If you're not a Mets fan, he's a punchline. If you are a Mets fan, you appreciate his potential but are probably a little turned off by his personality. Either way, with the Mets outfield being notoriously thin this year, and with the team lacking a true leadoff hitter with speed, it looks like Valdespin is going to get the opportunity to hit at the top of the order to start the season. And that's to the benefit of observant fantasy GM's.
In 2012, Valdespin managed to hit eight home runs and steal ten bases in just 206 plate appearances. Double that to less than a full season's worth at 400 PA to get 16 home runs and 20 steals (this is crude math, but you get what I'm saying here), and you can start to see the potential. Especially if he's getting regular at bats, we should see his overall game improve. The batting average was .241 in 2012, but with a BABIP of .273. He hit in the .280-.290 range throughout the minors, so I'd expect we'll see something around .260-.275 this season, with potential for more if he gets some good BABIP luck thanks to his speed.
The power/speed potential is definitely there for fantasy players. In the minors, he went 17 HR and 27 SB in 2011, so I wouldn't say his production in limited time was a fluke in 2012. When this season started, "Valdy" wasn't really in the conversation for the Mets outfield, but he's played his way to this spot in Spring Training with a batting average at .347, and four home runs.
Net Net: At the age of 25, there's plenty of room for growth. He hasn't proven himself in a large sample size yet, but this is his first season starting off with a full time role. All the evidence points to a player with the tools to get it done. Also, most importantly, Valdespin is probably 2B eligible in your league (16 games
there last year), which gives him added versatility with his OF spot. Definitely worth a sleeper look in the later rounds of your draft, or off the wire if you've already drafted.