Third base is the deepest position going in fantasy baseball. That is reflected in the median statistics we will see in a moment, but there is also more star power than at any other position. That will definitely affect how you approach draft day. Keep in mind, when looking at how players compare to the median, it is not only important to see if they beat the median, but by how much the beat the median. Third base features the reigning NL MVP winner and the 2015 AL MVP winner. That’s some serious star power.

We are comparing players with the median of each category instead of doing straight rankings. For one, we already ranked these players. We will compare the PECOTA projection with the three year average when appropriate. That alone will give us some clue about rankings, but we want to show you how many of these players are four and five category contributors. Players that meet or exceed the median will have numbers in green. Players that come up short will have numbers in red.

Median: .267/21 HR/72 Runs/78 RBI/5 SB

Nolan Arenado— Colorado Rockies

PECOTA: .288/29/76/91/2 (+4)

3 Year: .289/34/90/108/2

I’m not exactly sure where the depressed numbers are coming from. As someone that worked at BP once told me, “there are people there that we call the sharp knives. They are the ones that crunch the numbers. The rest of us are the dull knives. We just talk about the numbers.” I’m a dull knife. Of course, depressed or not, Arenado is still a four category guy. He is probably more dominant across the board than they are giving him credit for.

Adrian Beltre— Texas Rangers

PECOTA: .294/24/77/87/1 (+4)

3 Year: .304/20/84/88/1

Beltre is proof positive that some people don’t know a Hall of Famer when they see one. Beltre has never been the best player in the league and rarely has been the best at his position, but he has consistently been very good with the bat and the glove. The combination of two way success and longevity makes for a unique career. PECOTA is predicting some regression, but that’s understandable at his age.

Alex Bregman— Houston Astros

PECOTA: .260/21/67/63/6 (+2)

3 Year: N/A

This is a testament to how deep the position is. Bregman will likely be better than this. Remove a 1 for 22 stint in July and he hit well over .280 with power and decent on base production. The power may not be there long-term, but he also might steal a few more bases than predicted. All in all he is probably a good candidate for an early bench slot.

Kris Bryant— Chicago Cubs

PECOTA: .273/33/90/96/10 (+5)

3 Year: .284/33/104/101/11

Bryant should be the number one third basemen off the board. When you add in his enormous walk potential along with his ability to qualify as an outfielder you see he brings extra value and versatility to the equation. Some will pick Josh Donaldson or Nolan Arenado and those would be worthy picks, but Bryant is the whole package.

Matt Carpenter— St. Louis Cardinals

PECOTA: .273/17/72/75/3 (+2)

3 Year: .272/19/94/70/3

Carpenter is to third baseman as Ben Zobrist is to second basemen. Carpenter is penciled in as the Cardinals first baseman this season. He could play there permeanently or move back to his orginal position at second base. The versatility (much like Zobrist) helps him play up. The potential to add the sixth category of walks is also intriguing. He will probably slip on draft day, but don’t let him slip too far.

Josh Donaldson— Toronto Blue Jays

PECOTA: .278/31/102/92/6 (+5)

3 Year: .279/36/112/107/7

Donaldson is a bit of a throw back to bygone era when people had flip phones, satellite television was the new technology, and Billy Beane was the most advanced executive in the sport. The early 2000s saw hitters put up cartoonish numbers and the three year average here is reminiscent of those days. The fact that he adds superior fielding on top of these numbers is another marvel.

Maikel Franco— Philadelphia Phillies

PECOTA: .256/23/68/80/2 (+2)

3 Year: .268/20/56/69/1

The best laid plans of mice and men often goes awry. The plan for young players like Franco is that they will spend one full season learning their craft and then explode after that. Things rarely work out that way. The league adjusts to them and then they have to prove they can keep up. Franco will get better, but the progress will likely be incremental in nature and not a sudden explosion like Phillies fans are hoping for.

Todd Frazier— Chicago White Sox

PECOTA: .246/27/78/83/13 (+4)

3 Year: .251/35/86/89/16

Frazier is probably as good a microcosm for the folly of the White Sox as any player. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him. They simply thought he would be the missing piece. If it were just a case of him then it wouldn’t be a big deal. The big deal is that he seems to be a part of annual quest to find that guy. Now, they are rebuilding and that will cut into his run scoring and RBI opportunities. Expect a lot of solo home runs.

Joey Gallo— Texas Rangers

PECOTA: .216/33/78/86/2 (+3)

3 Year: N/A

Gallo has been ready to launch for seemingly forever. He will finally get his chance to hold down the designated hitter slot. The Rangers will need to be patient with the strikeouts, but if they are they will be rewarded with awesome power potential. The same thing will be true of fantasy owners. Batting average is just one category after all.

Adonis Garcia— Atlanta Braves

PECOTA: .265/16/72/63/(+1)

3 Year: .274/12/43/46/2

Garcia lucked out a bit when newly signed Sean Rodriguez went down with an injury following a car accident. So, he will get another chance to nail down the job. Garcia might be a testament to the depth of the position for fantasy players. He doesn’t really give you anything and yet he doesn’t completely sink you either. He’s a decent bench piece.

Jung Ho Kang— Pittsburgh Pirates

PECOTA: .261/20/61/66/5 (+1)

3 Year: .271/18/53/60/4

Kang has some legal problems in his native Korea, but the bigger problem is that he hasn’t had one healthy season yet. He is eligible in some platforms at third, short, and second. In those leagues, he has some value as a bench bat that can be plugged in for short periods of time. Otherwise, he is a below average overall performer.

Jake Lamb— Arizona Diamondbacks

PECOTA: .259/21/70/78/5 (+3)

3 Year: .256/18/60/63/5

Last year was a coming out party of sorts for Lamb. He almost reached 30 home runs (29) and drove in more than 90 runs. PECOTA is predicting a step back and that makes perfect sense. While the batted ball statistics don’t necessarily point to a regression, pitchers will come into the season with a better plan to attack him. He would still make a decent flier in case he can duplicate the magic.





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