay that move. Jim Leyland is just happy to have a familiar face that may once again lock things down most of the time, even through his WHIPlash performances.

Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco Giants

Picker-uppers have caught up to his early run. In turn, Crawford, with his four homers, has matched in 75 at-bats the total he posted in 435 last season. His bombs this season have more closely resembled lasers. He's not a true power specimen.

But his shots are carrying, thanks in part to some plate alterations that have helped him discover some innate thump. He's more likely to carry over his improvements into a year-long clip breakthrough, so, don't overrate his fence-clearing ability, but he's not just a leather-focused player anymore.

Yuniesky Betancourt, 1B/2B/3B, Milwaukee Brewers

That eligibility trio makes many willing to acknowledge his 12-for-38 stretch (three taters, 14 plated tallies) while the 31-year-old subs for knee rehabbers Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez. Betancourt's power has progressed with age, but his other offensive components haven't followed.

Note his drop in pop-ups and bump in squared connections. Adding more authority to his typically high contact frequency helps. He's approaching a career-high swing rate, though, and that'll hurt later on if he keeps his frantic pace of hacking at outside-the-zone offerings. Yuni should start for Milwaukee for at least another month, but most mixed leaguers should move on quickly if negative signs pile up and he no longer fills a need.

Best available players comprised of a Met, D-back, Mariner

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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