When it comes to building your fantasy baseball team, either at the draft or in-season, there is one very valuable piece of information to keep in mind: hitters are ALWAYS more valuable than pitchers. Keep this in mind at the draft table and when it comes to trades. That being said, your particular fantasy baseball league will always dictate its own market for players but this is a good rule of thumb for several reasons.
First, a hitter brings more value to your team due to the fact that he plays every day. Starting pitchers only take the mound every fifth day (at best) and a poor performance can have a devastating effect on your team, especially in weekly head-to-head formats. On the other hand, if an offensive player has a poor outing, he is back out the next day in an attempt to redeem himself (and your fantasy stats count).
Second, when it comes to relief pitchers, the position is extremely volatile and unpredictable. As a result, saves can (and will be) picked up off the waiver wire throughout the season. If you used an early draft pick (or spent a large chunk of your salary allotment) on closing pitchers, you are probably dealing with a degree of disappointment (not to mention the fact that you have had to deal with several roster decisions as a result). Conversely, offensive stats are much more difficult to pick up off the waiver wire once the season is underway.
Also, pitchers are generally more susceptible to injury than their offensive counterparts. Let’s face it, the human arm was not naturally designed to throw a 95 mile-per-hour fastball or a devastating curve. As a result, the strain of pitching can lead to more physical breakdowns thus making pitchers a bigger fantasy risk.
Even though most fantasy formats are designed so that offense and pitching stats are equally important, solid, stat-producing hitters are much harder to come by than pitchers. When it comes to drafting your fantasy team or sizing up trades, keep this rule of thumb in mind. There are never any sure things in fantasy baseball. However, knowing the risks and rewards can go a long way to helping improve your team.