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3 All-Stars even better in fantasy baseball

Some players have more value in fantasy than with their real teams

Fantasy baseball is a good thing.

Thanks to fantasy baseball, millions have reason to root, root, root for the away team or watch games that would be of little interest to them otherwise.

Fantasy baseball is a good thing.

Thanks to fantasy baseball, millions have reason to root, root, root for the away team or watch games that would be of little interest to them otherwise.

More than most outlets, fantasy baseball helps connect fans to the on-field product, allowing anyone to become a general manager from the comfort of his or her living room, using nothing but a smart phone.

But for all of fantasy baseball's beauty, it's undeniably different than the real-life rendition.

If you are reading this, you likely know that traditional fantasy scoring counts the following categories:

For hitters: Batting average, homers, runs, RBIs, stolen bases

For pitchers: Wins, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, saves

Of course, there's more to baseball than these 10 stats.

With that in mind, we can argue that some of baseball's best -- All-Stars, even -- have greater value to fantasy managers than the real-life owners signing their paychecks.

The following three men -- all set to suit up for the 87th Midsummer Classic in San Diego on Tuesday -- fit this mold.

Jose Altuve, second baseman: The Astros' keystone man has been arguably fantasy's top asset this year, so it's not a complete shock to see his on-field contributions lagging behind his rotisserie-league contributions.

And, really, this is no knock on the four-time All-Star, who has baseball's best average (.347), third-most steals (22) and fifth-most runs (64).

To find fault in Altuve's game is to nitpick, for sure, but that's the point of this piece.

After all, these players are the crème de la crème.

But after doing a bit of snooping, one might discover that Altuve's base-stealing prowess has not quite correlated with his ability to run as a whole.

In fact, the 26-year-old ranks among the game's top 10 in times being thrown out on the bases this year (6) after pacing the field in that category during 2015 (19 times, six more than anyone else).

Additionally, Altuve has an "extra-base taken" percentage of 40, which is fine, but not what you'd expect from someone capable of leading the game in thefts.

Kenley Jansen, closer: Since bursting onto the Major League scene, this right-hander has been the bane of existence for many hitters.

His cutter -- one of the best pitches in baseball -- is unfair to face.

And he's used it well, as evidenced by his ERA this season (1.23) and spot atop the Dodgers' all-time saves leaderboard (even though he's only 28 years old).

Dominance aside, Los Angeles' closer tends to pitch just one inning at a time; in 37 appearances this year, he's thrown an inning-plus -- and never two -- on four occasions.

Make no mistake: the free-agent-to-be may wind up as history's highest-paid reliever this winter thanks to his performance on the mound.

But given his relative lack of innings, he does not rank among the top three most valuable players on his own squad.

There's no shame in having a lower fWAR than Clayton Kershaw (the world's best pitcher), Corey Seager (the NL ROY favorite) or Kenta Maeda (another great rookie, who first excelled overseas), but that's who Jansen sits behind in Chavez Ravine.

This is, again, no fault of his own.

But saves are their own category in fantasy, meaning Jansen could make his greatest impact in your league rather than on the Senior Circuit.

Mark Trumbo, outfielder: Ladies and gents, meet baseball's home run leader with three games to go before the All-Star break.

The 179th-drafted player this past spring on average, Trumbo did not enter '16 with great expectations.

But after a hot start, he quickly became one of the season's most-added players.

And now, with 27 long balls and 67 RBIs, the 30-year-old can claim to be the game's first-half AL MVP based on his draft day price.

The thing is, Trumbo's best skill (by far) is hitting fly balls a long way.

According to Statcast™, Trumbo's averaging 331.9 feet per fly ball lofted this year.

Among those with at least 50 fly balls, that ranks 16th, right ahead of guys like Mike Trout and Manny Machado -- you know, the faces of MLB.

That's the good news, but the bad news is that Trumbo's shortcomings are nearly as pronounced as his strengths.

The slugger ranks among the worst in terms of contact rate (70.3 percent, well below the league average of 78.4) and defense (consistently below average in his career, per multiple metrics).

This is not to say that Trumbo is a bad player, because that would be incorrect.

Trumbo is a very good player who is going to the All-Star Game for the second time in his career.

In a world where players are not penalized for swinging and missing, Trumbo's value goes up dramatically.

It's the world of fantasy baseball, and that's why he's on this list.

Zachary Finkelstein is's fantasy editor.

Jose Altuve, Kenley Jansen, Mark Trumbo