2017 Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball: Third Basemen 11-20

Third base is likely the deepest position on the diamond. So far, two points per game has been the line of demarcation between a fantasy regular and a player that really shouldn’t be in the regular lineup. Third base has nineteen such players. The obvious implication is that you can afford to wait on draft day or you can spend less in that auction for your third baseman. As we did in the last piece, we are using total points to drive our rankings, but we will also include each player’s five year averages in the standard categories.

Total points is the preferred format of choice for those that play daily fantasy sports, but it also is a growing format in standard season long leagues. Total points encompasses more of what a player does offensively because it includes more offensive events in its formula. More importantly, it includes negative events (strikeouts, base running outs, and double plays) in its formula.

Total points = Total Bases + Runs + RBI + SB + BB – Strikeouts – GIDP – Caught Stealing

Justin Turner—Los Angeles Dodgers 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 130 401 3.08
2016 151 381 2.52
2015 126 275 2.18
2014 109 204 1.87
2013 86 76 0.88
AVG 120 267 13 2.23 11

.302, 15 HR, 49 Runs, 56 RBI, 4 SB, 36 BB

5 Category: 17                                                            DRS: +6

6 Category: 19

How does Turner rank so high? This is where looking at individual seasons helps more than the aggregate. He has three seasons in a row where he has produced well above two points per game with last season being a clear top ten finish at the position. So, we are betting on more as long as he can remain healthy. Health is the main reason he doesn’t crack the top ten. Attendance still matters in most formats.

Todd Frazier—Free Agent 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 147 316 2.15
2016 158 365 2.31
2015 157 379 2.41
2014 157 365 2.32
2013 150 278 1.85
AVG 154 341 9 2.21 13

.240, 30 HR, 79 Runs, 83 RBI, 12 SB, 59 BB

5 Category: 8                                                              DRS: +8

6 Category: 6

One of the reasons why I love total points is that we cease to be a slave to individual categories. Frazier has a low batting average, but the other categories are strong. In this case, he suffers because of the strikeouts, but it more accurately mirrors who he is as a player. The music will stop eventually and he will find a home. He has been talking about his willingness to play other positions and if that is the case he could see a slight bump in value.

Alex Bregman—Houston Astros 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 155 385 2.48
2016 49 125 2.55
AVG 102 255 16 2.50 9

.274, 14 HR, 60 Runs, 53 RBI, 10 SB, 35 BB

5 Category: 13                                                DRS: -5 

6 Category: 17

Betting on the come is always a difficult venture. We can expect Bregman to grow, but how much will he grow? As you can see, on a per game basis we didn’t really see growth last season, but that would ignore numbers like BABIP and exit velocity. In other words, he was better than his numbers would suggest. He could graduate to 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases next season. That would make him a borderline fantasy regular.

Maikel Franco—Philadelphia Phillies 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 154 304 1.97
2016 152 329 2.16
2015 80 217 2.71
AVG 129 283 12 2.19 14

.255, 21 HR, 59 Runs, 71 RBI, 1 SB, 36 BB

5 Category: 18                                                            DRS: -4

6 Category: 20

The category rankings are almost exclusive predicated on his partial year to start his career. His per 162 stats would put him comfortably in the middle of the pack at the position. The per game rates reveal a player that seems to be stuck in reverse. That being he will have more support in that lineup and while that usually has little effect on rate statistics, it should help the counting numbers.

Jake Lamb—Arizona Diamondbacks 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 149 379 2.54
2016 151 343 2.27
2015 107 143 1.34
2014 37 39 1.05
AVG 111 226 21 2.04 19

.248, 17 HR, 56 Runs, 60 RBI, 5 SB, 48 BB

5 Category: 21                                                            DRS: -13

6 Category: 16

When a player like Lamb represents the midpoint of the position you know you have a deep position. The last two seasons are far more relevant and the reason why he ranks higher than the composite rankings would suggest. He still has some holes in his game (swing and miss) but he is a productive player that would fit very well on someone’s fantasy bench.

Travis Shaw—Milwaukee Brewers 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 144 377 2.62
2016 145 243 1.68
2015 65 138 2.12
AVG 118 253 17 2.14 16

.262, 20 HR, 59 Runs, 69 RBI, 5 SB, 40 BB

5 Category: 11                                                            DRS: +3

6 Category: 12

The Shaw trade has to be the highlight of the David Stearns era in Milwaukee. You usually don’t get a premium run producer for a middle reliever. This is especially true for a middle reliever that ends up missing most of the season. These kinds of deals border on clairvoyant  Of course, Shaw is really not that good and Tyler Thornburg should be healthy again. Still, he is a credible bat at a position with a lot of credible bats.

Mike Moustakas—Free Agent 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 148 374 2.53
2016 27 67 2.48
2015 147 378 2.57
2014 140 217 1.55
2013 136 195 1.43
AVG 120 246 18 2.05 18

.248, 19 HR, 49 Runs, 55 RBI, 1 SB, 31 BB

5 Category: 27                                                            DRS: -8

6 Category: 30

Moustakas certainly is becoming a free agent at the right time given his performance last season and over the last three seasons in general. Believe it or not, he was actually better in 2015 than 2017 according to total points. While total points is driving the train it is difficult to ignore his poor showing in the conventional numbers. Much of that can be blamed on his injuries, but a low batting average and low walks game kill his value as an offensive performer.

Eugenio Suarez—Cincinnati Reds 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 156 344 2.21
2016 159 280 1.76
2015 97 178 1.84
2014 85 96 1.13
AVG 124 225 22 1.81 20

.258, 16 HR, 60 Runs, 56 RBI, 6 SB, 44 BB

5 Category: 15                                                            DRS: +5

6 Category: 15

This is a bet on continued growth. Even if he simply sustains where he is at he is clearly a top 20 third baseman. What is particularly encouraging has been the development in his plate discipline. Last season, he drew more than 80 walks. This makes him an intriguing six category performer even if the other numbers don’t necessarily show this. The per 162 numbers might be a better predictor than what we see above.

 

Miguel Sano—Minnesota Twins

 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 114 240 2.11
2016 116 195 1.68
2015 80 177 2.21
AVG 103 204 26 1.98 20

.256, 24 HR, 59 Runs, 65 RBI, 1 SB, 54 BB

5 Category: 16                                                            DRS: -6

6 Category: 13

There is no bigger difference between traditional fantasy value and total points value than Sano. I have to admit it baffled me this past season when he seemed to crush dinger after dinger, but still couldn’t get past the top twenty in total points. Those strikeouts are a killer in that format, but the placement here is a bet that this will be the first season he is able to be relatively healthy.

Nick Castellanos—Detroit Tigers 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 157 366 2.33
2016 110 232 2.11
2015 154 209 1.36
2014 148 218 1.47
AVG 142 256 15 1.80 26

.268, 18 HR, 55 Runs, 75 RBI, 2 SB, 36 BB

5 Category: 14                                                            DRS: -21

6 Category: 17

Castellanos is a bit of a riddle in terms of fantasy value. On the one hand, he exploded to drive in more than 100 runs and hit more than 20 home runs for the first time last season. On the other hand, he is a butcher with the glove and his team has been stripped of much of its talent. The saving grace for him is the fact that he is eligible at third base and in the outfield for virtually every platform. That makes him a nice depth piece in any format.

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2018 Fantasy Baseball: Generation Next-- Third Basemen

8 Comments

  1. MJ
    December 26, 2017 at 6:56 am — Reply

    Did I read that right, Bregman could be a “borderline fantasy regular”? How could someone right that with a straight face and expect us to take anything else in the article seriously? What am I missing?

    • MR
      February 18, 2018 at 4:00 am — Reply

      Your not missing anything. This is obviously a joke site. I would love to see his 2017 rankings. bet they missed bad..

  2. December 26, 2017 at 10:03 am — Reply

    What are you missing? He ranks 13th in five categories, 19th in six categories, 16th in total points, and 9th in total points per game. So, he ranks within the top 12 (standard mixed league) in only one of the four categories. I’m a huge Astros fan and like Bregman, but third base is a deep position and I can only go with what we’ve seen to date. I typically don’t like speculating, but even if we go with projections he would still rate towards the bottom of the top ten at best.

    • MJ
      December 26, 2017 at 12:17 pm — Reply

      Fair enough, but you obviously do not take upside into account nor do you take position wligibility into account (shortstop)? I am taking him over Seager, Beltre, Carpenter, and Longoria on upside alone…not to mention he can play short.

      • MJ
        December 26, 2017 at 12:19 pm — Reply

        I don’t know for certain, but I am guessing if you look at second half numbers alone, Bregman looks MUCH better. But I am always taking the upside over guys on the downside of their careers.

        • December 26, 2017 at 4:49 pm

          Yes, he hit better in the second half. Much of this was regression to the mean in batted ball luck. There is little reason to think he will see a significant improvement in that department. Steamer is the first major projection system out and they have him at .277/22 HR/83 Runs/81 RBI/12 SB. That puts him somewhere between 8-12 in the third base universe. You are right about shortstop eligibility though.

  3. John
    December 26, 2017 at 12:12 pm — Reply

    Very weird article. But maybe because it is a points league?

  4. December 26, 2017 at 2:13 pm — Reply

    You raise some interesting points. It gives me a good idea for a jumping off point on an article. Thanks for reading.

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