Waiver Wire Pickup: Luis Valbuena
Luis Valbuena was acquired by the Astros over the offseason in a trade that sent outfielder Dexter Fowler to the Chicago Cubs. With a bevy of talented and young outfielders already on the roster, Fowler became expendable for Houston.
Valbuena was coming off a career season, for his standards, tallying career highs in almost every offensive category (GP, PA, BA, H, HR, RBI, OBP, OPS). Not known to the everyday baseball fan, Valbuena was a solid addition to this Astros team, providing veteran leadership and a healthy bat to the heart of Houston’s lineup.
Luis Valbuena who holds value as a 2B and 3B in most fantasy leagues is only owned in an astounding four percent of ESPN standard leagues. He is currently on pace to crack more home runs than his career high total of 16 in 2014 with the Cubs. After starting the season 0-for-10 in the first three games, Valbuena has hit .310 with 5 HRs and 7 RBI, including hitting safely in seven out of the last eight games.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has stated very publicly that he loves Valbuena because he has deceptive power and gets on-base consistently (career .312 OBP). If you are in a twelve team league or deeper, Valbuena is becoming a must-own. He is guaranteed to play in 140+ games, unless an injury occurs, so you can count on the at-bats every night. Astros manager A.J. Hinch has been batting Valbuena anywhere from second to fifth in the lineup so he is walking to plate with a lot of RBI opportunities. He is available in 96% of ESPN leagues, so the time is now to snatch him up before his play makes him even more well-known to the average fan.
Let me know what you think about Valbuena’s prospects in fantasy baseball this season in the comments below…
Dan Schalk is the head writer for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @ffsportstalk