3B preview- #33 through #14 list
Third baseman possess four basic traits. First off, you gotta have B.A.G.
- B is for BALLS (and I’m not talking about the rawhide stitched variety). It’s not called the hot corner for nuttin’
- A is for agility. Ask anyone that ever played 3B and they’ll tell you IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DIVING PLAY
- G is for gun. It doesn’t look far on TV but find a regulation baseball field and try to reach first base (I’m not talking about a lollipop toss!) – it’s not easy especially when you have a whippet streaking down the line in four seconds flat
So that covers defense, the fourth is why we’re here – the ability to hit. The 3B position historically has been a power slot and never more so than in today’s era. A quick scan of projected lineups shows ten players that will bat either third or fourth for their respective teams. Collectively these guys can hit, hit with power and even a handful can swipe some bags.
The rankings list will be presented in two parts – in a twelve team league those listed below aren’t “starter” material but could fit the bill at CORNER, UTILITY or RESERVE.
33. Josh Harrison (PIT)- blasted 16 homers/ stole 12 sacks and made the All Star team. Also qualifies at 2B which helps make this hustler a superb utility/plug and play asset in daily or XL leagues.
32. David Freese (PIT)- veteran player at the right place at the right time in Pittsburgh, might get 400+ ABs. He’s just “a guy”- smart play is to speculate on a youngster instead (Camargo, ATL, Candelerio, DET, Arroyo, T.B, Moran, Pitt. to name a few).
*31. Miguel Andujar (NYY)- only 22 years old. Lousy winter ball stats notwithstanding, he will get a good shot for the Yanks–but only IF they don’t pickup a veteran third sacker. Signed at seventeen, he is on a valid trajectory to the SHOW. Excellent $1 special but only if Drury is penciled in at 2B.
30. Martin Prado (MIA)- never has been above average but prior to last year had seven seasons in the 250 total base range while scoring and knocking in a decent amount of runs. He’s on the Marlin’s, so he is reserve pick material.
29. Chase Headley (SD)- the good news is that he’s back to the scene of his glory days. Due to his unclear role in a pitcher’s park and mediocre stat production at 34 years old, he is strictly restricted to 16 or more team leagues.
28. Eduardo Nunez (BOS)- Mr. Utility type. Probably a better fantasy than MLB type due to his ability to pilfer bases (64 in the last two years). Add double-digit pop and a solid average and you have a flexible, valuable player at a Walmart type price.
*27. Nick Senzel (CIN)– probably too young but has batting crown ability. Reds probably won’t rush him but if they do or you hear he’s changing position put a big star next to his name particularly in dynasty leagues.
26. Matt Duffy (TB)– by default he’ll be in the heart of the Rays lineup. Still young but missing all of last year due to injury doesn’t breed confidence. Deep bench material only.
*25. Matt Davidson (CHW)- got the break he needed when Todd Frazier got dealt. Despite being limited due to an extremely poor contact rate, he has serious power and could still challenge 30 homers playing half the year in a bandbox. Strictly a $1 bench support player due to the depth at 3B.
24. Yangervis Solarte (TOR)– also qualifies at 2B and SS. New beginning in Toronto can only help improve pedestrian numbers. Not ideal choice overall but given enough playing time could quietly bang 20 homers and bat .270. Late round utility sleeper.
*23. Cory Spangenberg (SD)– showed good improvement and could post decent power speed totals (15-15 ) for the Pods . Even if he has the gig there are better options.
*22. Eduardo Escobar (MIN)– had a career season in 2017. But maybe he’s just a 29-year-old late bloomer. Extensive playing time and the ability to play shortstop …still a $2/ last round special in auction leagues.
21. Maikel Franco (PHL)– at 25 could breakout but past two years were unimpressive. Playing in Philly and relatively low strike out rate are positive signs. But poor OBP doesn’t breed confidence. $5 maximum bid could return dividends.
20. Todd Frazier (NYM)- good move by the less than Amazin’ Mets to sign a consummate pro. But fantasy-wise, the decline is upon us. Borderline starter even in a 20 team league based on a realistic stat line of 20-70-.240. BENCH SUPPORT ONLY.
19. Jedd Gyorko (STL)- some players are well-rounded, they may have a good glove or speed or just can hit. The Jerk (term of endearment) is more of the latter persuasion. Even with one blip, in his five-year career, he’s averaged 20 homers a year (in 430 at bats). Even if the Cards don’t wake up and give him the full-time gig, grab him for $3 at CORNER if given the chance.
*18. Rafael Devers (BOS)– easily could soar up the rankings. Lots of hype may make his price inflated though; due to his age (22), the second year challenge, and being a left-handed batter at Fenway, smart money says to chill expectations to modest levels (22-85-.280).
17. Evan Longoria (SF) – classic ball player but power decline last year is worrisome for a guy headed to a new league in a right-handed hitter’s home run hell. Missed only an astoundingly low 12 games in five years. Longo’s all-star presence will no doubt help lift the Giants back to relevance. If you’re looking for a veteran no-nonsense leader and 20-80-.270 he’s your man.
16. Mike Moustakas (FA)- why is Moose unsigned? Is it collusion? Don’t know, don’t care. The brutal fact is that at 28 years old this guy has a lot left especially if last year’s monstrous jump to 38 bombs (previous high was 22) wasn’t a fluke. It’s a tough call: will he return to earth and post career norm stats (18-70-.250 ) IF YES he’s bench or CI material at best. But if you’re a Moose Taco guy and believe last year’s numbers weren’t an aberration, pencil him in at CI as a later round /cheapo cog type.
*15. Matt Chapman (OAK)- light tower power ,but reportedly immature and has never hit higher than .257 at any level. The good news is that the A’s smell a 30 HR bat and love his defense (could end up a SS) . Could fly under the radar. If so a tremendous $5 or less corner stud!
14. Adrian Beltre (TEX)– still a tremendous hitter but the mileage is too high to warrant top 12 status. Still viable but don’t count on him to be a main cog. $15 auction pick maximum.
NOTE: any player averaging over 400 at bats (or less than three years excluded
*DENOTES not qualified for stats table
Thanks for reading the piece. Next week I’ll unveil the dynamic dozen at the HOT CORNER.
So long for now,
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday March 1st, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #102 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Our guest this week is Kyle Klinker. Kyle has been an owner in MLFS baseball, and basketball leagues for over 5 years. He also has a couple of championships under his belt over that span in some tough leagues. We loving refer to him as “The Red Rocket.”
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Corey D Roberts and Bilal Chaudry live on Sunday March 11th, 2018 from [8:20]-9:45pm EST for episode #105 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. This is our kick off show for the new 2018 fantasy baseball season. This is our mock draft review special for the 2018 season. MLFS writers, and legacy league owners will be guests for 5 minutes to discuss their strategy.