The last two weeks I covered 1B; this week and next we’ll move over to the other side of the diamond. Third base is plenty deep, there is no reason even as the last guy/gal filling the spot to not get a good player. Similarly, in Part 1 you’ll see the bottom half of the ranked players along with some longer shots for deeper or AL or NL only leagues.
LONGER SHOTS but not in the top 20 (in alphabetical order)
- Brian Anderson, Marlins – had a decent season (11-65-.273 and 161 hits) but is saddled playing on a horrific team in the absolute worst stadium in the league for blasting homers. To put it into context Marlins Park had a HR factor of .65 last year and Coors Field was 1.28. In other words, all things being equal, chances of a player whacking a homer are 35% less likely than an average park (last year Target Field, Twins) and a whopping 63% less likely than the rarefied of Coors Field. The good news is that he’s in prime time (25) and batting in the heart of the order. NL ONLY player $2 maximum.
- Jeimer Candelario, Tigers – not an uber prospect by any means, showed some signs (19-54-.224) last season. Turned 24 in November and being a switch hitter earns him possible, maybe mention in AL only leagues.
- Eduardo Escobar, Diamondbacks – claims 3B job due to Goldies exodus. Nondescript player who’s discovered a power stroke Cracked 23 HRs last year. If he can turn some of the 45 doubles from last year to big flies a tremendous dollar store pickup.
- Maikel Franco, Phillies – has never blossomed to be the 30-100 thumper (22-68-.270 last year) but can be usable despite poor plate discipline and peaks and valley that’ll drive you to drink. Nonetheless, he’s 26 now – could this be the year?
- Jake Lamb, D’Backs – Murphy’s Law season – wrecked shoulder and sorry stats (6-31-.222). This year though consider a mulligan for the Lamb Chop based on the 59 homers and 196 RBI in 2016 and 2017. Keeping in mind that due to the humidor his home park went from an arcade to slightly below average (.95). Slotted batting 5th and moving over to first base, IF FULLY HEALED, gets him back to 25HR – 85RBI relevance as a 28 year old.
- Evan Longoria, Giants – broke a five year string of playing at least 150 games. Posted career lows in counting and non-counting stats. Some dope in your league will recognize the name and purchase – don’t be that guy unless he gets traded from S.F. Even then $1 max.
- Colin Moran, Pirates – former #1 pick of the Marlins had a quietly decent year (11-58-.277). At 6’4″ and entering 26 year old season, worth a buck or two in NL only leagues.
- Mike Moustakas, Brewers – hard to imagine this ox playing 2B as rumored. Being halfway decent against lefties will help get him AB’s. Could be quietly (and cheaply) productive to the tune of 25-85-.260.
- Yolmer Sanchez, White Sox – a member of the JASG (just a guy) club (8-55-14- .242). But did show improvement with 52 extra base hits. The facts that he’s 27 and plays frequently are the reasons he’s here but only in massive leagues or a very spare part in an AL only soiree.
- Asdrubal Cabrera. Rangers- recently signed and odds on favorite to win the job and 500 at bats. Playing in one of the best ballparks to hit homers- easily could match or surpass last years Citi Field / Mets numbers (23-74-.262- .774 OPS). Even at 33 years old, easily one of the top ten utility players in the game. Not a player to be your #1 third sacker but considering he also qualifies at 2B and SS, a solid player for a couple bucks/ 22nd round pick.
- OF THIS PILE – ESCOBAR, FRANCO, MOOSE TACOS, CABRERA AND LAMB ARE RECOMMENDED IN 12 MAN MIXED LEAGUES.
20-Jurickson Profar, A’s – just entering the premier age zone (turned 26 the day I wrote this). Pleasant surprise last year (20-77-10). Versatility (SS/3B/1B) warrants consideration even after the move from the Homer Dome in Arlington (1.27 park HR factor) to that vast wasteland in Oakland (.756). Hit the ball harder than ever (37.3 hard hit rate) and had a very good BB/K rate (.61). Top selection as a utility guy especially in day-to-day leagues. In spite of mediocre power a $2/ late round wonder special.
19-Miguel Sano, Twins – last year was the year that the Big Guy was supposed to finally be healthy and easily pummel 30 homers. Instead, he tanked so bad that he was demoted to the minors for 28 games. The results on the farm were so-so and then he got hurt. Final stats were by far the worst of his career (13-41-.199-.281 OBP). Not only did his K rate soar to new heights (an ugly 38.5%) but his BABIP which was one of the best in baseball the prior two years (.329 & .375) dipped to .286.
So why on earth would I endorse this guy at all? Because he’s young. Because people think he sucks. And because he can hit a ball out of any park including Yellowstone. Muscular guy but conditioning can be an issue. Worth a risk only if you are lacking power, don’t worry about batting average, and have cuevos grande….
18- Yuli Gurriel, Astros – (copied and pasted from his 1B thumbnail) a fiery player but far from special. Stats last year 13-85-.291 won’t impress anyone. Nonetheless, the Astros are still a force and he remains an option at COR/Utility especially if he regains his power stroke.
17- Kyle Seager, Mariners – prior to last year a solid, cheapo special selection. Career low BABIP (.251) certainly attributed to a woeful stat line (22-78-.221-.673 OPS). At 31 years old can bounce back to equilibrium (25-80-.255). Not a chance you want him as your starting 3B in a standard league due to mundane career OPS (.765) and OBP (.325) numbers but as a late minute COR- safe option.
16- Justin Turner, Dodgers – file this guy on your medical menace list. Last year’s calamity, broken wrist, delayed arrival until mid-May. After that it was business as usual for one of the games, pardon the pun, most colorful players. Power numbers will never be top-notch but this guy raked (.312 average), got on base (.406 OBP) and wrecked havoc (.924 OPS). Easily could approach top twelve starter if he could stay healthy. That being said the respect level will probably be minuscule- most teams will have filled COR by then. As a UTILITY GUY for a song- awesome gamble.
15- Rafael Devers, Red Sox- one of the youngest every day players in the league (22). Mild sophomore slump (21-59-.731 OPS) won’t derail his path to stardom. Batting lefty will hold keep him from being a big bopper as far as homers, but easily can get to the 25-85-.280 level that scouts predicted when he debuted as a 17 year old. Based on last year and the fact that he’s buried in the lineup expect him to be all but dissed except in AL only leagues. Take a flyer late in the draft and watch the evolution.
14-Max Muncy, Dodgers (copied and pasted from his 1B thumbnail) – Hallmark movies have nothing on this guy. How does a guy who in two extended cameos for the A’s (5 HR- 17 RBI) emerge as a 35-79- .391 OBP force? Right place at the right time, versatility, and a new batting stroke and approach all contributed.
Either way the last time Maxwell even sniffed 20 HRs in a season was in High A ball in 2013. This year he qualifies at 1B, 3B and also played 13 games at 2B. It will be interesting to see if people will “pay up” based on the breakout. I would proceed with caution though- playing in Chavez Ravine (and SF and SD) 120 games can be extraordinarily tough on power numbers. Reasonable expectation would be for him to have more AB’s (over 500) but settle into the reality of 27-80-.250.
13- Wil Myers, Padres (copied and pasted from his 1B thumbnail) – after two quality seasons went back to being the medical wreck we came to hate. Numbers weren’t terrible for 312 at bats (11-39-13 SB) but OBP levels continue to be crappy. Still, at 28 years old, Myers is on the short list of players that can achieve 20-20. Buy if the price is right.
New development Alert- Manny Machado signing can only help Myers regardless of where he hits in lineup.
12- Miguel Andujar, Yankees – one of the purest hitters around. Rode a tremendous 2017 season in the minors (16-82-.315 and only 71 K’s) to starting and excelling in the Bronx. For most players it’d be hard to top 27-92-.297 and 302 TB’s but this guy is that good.
Gets lots of flak for his lousy defense but he’s only 24 and should get better. Plus contact rate (<16% K rate) and power (+25 HRS) are rare in today’s era. Last year, he was one of eight players to manage the feat!
11-Matt Chapman, A’s – great gains in Sophomore season. In spite of a still high K rate, managed a .278 average as well as a very respectable .864 OPS. Oddly only drove in 68 runs- quite low for 24 dingers and 152 hits. Chances are runs (100) and BABIP (.338) will decline and RBI improve. For the record, one of the better defensive guys (Gold Glove in ’18) at the hot corner. At 25 years old a rising star (7th in MVP voting). As long as he can shake off the effects of October hand surgery and, in December, shoulder surgery- a coup as one of the last 3B’s picked in a mixed twelve team league. NOTE: Early reports are that he’ll be ready for the absurdly early season kickoff in Tokyo on March 20.
So Long For Now
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel live on Sunday February 24th, 2019 from 8-9:45pm EST for episode #140 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. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. This week we will break down the N.L. West.
Our guests this week is are Kyle Klinker, and Bilal Chaudry. Both Kyle and Bilal are veteran owners in Major League Fantasy Baseball leagues and have won several titles between the two of them.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore on Thursday February 28th, 2019 from 9pm – 10:30pm EST for the Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show. Call in number is 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Now that we have finished our divisional break downs we move on to breaking down each position for fantasy purposes. This week we will discuss corner infield. (1B/3B)
Be sure to check out our Sunday night show March 3rd from 8pm to 9:30pm EST. They will cover the middle infield (SS/2B)