Before the 2017 season begins, we will rank our top 15 fantasy players at each position for you. We might provide a projection. We might not. But take some notes, and if you’re lucky this will have you ready for the exam on draft day 2017. Today we examine fantasy baseball’s best at the hot corner, Third Base.
1. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
He’s the reigning NL MVP, a Mike Trout-esque player, and we’re not ranking anyone ahead of him. The top three or four at this position group could all be argued to be anywhere interchanged from one to four. His age, and improvements he showed last season just should be the tip of the iceberg.
2. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
3. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles (listed in Shortstops)
Read what we say about him in the shorstops post. If you are lucky enough to own him, play him there.
4. Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
There is some mileage on this man. Still an elite talent, but will be 31. Still should achieve a .900 OPS, but plays often banged up. Durability has not yet been a concern. But we figure he is a body that won’t age well, and it’s coming soon.
5. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
One owner in our league – a losing owner – called him ‘The Librarian”. He earned this nickname because no one knew if he was hot or not. He seemed boring. He wasn’t loud or sexy. Seager’s can be that way. Career-high 30 homers, .859 OPS, and 99 RBI was a part of many a successful fantasy team in 2016. He’s in his prime and just on the cusp of the elite. Doesn’t slump for prolonged periods.
6. Jonathan Villar, Milwaukee Brewers
The weird thing about the post coverboy is that he had never shown anywhere close to the amount of power that he did in 2016 when he hit 19 home runs. He added 38 doubles, 62 steals, and ran aggressively. He showed the ability to draw walks (79). He came at a huge discount to all owners that is now gone. That must be taken into consideration. It’s unlikely that he does what he did last year ever again. Buy him for the steals, not the other peripherals.
7. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
We just really hate this guy – but he’s damn solid. His .885 OPS was a career-high. He’s going to be 31, and he’s got to age at some point right? Seems like he’s been doing his thing in St. Louis forever, a stalwart of their pesky lineup. He’ll have another Carpenter-esque season. There’s not a lot left to say. A high-end fantasy player to own, if you can.
8. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
Baseball’s biggest schill for Hillary Clinton is getting an awful lot of hype. People have bought in and think they’re in for a laser show in 2017 that rivals some of the top young players of the past. He will come with a hefty price tag. It’s all about projecting what you think he’ll do over a full-season, and the results should be very good for the 23 year old. We will predict a .280/20 home run/80 RBI season with an .800 OPS. Should gain multi-position eligibility somehow, also.
9. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
One of; if not the nicest ‘set it and forget it’ players in fantasy baseball the last four seasons. Last year he had an extra special treat in store. Career high in home runs (36), with 98 RBI and .273 average. We love Longoria. Hard to believe he will be 31. He’s the focal point of a barren Tampa lineup. That’s bound to lead to him getting pitched around some. But he was able to overcome last season, and he’s worth betting on once again. Buy for the durability.
10. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
Never really found his stroke in 2016 at all, and still managed a really solid season. What he finished with is what people are hoping for out of a Bregman in 2017 – think about that for a moment. Added 12 steals which was really under-appreciated. Overshadowed by Trea Turner and Bryce Harper, but he was a high draft pick with all the pedigree of greatness. Needs to regain full health to have a shot at the swing he had in 2014. Showed nice base on balls skills that he’s displayed throughout his career. About a .350 career on-base guy. Very solid option.
11. Todd Frazier, Chicago White Sox
The Toddfather hit 40 home runs in 2016, which is staggering. The detractors of course was everything else. Well – he did steal 15 bases. But the .225 average was enough to make most owners want to crawl into a hole. Career-high 64 walks. Wouldn’t shock us to see a slight rebound in batting average to .245-.250 and OPS of around .800 because of his park. Faces an uncertain future as a White Sox member.
12. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
The foundation has been laid for a Hall of Fame career. Another 32 home runs, 104 RBI, and .300 batting average on the nose. He just feels like a guy that if you draft him, the bottom finally falls out. And that’s our fear with Beltre.
13. Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
His 2016 season could end up one of the best he ever has. Probably was a good decision to return to Los Angeles where he isn’t expected to really be a focal point or anything more than he really is. The last three seasons show him as a .296 hitter with a .856 OPS. He will be 32, and should be productive for at least another two or three seasons. The merry-go round will eventually stop, and he’s nothing special. But he’s in the top 15 at the position for now.
14. Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
Feels like a guy who could lead baseball in HR/AB. Also seems like a guy who could hit .220, bury you in batting average, and stay lost for weeks at a time. We are absolutely tantalized by his upside, but scared to death of his floor. This will probably be the last year he hangs onto any type of third base eligibility. When will the Twins’ murdering of young prospects end?
15. Ryon Healy, Oakland Athletics
Very, very intriguing name who had just 72 games in the second half. Changed his swing to become a power hitter and ended up with impressive results in that Oakland Coliseum morgue. The strikeouts are going to become a concern, but the guy can flat out mash. We’ve seen enough to know.
Best of the Rest: Jose Ramirez, Jake Lamb, Maikel Franco, Javier Baez, Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, Hernan Perez, Yoan Moncada, Jedd Gyorko