Homeruns verses Stolen Bases

By mrcane

In 5×5 leagues this is a topic of debate that will persuade the drafter from one player to another.  Who is more valuable, Ryan Howard or BJ Upton?  Well lets take a look at a 15 team 5×5 roto league.  Last year there was at least 185 players that hit 10HR or more whereas there were only 85 basestealers totaling those same numbers.  In a 15 team league you need about 140 pts to lock up 1st in the stolen base category in order to reach that mark you will need a bonafide base stealer. 

Let’s look at what Ryan Howard provides you…..About 50 Hr, .250 avg and 135 RBI.  His avg can be a category killer.  Upton has easy 20 Hr potential as was the case with his 7 postseason HR; possibly 30.  He will also steal  between 30 and 40 bases while batting about 20-50 points higher than Howard.  Homeruns are considered a category that is easily made up over the course of the season because their are 185 players in major league baseball who can hit homeruns.  Basestealing is another story.  This is a category that once you fall behind it is difficult to make up because only a certain type of player can steal a base.

Spending a 1st or early2nd round pick on a 3 category player is not something I recommend.  I would perfer to draft BJ Upton and his 4.5 categories then 5 round laters Adam Dunn will still be on the board providing similar stats at a far better price than Ryan Howard.



Filed under Draft Position

7 responses to “Homeruns verses Stolen Bases

  1. notebookguy

    I agree with your premise but not the example you used. I think it is very important to draft 5 category guys like BJ Upton, Kemp, Rios, Beltran, and Br. Phillips in the 2nd or 3rd round. They give you the SB’s and aren’t 1 cat SB specialist that everyone hates to draft. I wouldn’t take them ahead of a guy like Howard though. Ryan Howard is a first round lock, he’s about the only guy in baseball that I would guarantee 40+ HR’s and 120+ RBI’s. 1B isn’t what it used to be either so filling the position over grabbing an OF helps him as well.
    Like I said I completely agree with your premise, grabbing 5 cat guys early is a must but you may have bitten off more than you can chew to argue against Howard. Manny would’ve been a better sample.

  2. nichols33

    I also agree with your premise, but after a number of mock drafts this offseason I always seem to be light on HRs. I’ve tried different strategies but I think my reluctance to take the low average power guys really comes back to haunt me later in the draft when the top power guys available are Gary Sheffield, Josh Willingham, Jose Guillen and Jack Cust and I’m chasing dingers and RBIs while sitting pretty in Avg, Rs and SBs.
    Who would you guys take in a 5×5 late in the 1st round of a 5×5 if given the choice between Beltran, Howard or Teixiera?

    • notebookguy

      I run them Howard(10 overall), Tex(11 overall), then Beltran(20 overall). Howard and Tex are rocks at 1B, both still in their primes, both guaranteed to hit 30+ HR’s and drive in 110+ runs. I think Beltran is a great 5×5 player, I have him 20th overall, but I give the big 1B the nod.

    • mrcane

      If given a choice between Beltran, Tex and Howard for me I’m looking hard at Carlos and Tex. A couple things work in Howards favor; big name and his homeruns come in bunches which can carry your team. What works against him is if he is cold he is going to bat .200 with little contact meaning no RBI. At the very least Tex can still drive in some runs during a homerun drought because he can hit .300. Beltran can steal bases even when he stops hitting for power. Howard stops hitting for power and becomes a useless player. Fantasy baseball is full of gambles and I think a player who has the potential to hit 35HR, 25SB, 110RS, 115RBI .275AVG is more valuable than 50HR, 135RBI, 100RS, .250. I know I’m not in the majority on this one, but its fun to argue about it!

  3. dtb23

    Howard’s career average is around .280 not .250.

    Plus he lost 20 lbs over the offseason so he could very well double his career total in steals this year.

  4. tallkid1

    He’s in the best shape of his career! Howard’s average has declined for three straight seasons from .313 down to .251 and I’m not sure that’s due to weight as much as a loss of patience (BB’s down 25% in 08)

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