Third base has been a position of growth over the past few years. Over the past four or five years we have seen new up and coming third basemen, or star players gaining third base eligibility to help this become a deep position. There were well over 15 third basemen I would be comfortable drafting, of course depending on the rest of the teams roster. The hot corner is only going to get hotter over the next few years.
This week we will look at two players who will likely be linked and compared for at least the beginning of their careers. Both of these guys were taken in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft. The players I will take a look at are Nolan Gorman and Jonathan India.
Nolan Gorman (3B STL)
Scouting grades according to MLB.com: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
Nolan was taken as the 19th overall pick in last year’s draft. In leagues that draft first year player prospects, Gorman most likely went near if not at the top of your draft. The crazy thing is that he is only 18 and is already graded with 60 power. Given his age, an increase in this grade is quite possible as he grows into his body and as a ball player. Gorman is not just an all or nothing bat though; he does have an average hitting tool. Last year in rookie ball, Gorman hit 11 home runs and hit .350 AVG in 38 games. He was then challenged with a promotion to A ball, where he struggled for the rest of his short season. In 25 games, he still hit 6 home runs, but only hit for an average of .202. This season he started back at A ball and is already doing much better. He is hitting for a .325 AVG and has 6 home runs through 21 games.
A dynasty league is where you will see the most value for Gorman at this point. He is projected to become a top third basemen in fantasy leagues and if he can continue to improve his hitting then I see no reason why he won’t reach that tier. He will never help you win steals in a league, but he has the power to balance out the performance. He is an old school, prototypical third basemen. Even if the Cardinals want to be aggressive with Gorman, it is likely that we will not see him in a Cardinal uniform for 2-3 seasons. If he can reach AA this season, it can help show the fast track that the Cards are putting him on. Long term, there are some questions as to whether he can stay at third base on defense. I would not allow this to drive me away from buying Gorman. I think that type of decision is many years down the line. In a keeper league, if I do not have a third basemen of the future at this moment, I would try and buy/ add Gorman where you can. Depending on the owners you play with, some may not look at first year players and notice the fast track that the organizations put them on and that is where you can jump and take advantage.
Jonathan India (3B/UTL CIN)
Jonthan India was taken with the 5th overall pick in last year’s draft with the Cincinnati Reds. He is older than Gorman at 22, but he may be advancing through the minor leagues faster. India struggled his debut into pro ball hitting for a low average, 6 home runs and 6 stolen bases. This season, he is off to a slower start hitting .247 with 4HR and 2SB. As for someone who has been said to have an advanced approach, he has not quite shown it with the average so far. Though, through just under 70 games, India has been at three different levels of pro ball. It seems that they are trying to get him ready to make an impact on the big league club when other prospects are ready as well. Last season, it could be said that India was tired after playing a full college season, then moving straight to pro ball. This season, hopefully he can get comfortable at one level and start to see a breakout.
Similar to Gorman, India was most likely taken in those first year player fantasy drafts. The problem with owning India is the uncertainty of the future position. It is most likely that he will not be at the hot corner as Eugenio Suarez was just locked down for a long-term contract. It could be that he can find a spot in the corner of the outfield. This uncertainty is getting common with what the Reds are doing also with Nick Senzel. With the talent found in this system, it could be likely to see an India, Trammel, Senzel outfield of the future. If you do not own India, there is a chance he could be cheaper than Gorman based on recent production. I would not trade for India for third base potential unless we see some sort of change. Similar to the Reds mindset, owning India is talent based and the position will figure itself out.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday April 28th, 2019 from 8pm-9:30pm EST for episode #155 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. We will discuss spot starters for the coming week, plus a weekend update, and look ahead to next week.
Our guest this week is John Gozzi. John is a writer and editor with majorleaguefantasysports.com.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday May 2nd, 2019 from 7:30-9pm EST for episode #156 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. Cole and Kyle will discuss the latest happenings in the world of MLB and fantasy. They will take a look back on the previous few days and a preview of the coming weekend. Including spot starts, bullpens, offense, and minor league players.