Post Trade Deadline Position Rankings: Third Base
As we continue through the positional analysis, we come closer and closer to looking at the fantasy season as a post-mortem. However, there is still time to swing some deals and there are some players that have come out of nowhere to become legitimate fantasy regulars. The flip side is of course that some guys have fallen from glory.
- Josh Donaldson—Toronto Blue Jays (Preseason #1)
(.289, 28 HR, 96 Runs, 80 RBI, 77 BB, 6 SB)
It is really an honor to be the number one fantasy performer at your position (especially when you were the preseason favorite). It is that much more special when you repeat as the best player at the position. Donaldson is in one of the best offenses in baseball and you have to hope that they stay together for their sake.
- Kris Bryant—Chicago Cubs (Preseason #4)
(.303, 28 HR, 92 Runs, 73 RBI, 57 BB, 8 SB)
These numbers were the official numbers coming into Friday. He went five for five with two home runs on Friday. In other words, you could argue that he is getting even better as we move down the stretch. If the MVP award goes to the best player on the best team then Bryant is positioning himself to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP in back to back season.
- Nolan Arenado—Colorado Rockies (Preseason #3)
(.279, 30 HR, 88 Runs, 97 RBI, 53 BB, 2 SB)
It’s easy to get obsessed with the mile high effect, but in fantasy sports it only matters what numbers you put up. There can be little doubt that Arenado is likely a better all around player than Bryant. He is certainly a superior defender than anyone on the board. That might matter in a MVP discussion, but here it is only numbers.
- Todd Frazier—Chicago White Sox (Preseason #7)
(.210, 31 HR, 66 Runs, 74 RBI, 50 BB, 9 SB)
It’s easy to overlook players because they are deficient in one category. In Frazier’s case, he brings elite power to the game. I would pick Machado ahead of him in five category leagues, but Frazier also brings patience to the game. The importance of the overall game is important. Frazier might be disappointed in his performance, but he’s been a productive player overall.
- Manny Machado—Baltimore Orioles (Preseason #2)
(.303, 26 HR, 81 Runs, 69 RBI, 41 BB, 0 SB)
The biggest difference between Machado and Frazier is that Frazier adds some speed to the equation. So, when building your team you often have to balance the need for batting average and speed. When walks are removed from the equation the balance probably swings to Machado, but Frazier has the slight edge in six category leagues.
- Kyle Seager—Seattle Mariners (Preseason #9)
(.286, 22 HR, 68 Runs, 79 RBI, 48 BB, 1 SB)
A friend had an idea of doing features on players that were very good, but not quite good enough to be Hall of Famers. Seager is a perfect fit for that kind of feature. He puts up good numbers every year, but can’t seem to compete with the top guys on the list. Those names change, but Seager seems to stay in this spot.
- Jake Lamb—Arizona Diamondbacks (Preseason #33)
(.268, 24 HR, 60 Runs, 75 RBI, 44 BB, 5 SB)
The game of baseball is a funny game. The Dbacks could charitably be called a disappointment this season, but Lamb is a feel good story. Call him the lime wedge in the tequila shot that has been 2016. Add him to Goldschmidt and Tomas and you have the makings of a very good offense. If A.J. Pollock comes back healthy next season look out.
- Anthony Rendon—Washington Nationals (Preseason #11)
(.269, 15 HR, 69 Runs, 55 RBI, 53 BB, 12 SB)
Rendon has always had the talent, but he has never been able to stay healthy. The Nationals are in first place largely because they have players like Rendon that have managed to stay healthy. The key with Rendon is his ability to contribute across the board. He does not have elite skills in any particular category, but he isn’t a drain in any single category.
- Matt Carpenter—St. Louis Cardinals (Preseason #6)
(.289, 15 HR, 62 Runs, 56 RBI, 63 BB, 0 SB)
Carpenter is usually better than this, but he has had some bumps and bruises that have kept him out some games. More than anything, he has returned back down to earth in terms of power production. Yet, he has some multi-position flexibility and that might increase his fantasy profile.
- Jose Ramirez—Cleveland Indians (Preseason #30)
(.310, 8 HR, 66 Runs, 51 RBI, 20 BB, 34 SB)
When teams find themselves in first place there are usually one or two players that turn in very surprising campaigns. Ramirez is that guy. His numbers may not look great, but he is an elite performer in two categories (average and stolen bases). For the Indians he is a godsend. As an undrafted free agent, he has helped a number of fantasy teams.
- Evan Longoria—Tampa Bay Rays (Preseason #12)
(.289, 27 HR, 63 Runs, 72 RBI, 36 BB, 0 SB)
It’s been a good bounce back campaign for Longoria. Unfortunately, the overall offense in Tampa has gone south for the winter, so he is not showing up in the runs and RBI categories, but the rest of them demonstrate that Longoria isn’t quite done yet as a fantasy impact performer.
- Justin Turner—Los Angeles Dodgers (Preseason #15)
(.276, 22 HR, 59 Runs, 69 RBI, 35 BB, 3 SB)
Anyone that sleeps on Turner does so at their own peril. He has been a solid offensive producer for three seasons now. The big surprise has been the power production, but that power production has come at a cost. Turner had been a consistent .300 hitter before, but that isn’t the case this season.