31-Year-Old Third Baseman – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
The Astros rewarded Valbuena for his hot spring (.380 average), inserting him as their everyday third baseman to open 2015, but he quickly fell into a platoon at the position due to his struggles at t...
Luis Valbuena Contract Information:
Agreed to terms on a one-year, $6.125 million deal with Houston in January 2016, avoiding arbitration.
Valbuena was not tendered a qualifying offer Monday, making him a free agent, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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|Preseason||Subscribe now to see our 2016 projections for Luis Valbuena||3-Year Averages||123||460||401||56||97||41||22||1||18||49||1||1||53||100||1||2||3||.242||.333||.436||.770|
|Career (View All)||798||2,882||2,535||312||588||237||145||9||83||269||8||14||307||582||9||14||17||.232||.317||.394||.712|
Luis Valbuena: MLB Games Played By Position
Luis Valbuena Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||PA||AB||Walk Rate||Strikeout Rate||BB/K Ratio||Contact Rate||BABIP||Isolated Power|
|Preseason||Subscribe now to see our 2016 projections for Luis Valbuena||3-Year Averages||460||401||11.5%||21.7%||0.53||75%||.279||.194|
2016 Stat Review for Luis Valbuena As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2015 (min 420 PA)
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
Luis Valbuena: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Valbuena was quietly one of the most valuable players on the Cubs in 2014, hitting 16 home runs and drawing 65 walks, all while playing two valuable infield positions. Traded to Houston in January, a similar role in 2015 seems likely, but the long-term future for Valbuena remains uncertain. He'll qualify at third base and second base in most leagues in 2015, but with uber-prospect Carlos Correa moving through the Astros' system, it would hardly be surprising to see Valbuena on the move again before Opening Day of 2016 as he seems to be a viable placeholder for rebuilding clubs.
Valbuena backed into the starting job at third base to start last season when Ian Stewart wasn't ready. He he went on to hit 12 home runs in 331 at-bats, but Valbuena wasn't really the answer either. His 53:63 BB:K ratio gives him some value on the diamond, but there isn't a whole lot to recommend in the fantasy world. He will probably compete with Donnie Murphy and perhaps Mike Olt for a job at the hot corner in the spring, but it's only a matter of time before Christian Villanueva and/or Kris Bryant arrive, so Valbuena's days could be numbered.
After a strong showing in 211 Triple-A at-bats, Valbuena saw semi-regular work as the Cubs' third baseman, but struggled in that role, posting just a .650 OPS in 265 at-bats. Nonetheless, he managed 20 doubles and 36 walks in that span, and was largely derailed by a poor BABIP, some of which could regress positively to the mean should Valbuena get another chance. Assuming the Cubs don't sign a free-agent at the position, it's likely Valbuena will battle Ian Stewart for the job this spring, and eventually Josh Vitters, Javier Baez and/or Junior Lake could also be in the mix.
Valbuena spent most of his time at Triple-A Columbus last season after failing to earn a roster spot in spring training, hitting .302 with 22 doubles and 17 homers in 113 games. He struggled in a couple of brief looks with the Indians, following the trend he established the previous season. The Blue Jays acquired him for cash in the offseason where he'll look to resurrect his career. If the results at Triple-A (career .304/.387/.468 in 937 plate appearances) are any indication, there may be a useful utility player buried here.
Valbuena started the season as the team's starting second baseman but got demoted after an ugly start and didn't fare much better upon his recall. It all added up to an ugly .193/.273/.258 season and clouds his future as an everyday option for Cleveland. He'll likely back up second base, shortstop and third base for the Indians unless he has a torrid spring. There's not enough power and speed here to warrant much of a look.
Valbuena was thrust into everyday duties following the trade of Mark DeRosa and quite simply wasn't ready to swim quite yet. A quick start at Triple-A (.321/.436/.538) opened up some organizational eyes and earned himself a promotion, but he likely was better served staying at Triple-A for the full season. He hit .250/.298/.416 but showed enough pop (10 homers) to give him the inside track on the second base job as spring opens. Considering the others options are non-roster invitee Luis Rodriguez and seeing what the heck former keystoner Jerry Browne is up to nowadays it's probably his job to lose.
Valbuena had a breakout season in 2008. After hitting .239 in 2007 at Double-A with 83 strikeouts in 122 games, Valbuena hit .304 last season with 37 strikeouts and 31 walks, earning a promotion to Triple-A Tacoma, where he hit .302 with 32 strikeouts and 28 walks. Combined, he had 34 extra-base hits. He then impressed with his defense in a September call-up to Seattle. He was traded to the Indians in the three-way deal that sent J.J. Putz to the Mets. Valbuena needs more seasoning and needs to develop more power, but he might get a shot at second base with the Tribe, allowing Asdrubal Cabrera to play short and Jhonny Peralta to play third.