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

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


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Lucas Duda, OF, New York Mets

Arizona Diamondbacks SP Patrick Corbin
Corbin a charming Snake

Duda has not abided consistently. His production has come in bunches, highlighted by a pair of two-homer contests. Ignoring him, however, shows unchecked aggression, and it will not stand ... man. Terry Collins shows he believes the not-so-little Duda can be an Urban Achiever by slotting him in the Queens cleanup spot.

The 27-year-old has walked 17 times in 70 plate appearances, tempered his hacking ways and displayed competence versus southpaws. Whether these trends continue shouldn't matter for owners seeking power production, where he isn't out of his element.

Patrick Corbin, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

The southpaw ranks second only to Shelby Miller so far in first-strike percentage with a gaudy 72.8. Sure, sound the sample-size alert (it's only four starts), but correcting the flaw he had in that department last year should go a long way to sustaining his two-seamer-, control-fueled success. The smidge of across-the-board velocity uptick doesn't hurt, either.

He won't replicate the K/9 or K% figures from his farm days, nor will he sustain his 85.9 left-on-base percentage. Improving his homer suppression, on the other hand, in conjunction with his steady peripherals elsewhere could make him one of the surprise SP gems of 2013.

Jesus Montero, C, Seattle Mariners

One-catcher players are seemingly bailing, but he's 7-for-23 over his last six games with his first homer of the season and four ribbies. Can Montero avoid a demotion? Seattle seems committed to Justin Smoak. Kelly Shoppach is steady. Most importantly, Mike Zunino looms for a summer call-up, if not sooner.

Montero's issues rest in recognizing pitches and his drop-off in strong contact, particularly toward the opposite field. He's failing to replicate his in-play, same-side success from 2012 and missing out on Safeco Field's improved left-field dimensions.

Still, these issues may require merely a simple tweak, and he clicked in the second half last year, after all. If you need backstop help, don't let playing-time concerns hide the 23-year-old's potential. It's not going to cost much to try catching a wave from a former top prospect with at least another month of rope.

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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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