There’s a difference between a great baseball player and a great fantasy baseball player.
Sometimes, that gap is hard to see. If a guy strikes out a million times and is awful in the field, he’s not necessarily helping his squad. However, he could easily be a fantasy beast.
There’s a lot of value in accumulating leadoff hitters. For example, Angel Pagan is No. 36 overall in ESPN’s player rater because he scores runs and swipes bags while hitting in front of the Giants’ heavy hitters. Alejandro De Aza isn’t an elite talent either, but he’s a top-25 player for similar reasons.
Swing and a miss Wins is a brutal category because it depends on a pitcher’s offense and bullpen. One thing we can count on is strikeouts. Cliff Lee has zero wins, but is still a top-40 pitcher thanks in large part to his 74 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings. Ivan Nova and Derek Lowe have combined for 17 wins, but neither are top-60 fantasy starter options.
The cream of the crop
The best fantasy players have no holes. Prince Fielder and Alex Rodriguez have the big names, but Carlos Gonzalez and Andrew McCutchen have the significantly bigger fantasy games. That’s because they hit for average, power and steal bags. Target the well-balanced studs.