Welcome back, Baseball Fans!
Today is the National Holiday known as OPENING DAY for Major League Baseball. It is a little early this year which has created some challenges to league schedules, but a full slate of games to open up on a Thursday is nothing short of glorious. Months of drafting, trading and free agent claims are finally ready to pay off. My first dynasty league opens up on November 15th every year so I’m sick of looking at my roster. I’m ready to do this!!! Many of you have just finished off a month of hardcore drafts and it’s time to see who won the bragging rights.
This week the staff at MLFS is taking one last look at the 2018 off-season and draw some conclusions on how the trends could result in buyer’s remorse or missed opportunities. My position of focus will be 3B which is very top heavy but not as deep as I originally thought at the beginning of the off-season.
The first place to start is to review the change in the landscape at 3B over this off-season. In Baltimore, Manny Machado moves back to SS and Tim Beckham takes over at 3B. Nick Castellanos transitions full time to the outfield where Jeimer Candelario gets the nod at Third. The Todd Father goes to Queens and Brandon Drury takes over for him in the Bronx. The other Yankees 3B, Chase Headley, gets shipped out to sunny, Southern California. Speaking of So Cal, the Angels welcome new 3B Zack Cozart while up to the I-5, Dodgers fans will have to deal with Logan Forsythe holding down the hot corner until Justin Turner gets healthy. This not an exhaustive list, but significant ones that come to mind that illustrate the change in this position over a few short months.
Now the assignment is to review my drafts to see if I had any 3B reaches or steals. Unfortunately, the leagues I play in do not lend itself to that end.
- 30 Team Dynasty/Keeper Hybrid – H2H Points League with multiple matchups per scoring period. 20 MLB Keepers with unlimited MiLB roster. 5 Round Spring Draft for free agents and un-rostered prospects.
- 30 Team Full Dynasty League – H2H Each Category Win with all sabermetrics categories. Keep all players under contract, 40 Man roster with up to 60 additional MiLB. Spring Draft is MiLB only.
- 24 Team Full Dynasty League – H2H Points League. Keep all players under contract, 40 Man roster with unlimited MiLB. Spring Draft is MiLB only.
- 16 Team Keeper League – H2H Each Category Win. Keep 4 players that count has first four picks and redraft remaining roster.
With this in mind, I am going to take a look at how I handled the 3B position on each roster and analyze how I made out.
30 team dynasty/keeper hybrid (H2H Points)
Last year, I started out with Jung Ho Kang at 3B. Since he didn’t set foot in North America, my back up plan was Adam Rosales and Andres Blanco. Needless to say, I struggled at this position until Russell Martin earned 3B eligibility. I needed to move Martin back to C so I made 3B a priority along with building a bullpen this offseason. Granted rosters are thin in 30 team leagues, but this a bit ridiculous. So to kick off our Thanksgiving week trading flurry, I sent from my MiLB roster, Miguel Andujar, and Domingo German for David Robertson, Brandon Morrow, and Jeimer Candelario. As mentioned towards the beginning, Candelario takes over as the everyday 3B in Detriot. In a deep 30 team league, there is a lot of value in a player that will slot in the #2 hole with a hit tool, high on-base percentage, and respectable strikeout rate. He looks to have average power, light for a corner infielder, but everything else makes him a solid play in a deep league. Giving up Andujar was tough, but he actually projects very similar to Candelario but with more fanfare as part of the Yankees system.
30-Team full dynasty league (H2H Cat Each Sabermetrics)
Last year was another tough year at 3B
with Mel Rojas manning the position for the season. This team is in clear rebuilding mode. I had Andujar in this league too and many teams were eating up the hype so I used him along with Nomar Mazara as a trade chip to get Vlad Guerrero Jr. and JD Davis. Although my only 3B on an MLB 25-man is now JD Davis (and that will be short-lived), I acquired one of the top prospects in the game and one that could debut as early as this year. I’m not competing this year so this seemed like a no-brainer.
24-team full dynasty league (H2H Points)
Last year I rocked Adonis Garcia and Mel Rojas at 3B. As you can see, having a weak 3B is a trend with my dynasty teams. As you might expect, Miguel Andujar was on my MiLB roster but is starting the season in AAA so 3B is a target area. I need to be more aggressive
here because I made the semi-finals last year and improving this position along with 2B (Jace Peterson, Wilmer Difo, Nick Franklin in 2017) could help put me in the Championships. So what is the best way to reload your bats? Trade from a position of strength. I have Luis Castillo, Luis Severino, Chase Anderson and Garret Richards under multi-year contracts for a combined $22.65M, so I felt I could part with expiring contracts of MadBum and Strasburg who each had $20M salaries. In return for those two Top 10 pitchers, I got Brian Dozier, Kyle Seager, AND Joey Gallo with just under $28M in combined salary. I still have a great rotation with Braves’ pitchers Newcomb and Folty in depth. I greatly improve my lineup and save $12M. I look even better after the injury to Madbum and it’s only a matter of time before Strasburg gets hurt. Dozier one of the top 2B in fantasy baseball and the combo and Gallo and Seager are middle-tier 3B with power. Gallo has upside and 1B eligibility which already will come in handy as my 1B, Greg Bird, will be starting the season on the DL.
Finally, my MLFS league…16-team with 4 keepers. I start out here in a position of strength as I chose to keep Alex Bregman as my final keeper. In all, there were seven 3B selected as keepers (Arenado, Machado, Donaldson, Devers, Rameriz, Bryant and Bregman). With all the 1st and 2nd Tier 3B off the board, I knew I would wait until the back third of the draft to get my backup. As the draft progressed, I filled out my lineup and mixed in SP. I don’t spend high picks on SP and I did have Kluber as a keeper. Round 16 is up and I’m ready to pull the trigger on Matt Chapman. At the last second, I took Victor Robles with his 5 tool potential despite at least a month or two in the minors. In hindsight, Robles probably would have lasted another round or two in this league setup (only
Acuna was selected as a MiLB player at this point). Chapman was taken this same round at #253 overall which is one round ahead of his ADP (267). The talent now drops off to the likes of Todd Frazier and Asdrubal Cabrera. Instead of wasting a pick on a 3B at this point, I grab a legit backup catcher (Wilson Ramos) and Lewis Brinson with my next two picks. Then I wrap up draft filling out my bullpen with high leverage middle relievers since this league reward holds and inherited runners stranded. Chapman is a wildcard who strikes out a ton and doesn’t have a great hit tool. However, he does earn a ton of walks and everyone thinks he can hit 40 HRs in a full season. So how is this different from Joey Gallo that went in Round 10 at #149 overall? Bottom line, now I pray Bregman stays healthy and make a strategic trade or waiver pick up for a legit 3B as insurance in the early going.
I hope you enjoyed the off-season coverage at this site. I’m ready to start watching baseball and to start my in-season writing assignment: MiLB hitters to watch. Now that baseball is back…
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday March 29th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #110 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 guests this week are Dr. Roto and Cole Freel. Dr. Roto is a very well respected industry and tenured industry expert. Be sure to check out his work over at scoutfantasysports.com. Dr. Roto will be on from [8:45]-9:15 pm EST. Cole is one of our newest writers at majorleaguefantasysports.com. His articles publish every Saturday afternoon at 1 pm EST.