Adam Duvall on pickups radar and two catchers shine at fantasy's weakest spot

Andy Behrens
·4 min read

Here's a fun fact for anyone who isn't a Braves fan: Adam Duvall has hit more home runs than any other National League player since the start of the 2020 season.

Duvall tortured his former team on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with 866 feet of homers, driving in seven runs and scoring four. He's gone deep 20 times over his last 66 games.

The first of his two bombs on Tuesday was absolutely destroyed...

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There aren't many mysteries with Duvall at this stage of his career, in the early weeks of his eighth major league season. He's not going to suddenly hit for average at age 32, though he also won't necessarily wreck you in the category — you can carry a .240-ish batter if he offers significant pop. Duvall has a pair of 30-homer seasons on his MLB resume, plus he hit 42 total home runs in 2019 between Triple-A and the majors. He clearly has the sort of power that can overcome a deadened baseball.

After watching Duvall crush three homers over the past two days, it seems likely Atlanta may have a few regrets about the breakup between player and team. Fantasy managers who need a power boost should note that Duvall remains available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Carson Kelly levels up

Arizona catcher Carson Kelly has been quietly raking in the early weeks — or at least his raking was quiet before Tuesday's moonshot...

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Kelly has reached base safely in seven of his eight games this season, going 9-for-21 with as many walks as Ks (5). Let's not assume this is some small sample fluke, either. Kelly used the offseason to rebuild and balance his swing, and the early returns are plenty encouraging.

Way back in the day, Kelly was supposed to be the guy who would eventually replace Yadier Molina in St. Louis. But that was before we knew Yadi to be an eternal, unaffected by time or age. Kelly had a respectable power season in 2019, hitting 18 homers for Arizona, but he disappointed in last year's 60-game sprint. He's still only 26 years old, so there's no reason to think he can't possibly reach a new level. Catcher is a minefield of a position, but it invariably produces a breakout or two each year. Kelly is a clear candidate to be one of those dudes in 2021.

One additional Diamondbacks note: Tim Locastro stole another base on Tuesday, his third of the season. He's leading off, playing regularly with Ketel Marte sidelined, and he lives on base. And also this: He's 29-for-29 as a base-stealer in his big league career. He's a machine. If you can use runs and bags and average, give him a look.

Trivino, Graveman close the door

Oakland's Lou Trivino and Seattle's Kendall Graveman collected the first saves of their respective seasons on Tuesday (and the first of Graveman's 7-year career), so you know what to do with that information. Add 'em wherever you're chasing handshakes. Rafael Montero has blown three save chances already for the Mariners; we may not have seen the last of him in the ninth, but it hasn't exactly been a clinic to this point.

Elsewhere, Greg Holland converted a 4-out save for the Royals, but not before loading the bases in the final frame and throwing a near wild pitch that somehow ended the game. It wasn't the traditional path to a save, but, hey, it counts.

Taijuan Walker effective again

So far, Taijuan Walker has passed the eye-test, entering the streaming conversation at the very least. He couldn't quite get himself through the fifth inning against the Phillies on Tuesday, but he struck out eight batters over 4.1 innings, allowing just three hits and one run. His fastball reached the upper-90s and the rest of his arsenal wasn't too shabby, either...

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Unfortunately, he's lined up to make his next start at Colorado, which is less than ideal. But keep him in mind as a playable option in friendlier spots. With two starts in the books, he has 12 Ks in 10.1 innings and a WHIP of 1.16. That'll do.

Wilson Ramos is feasting

Akil Baddoo has been the early-season headliner for Detroit — and, naturally, he homered again on Tuesday — but his veteran teammate Wilson Ramos has surged to the league lead in home runs. Ramos hit a pair against the Astros on Tuesday, which gives him five in his last five games and six for the season. We're not gonna try to convince you that Ramos is gonna go full Javy Lopez and deliver an out-of-nowhere 40-homer campaign. But can he give us another 18-20 bombs while hitting somewhere in the neighborhood of .270? Yup, that's very much in play, assuming good health.