All Star Repost: Ask Nash: Difference in Stats

During the Baseball All-Star break we’ll be reposting some of our “All-Star” articles. This is a question submitted a player new to fantasy baseball. But even if you’ve been playing a while, it’s helpful to revisit the basics. This originally ran on March 16, 2012.

I am new to fantasy baseball. I know that different players are good at different things and that there are different stats.
But if you had to pick one stat that is the most valuable in fantasy baseball, what would it be?
Emily, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Emily from CO, great question!

If I have to choose 1 stat as the “most valuable” in fantasy baseball it would have to be the good ‘ole home run, or HR for short.  No stat is guaranteed to impact as many other stats as the home run.

When a player hits a home run, he also gets a run scored, an RBI (run batted in) AND it increases his batting average. That’s pretty darned awesome.  A pitcher can get a strike out,  and lower his WHIP (walks+hits/innings pitched) and I suppose if he is at the end of an inning or game lower his ERA and get a win.  However those last 2 are not guarantees like with the home run.

I know that Dixon is probably gonna give me grief about this after a couple posts we did a few months back.  He posted about mashers and I posted about speedsters, but the gist of my argument wasn’t that speedsters are more valuable, it was instead that you can combat more common strategies with counter intuitave ones.

However, I will concede that mashers are more valuable than speedsters.  For the reason that I pointed out above, they are a lock for more categories than a speedster.   Speedsters can get you a lot of stats in multiple categories but they have to work much harder, say Mike Trout gets a hit to get on base (maybe Erick Aybar was on and he scores even), a steal maybe 2, then Josh Hamilton hits him in for a run scored.

Well big bad Jay Bruce can come up to bat against Zack Greinke and jacks the first pitch WAY deep. Your fantasy team gets a run, RBI, HR, and boost in average with one swing of the bat. Pretty hard to argue against the home run.

Tags: Ask Nash Home Run HR Jay Bruce Mike Trout Stats Stolen Bases Zack Greinke

  • Guest

    What about mashers like Adam Dunn, or other mashers that have a high Strikeout rate.

    • mdixon85

      That’s where you have to monitor the rest of their stats. But even Dunn is almost universally owned. He gets on base far more than his average suggests he should because of walks, so he can potentially have a good run total. HR and RBI totals tend to be hand-in-hand. I wouldn’t worry about K’s unless your league counts them. I mean, pay some attention, but everyone is going to make far more outs than not anyway, right? If you have some room to spare on average, need power and K’s against don’t hurt, Dunn’s a pretty safe bet.