Fantasy Baseball: Third Base Rankings – Points

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Finally, after three mediocre positions, we reach the third base rankings, which offer a whole lot more excitement. At this position there are 13 players that I would be perfectly happy to start (Rendon and Murphy qualify as 2B as well, so maybe 11). And even beyond that I would be content with anyone down to 23rd.

This is the first position where we don’t have a clear number one and, realistically, you could make a case for any of the top three to be the best option in fantasy at this position this season. Who finishes where out of these three will likely depend on how the line-ups around them perform this season as runs and RBI could be the difference come the end of the year. If value doesn’t present itself early, then in deeper leagues I feel this is a position you can wait until the fifth tier before you HAVE TO get your third base option before you out yourself at a major disadvantage.

This year my hitter rankings and tiers will be based off my own projections, which I have produced this year and they are the only projections I will be using during my drafts (I also use ADP for the site I am drafting on to help make decisions).

Each position will not only be ranked, but will be split into tiers as if I was drafting tomorrow. If you haven’t used tiers before it is a very helpful way of looking at how talent pools at that position and whether it is worth drafting a player right at the spot you are considering him. My general rule of thumb is I don’t want to take the first guy from a tier if I can avoid it (Unless there is only one guy in said tier!).

C

1B

2B 3B SS OF SP

RP

 

The Elite

  1. Josh Donaldson, TOR
  2. Manny Machado, BAL
  3. Nolan Arenado, COL

Donaldson tops this position with a mixture of elite power, giving him the edge of Machado, and his useable speed (5-10 steals) which helps to elevate him above Arenado. Other than that this is a group who I am happy to end up with any of three of them, as the differences are miniscule. Machado should put up solid numbers across the board with 10-plus steals a real added bonus. Arenado gets the power boost from playing in Colorado, but he is also a fantastic hitter who has become one of the safest among the position.

The Near Elite

  1. Matt Carpenter, StL
  2. Todd Frazier, CWS
  3. Kris Bryant, ChC

Carpenter has an absolute ton of points league value because he makes solid and consistent contact. He should score plenty of runs batting atop the Cardinals order, but he lacks the power or the speed to join the elite options at the top of this position. Frazier’s inconsistency across a whole season makes him a tough sell to move any higher than this. He has good power and top end speed for the position but he one of the freer swinging guys at the position which hampers his value. Bryant has all the potential in the world, but he is still young and strikeouts too much for him to quite sneak into the top five in this format. All three of these guys are so close I am happy to take the last of the three and still be sure I have a really good option.

The Solid Starters

Can Maikel Franco be this seasons breakout star?

Can Maikel Franco be this seasons breakout star?

  1. Kyle Seager, SEA
  2. Adrian Beltre, TEX
  3. Maikel Franco, PHI
  4. Evan Longoria, TB
  5. Matt Duffy, SF
  6. Anthony Rendon, WSH
  7. Daniel Murphy, WSH

This is quite a big tier and will likely span a large range of picks in drafts, but all six are guys I would be more than comfortable to own. Seager is the seemingly forgotten man at the position because he is unexcitingly consistent. There is nothing sexy about picking him, but at the right value he is as good and safer option as it gets. Beltre isn’t the player he used to be when he could hit for elite power and average, but he can still hit for a top end average at the position and barely ever strikes out so he still has good value in these leagues. Franco is the youngster with the potential to be an elite/near elite option next year. However, there will be a few growing pains this year for a young man in a poor line-up, so don’t be surprised if he puts up less than stellar weeks occasionally. Longoria’s value is dropping like a stone but he is still the main man in the centre of the Tampa line-up and should be able to put up enough stats to be around a top 10 option at the position. Duffy is my favourite sleeper this year and someone I am chasing everywhere I can. He isn’t a sexy pick and he is unlikely to ever be a top five option, but you should be able to get him at a low enough price that he will struggle to disappoint you. Rendon has now proven to be a sticking point for me at two positions. He has had two contrasting years and although he showed some stuff at the end of last season I am scared enough to not want to pay the price that I think he will command. I just don’t feel he offers enough speed, power or consistent hitting to make me want to go after him. Murphy is going to bat second in what should be a really good line-up in Washington and that should allow him to put up decent runs and RBI totals to go with solid consistent hitting.

The Startable Options

  1. Mike Moustakas, KC
  2. David Wright, NYM
  3. Josh Harrison, PIT
  4. Yunel Escobar, LAA
  5. Yangervis Solarte, SD
  6. Justin Turner, LAD
  7. Martin Prado, MIA

This tier is a group that I am more than happy to start in deeper leagues, but they don’t offer enough upside for me to want them in shallower leagues. Moustakas finally showed the potential that people have been hoping for for the last few years in 2015 and hopefully he can build on that in 2016 and potentially become a top 12 option. Wright’s injuries have really caught up to him the past couple of years but when he is on the field he is worth investing in (I have him projected among the best at the position in points per plate appearance). Just make sure you grab yourself a decent option to fill in when he is on the DL. Harrison is a solid player who will play nearly every day and put up decent numbers. Escobar should have plenty of opportunities to put up points batting atop the Angels line-up with solid hitters right behind him. Solarte is a decent option who should bat in the middle of the Padres line-up. He won’t do anything special, but his consistency is ideal for the position he will be drafted. There are some concerns over whether Turner will be a starter for the Dodgers all season, but if he does have a full time role all season he could find himself a top 10-15 option. Prado is the ultimate under the radar guy now that his production has dropped off a little. He is still a decent player who plays every day and that is where his value comes in.

The Unexciting Option

  1. Chase Headley, NYY
  2. Brett Lawrie, CWS
  3. Nick Castellanos, DET
Can a move to the White Sox finally make Brett Lawrie a good fantasy option?

Can a move to the White Sox finally make Brett Lawrie a good fantasy option?

All three guys in this tier are solid but unexciting. They will play almost every day but they won’t be able to put up the PPPA of the higher end options. Headley isn’t the same hitter he was a few years ago and he is projected to bat in the bottom half of an ageing Yankees line-up. Lawrie has sparked and crashed and sparked and crashed so many times now that I just struggle to believe. A move to the White Sox is an improvement over Oakland, but he has disappointed me too many times before. Castellanos has the set up to be a top option given the line-up he is in but his hitting is so average he sits 7th in it. He does get opportunities but he cannot put up consistent big points.

The Big Concern

  1. Trevor Plouffe, MIN

I currently have Plouffe projected above the Headley, Lawrie and Castellanos group but I am really concerned he loses his job this year. Sano is ready and if they cannot get his bat in the line-up in the outfield then they could look at finding a way of getting him in and that scares me for Plouffe’s playing time. If he can hold down a position all season he should be right around a top 20 option.

The Risky Upside Plays

  1. Danny Valencia, OAK
  2. Jung-ho Kang, PIT
  3. Pablo Sandoval, BOS
  4. Yasmany Tomas, ARI
  5. Brock Holt, BOS
  6. Adonis Garcia, ATL

Valencia had decent a decent season last year but I am not counting on him doing it again this; Kang will start the season on the DL and you are more likely to use him at short; Sandoval didn’t get the Fenway bump many were expecting and I don’t see him suddenly turning it on this year, even when he is good he still isn’t elite so it isn’t worth the risk; Tomas’ playing time scares me enough to keep him down here, plus he isn’t that strong of a hitter; Holt is a great utility player and will have hot streaks but he isn’t consistent enough to draft; Garcia is somewhat of a mini-sleeper who could have a good year but we need to see how Atlanta’s line-up shakes out this year.

 

https://twitter.com/FPL_brolfe

6 Comments

  1. Ben

    January 8, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Are you assuming Sano is an OF? Is that why he is missing? Same question for Olivera. Also, no Gallo on the upside plays?

    • Ben Rolfe

      January 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Sano is DH only to start the season and I don’t think he is getting third base quickly. Genuinely think there is a chance they try Mauer over there to see if Sano or Park can man first.

      Olivera is projected to start the season in the minors according to roster resource and that was enough to relegate him.

      Gallo will start the season OF only but in a points league do you really want to lose 100+ points in strikeouts if he plays all season?

  2. Ellis

    January 8, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Just wanted to throw out there that M.Franco is on the Phillies’ squad.

    Just wanted to keep young fantasy players from getting confused.

    • Ben Rolfe

      January 8, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks bud. I was too busy drafting Duffy in a dynasty league whilst doing that bit of the article! haha

  3. Brandon

    January 18, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Pablo is with Boston not SF
    Right in the paragraph but wrong next to his ranking

    • Ben Rolfe

      January 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Thats twice now I have given SF a player that wasnt there. I swaer I am not a Giants fan haha

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