Cockcroft: Best Tools for Fantasy

"Five-tool player" is a phrase often thrown around throughout the baseball world, used to describe those exciting, franchise-player types. What it describes are five abilities considered key to success in the game: hitting for average, hitting for power, baserunning, fielding and throwing. Few players truly are worthy of "five-tool" status, but the ones who are, they're the ones a major league team can build around.

For fantasy, though, those franchise types get identified a little differently. Fielding and throwing generally aren't important in our game, but those first three tools, they're key. Fantasy baseball's most popular term to describe a franchise player is "five-category stud," or a player who performs ahead of the league average in the most prominent Rotisserie categories: batting average, home runs, RBI, stolen bases and runs scored.

So how does one identify those "five-category studs," all-around standouts who help fill all your key stat departments? Taking into account one of my more prominent mixed leagues last season, here's what a typical league-average player provides you: