If you were compiling a list of players better at fantasy baseball than real baseball, Richmond Lockwood Sexson (I feel like there should be a ‘III’ behind that) would probably be at or near the top of said list. Despite being the tallest player in major league history with over 300 career home runs*, Sexson averaged a measly 1.2 WAR per season over his 12 year, 5 team career.
While WAR is nice for sabermatricians, to Sexson it’s nothing more than a card game you play with kids. His game was home runs and RBI, and from 2001-2003, he rewarded his owners with a three year average of .274, 92 r, 40 hr, 117 rbi. Not numbers you would trade, say, Ryan Howard for, but huge value for a guy that was usually picked after the top 1b options.
After hitting 45 homers in 2003, Sexson was shipped to Arizona before the 2004 season. The D-Backs sent 6 players* to the Brew Crew in exchange for Sexson, who rewarded them with 9 home runs in 23 games. He then moved on to Seattle in 2005, who spent a combined $114 million on Sexson and Adrian Beltre in the same offseason. Those two went on to
form the AL’s most formidable corner infield combo hamstring the franchise for years to come.
But like I said, Sexson was always better in the fantasy game, so he did manage to put up a couple useful years in Seattle, averaging 36 hr/114 rbi in 2005-2006, before falling off the map in 2007 and off his rocker in 2008, eventually ending his career with the New York Yankees.* I didn’t look it up, but am willing to go out on a limb with this one *Chris Capuano, Craig Counsell, Chad Moeller, Lyle Overbay, Jorge de la Rosa, and Junior Spivey