Roto 3B Rankings – Fantasy Baseball

Andy Cross - The Denver Post

I’ve already gushed about the 1B and 2B depth and now with the 3B rankings its time to do it all over again! What a group with four elite guys, 13 bonafide starters that don’t include some good young power guys and a decent steals options making it 16 guys I would happily have as 3B starters. Oh and I haven’t even touched on the 11 man tier of gamble players who could be starters this time next year so that’s 27 guys already before we even discuss the ‘safe’ options at the position or the guys who playing time could open for. The only thing to be aware of is that a couple of the ‘starters’, Machado, Carpenter and Villar, are eligible at slightly weaker positions and so you could see owners doubling up on this position early if they grab one of those three and before you know it you are making the safe vs. gamble decision so keep your eye on your tiers and move when the value is right.

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C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF| SP | RP

The Elite

  1. Manny Machado, 3B/SS, BAL
  2. Nolan Arenado, 3B, COL
  3. Josh Donaldson, 3B, TOR
  4. Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC

There isn’t much to say about these four because their numbers speak for themselves. Each has a real shot of 30 home runs at between a 0.270 and 0.300 average while scoring 200+ runs and RBI in 2017. Machado gets the bump to number one in this group solely because of the SS eligibility. Bryant does have some steals upside but he is also the youngest of the three and I have ranked him with caution of any potential slump.

The Very Very Good

  1. Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX
  2. Evan Longoria, 3B, TB
  3. Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA

This tier involves three guys who hit 30 home runs last season. For Beltre and Longoria it was a return to this club and for Seager it was his first time. Beltre has the consistency advantage over the two younger guys and should return 20+ homers with a 0.300ish average. Longoria is the one who could hit 35+ homers but the 0.260 average prevents him joining the top tier. Seager has the age advantage in this tier but he lacks the consistency as a hitter that Beltre has and he doesn’t quite have the same power ceiling of Longoria.

The Very Good

Bonus: Justin Turner, 3B, LAD

  1. Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B/3B, STL
  2. Anthony Rendon, 3B, WSH
  3. Todd Frazier, 3B, CWS
  4. Jonathan Villar, 3B/SS, MIL
  5. Miguel Sano, 3B/OF, MIN

Turner had a wonderful season and has got the contract he deserves but a 31 year old breaking out like he did last year screams danger signs. If he repeats it this year I will have more faith for next season but right now I can’t put him with the Beltre, Longoria and Seager tier because I have concerns. Carpenter is a wonderful hitter but his roto value is limited by the fact 20-25 home runs feels like a ceiling and he doesn’t really steal. However, 20ish home runs at a pretty much guaranteed 0.270 average is a nice pair of numbers to lock in at third base. Rendon had a quietly good year in 2016 following an injury hit 2015. 20 home runs at a 0.280ish average with 10ish steals is what you can expect in 2017 if he stays healthy. Frazier has the power to be an elite third baseman and he can steal 10-20 bases as well but he lets himself down with his average. Last year it slipped into the 0.220s and its hard to project him for many runs and RBI this year in a White Sox team in re-build mode. Villar took his first opportunity to be a full-time player and ran with it (literally). He stole 60 bases last season and backed that up with 20 bombs. I do have concerns about him backing it up this season given the patchy history but steals are so valuable that you have to jump at the opportunity if the price is right. Sano has all the upside to be a great power hitter and provide you with 30-40 home runs a season but the reason I cannot be any more bullish on him in the rankings is that you cannot trust that he will ever be a 0.250+ hitter again.

Phillies Maikel Franco

Chris O’Meara – AP

The Power Upsides

  1. Maikel Franco, 3B, PHI
  2. Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC

If you are looking to lock in 20 home runs at this position this is the last tier you can feel relatively happy that you have that as your floor. Franco is still developing as a hitter and could easily be a 30 home run hitter down the line and that could even be this year as Philly are going to give him every opportunity. Moustakas had a tough season in 2016 after having a breakout year in 2015. What you think of Moustakas all depends on which version of him you trust. I’ve gone for something in the middle but if he outplays his 22 home run 0.240 average I have him pencilled in for then he will give you value of the tier above.

The speed option

  1. Eduardo Nunez, 3B/SS, SF

I still can’t quite believe what Nunez did last season going from a virtual unknown to a guy who helped people win fantasy championships with his speed. I am not sure he can repeat the power flashes from 2016 but I think 30+ steals is still something we can look to. When you add in the flexibility of position Nunez becomes a reasonably valuable pick if the value is right on draft day.

The safety blanket

  1. Yangervis Solarte, 3B, SD
  2. Martin Prado, 3B, MIA

This tier isn’t going to fill anyone with excitement but if you have really missed out at third base then this is the tier you want to look at to make sure you get some kind of solid production locked in late and then you can gamble with the following tier. Solarte will give you a fraction more power but Prado will give you a slightly better average so really you are picking what you need at this point of the draft.

The gambles

Bonus: Jose Ramirez, 3B/OF, CLE

  1. Nick Castellanos, 3B, DET
  2. Jake Lamb, 3B, ARI
  3. Adonis Garcia, 3B, ATL
  4. Jung Ho Kang, 3B, PIT
  5. Javier Baez, 2B/3B/SS, CHC
  6. Jedd Gyorko, 2B/3B/SS, STL
  7. Alex Bregman, 3B, HOU
  8. Yulieski Gurriel, 3B, HOU
  9. Eugenio Suarez, 3B, CIN
  10. Ryon Healy, 3B, OAK

This is a big tier of guys who could hit 15-20+ home runs and put it together enough they are considered 3B starters next season. However, there is an equal risk they could flame out and be a fantasy wasteland by mid-season. Ramirez broke out big time in 2016 and at 23 there is every chance it is a legit. However, last season his average jumped nearly 100 points and there is bound to be some regression and it wouldnt surprise me if he finished 2017 with an average in the 0.260-0.270s. Gurriel excites me from an unknown kind of perspective, Kang is a decent option but there is the fear of some punishment hanging over his head and the Gyorko/Baez combination could be really good if they can be assured of full time positions. I feel Castellanos, Lamb and Garcia are the safest, as in won’t make you mad at me for recommending them, picks but if I am looking for upside immediately I am going for the Kang, Baez, Gurriel and Gyorko group for this season. With the future in mind I would be gambling on Bregman and Healy even if this season there could be growing pains as they find their way in the MLB.

The safe but boring

  1. Matt Duffy, 3B, TB
  2. Yunel Escobar, 3B, LAA

This tier is just meh. Don’t get me wrong I loved Matt Duffy last year and I think he could be a solid fantasy contributor but if I’m looking for a fantasy championship winning gamble then this isn’t the tier I am looking at too closely. Escobar has the advantage of some decent hitters around in LA but a 10 home run upside isn’t going to excite you even if it does come with 80+ runs and a 0.290 average. This is a tier you will use more in mid-season when you are fed up with inconsistent production from the guys you gambled on.

The in my dreams tier

  1. David Wright, 3B, NYM
  2. Luis Valbuena, 3B, LAA
  3. Travis Shaw, 3B, MIL
  4. Danny Valencia, 3B/OF, SEA

Ah the tier of what could be. Let’s be honest right now there is a ton of talent and upside in this tier. Wright is old but if could stay healthy all year we are still talking a 20 homer guy with an average that won’t kill you. Valbuena could be a 30 homer guy if he plays all year but LA isn’t the best hitter’s park and frankly his average will make you weep. I am a huge Travis Shaw guy and I think that doubles power in Boston could translate well to bombs in Milwaukee but he needs to play enough to make it work. Valencia had success in OAKLAND as a hitter so big parks probably won’t faze him much but being on the wrong side of a platoon is a fantasy killer. If he can wriggle into a full time role then he could put up nice numbers and monster RBI numbers behind Cruz, Cano and Seager.

4 Comments

  1. Player 1

    February 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

    You don’t think you might have missed someone? Justin Turner perhaps?

    • Ben Rolfe

      February 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Thank you for spotting this. I moved him between tiers so much I ended up misplacing him out of the article all together

  2. Tim

    February 9, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I think you may have missed the Indians 3b, Jose Ramirez … where would you have him in the list?
    Thanks

    • Ben Rolfe

      February 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Yes my spreadsheet didn’t have him eligible at any positions so I missed him. With one good season under his belt he still falls in the gamble tier for me but he is high in that group.

      Thank you for spotting this

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