2017 Keeper Values: Third Base Rankings - Tier One

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What's up RotoBallers. Welcome back to my series on keeper leagues. Today I'll be taking a look at third basemen keeper values for fantasy baseball (tier one)  for those of you deciding what players to keep for your teams.

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft round in order to keep a player into the up-coming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as: the extent to which a good or service (player) is perceived by its customer (fantasy owner) to meet his/her needs or wants.

For these specific rankings, 12 team, 5x5 scoring, 23 man roster, Rotisserie league settings were used. If you play in a custom league with non-standard configurations, are thinking of keeping a player not on this list, or want to compare players on your team, follow me on Twitter @RowdyRotoJB or contact me via the RotoBaller Chat Rooms.

Editor's note: Be sure to also check out our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. It's already loaded up with tons of great rankings articles and draft analysis. Aside from our tiered staff rankings for every position, we also go deep on MLB prospect rankings, impact rookies for 2017, and dynasty/keeper rankings as well. Bookmark the page, and win your drafts.

 

How My Keeper Valuation Formula Works

The Keeper Values are derived from my 15 step Keeper Valuation Formula. The product is a quanitative depiction of a players ability to meet/exceed fantasy owners needs based on the cost they payed for the player in the previous season (2016 ADP). The higher the score, the higher the return the fantasy owner will receive from the player, keeping him at his associated cost. Approaching Keeper selections with this "value" based attitude, will greatly increase the effectiveness of a fantasy owner's draft in a Keeper League.

TIER SCORE EXPLANATION
1 >75 Finders Keepers! These are the Elite Keeper Values. MUST BE KEPT.
2 50-75 Great Keeper values. Unless you have a full load of Tier 1 players, these guys need to be kept.
3 25-49 You are gaining value with these players, but not as much as your opponents are, potentially. Consider if your options are limited.
4 0-24 Break even point. Minimal value. Only consider if you have a large quantity of Keeper selections.
5 -99-0 Keeping these players will hurt your overall draft, as you are not adding any value. Dont waste a Keeper selection here.
6 <-100 The associated costs make it impossible to return any value, these players will ruin your draft. Stay far away.

 
 

2017 Top Third Basemen Keeper Values: #1-3

3. Jose Ramirez, CLE (23rd Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 77.14

What a breakout season it was for the super utility defenseman. We've seen Ramirez hit for decent average and flash plenty of speed throughout the minors, but never had he put together a season like 2016. It was his first MLB season with over 375 PA, and while he excelled nowhere, he was borderline very-good everywhere. He finished the year with 84 R, 11 HR, 76 RBI, 22 SB, and a sweet .312/.363/.462 slash. While he doesn't have the power to blow you away with HR, but he has what some call "gap power". His high line drive percentage and excellent speed makes Ramirez a double machine and will help sustain that BA. His 46 doubles last season ranked third best in the league.

Jose Ramirez wasn't just filling the fantasy stat sheets last year, he was putting on a clinic with his plate discipline as well. He owned the fifth best strikeout rate (10.0 percent), and was top 10 in both contact percentage (88.8 percent) and swinging strike percentage (4.9 percent). It is a perfect fit for a Terry Francona offense. Also a bonus for Francona is the switch hitting ability. Ramirez hits great from both sides of the plates, as he hit .311 with a .841 OPS versus left handed pitchers and .312 with a .818 OPS versus right handed pitchers in 2016. Which is why he owns such a beautiful spray chart: (FanGraphs.com)

Based on his skillset, Ramirez doesn't really have a lot of room to improve on what we got from him in 2016, but with that being said, he did continue to get better as the year went on. For the second half of the season, he hit .329 with seven HR and a .883 OPS. Plus he is still only 24 years old, and a very poised 24 year old at that. He was absolutely clutch last year, hitting .355 with RISP, and went 5-10 against the Redsox in the ALDS before going 9-29 with a double and a homer in the World Series. So it is easy to see why RotoBaller currently has him ranked as a top 100 player, and why he scores as a Tier One Keeper Value for 2017.

Two of our experts here at RotoBaller actually recently took to a debate on ranking Jose Ramirez for the upcoming fantasy season. Who do you side with??

 

2. Alex Bregman, HOU (23rd Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 77.45

The fantasy baseball world finally got introduced to the second overall pick from the 2015 draft. Before receiving the call to the big leagues in late July, Alex Bregman was just having his way with minor league pitching. He had hit 20 HR with a BA over .300 when the Astros finally decided to give the poor pitchers a break. The touted call-up did not go as Bregman or the Astros had planned initially. Through his first six games, the rookie was 1-22. It looks as if he wasn't able to do anything with pitches on the outside of the plate, which is where the pitchers were focusing in on.

Luckily, the 'Stros stayed with the youngster, and it paid off. For it didn't take long for Bregman to make the adjustments needed down and away. 

Bregman finished the year by hitting .323 with 10 XBH and both his SB in the 15 games in September. For the season, in 217 PA, he hit .264/.313/.478 with eight HR. His batted ball statistics, specifically his 0.67 GB/FB ratio, 12.5 HR/FB%, and 28.2 LD%, indicates Bregman may be at least a 20 HR guy over a full season. Once he gets a tad bit more seasoning under his belt, and lowers that 24.0 K% which was much higher than he experienced throughout his short minor league career, this guy will be a stud. The best part of Alex Bregman is the situation in which he currently finds himself. Upon his call-up, he almost immediately called dibs on the two hole in the Astros lineup. He is projected to reside there again for the 2017 season, hitting behind George Springer and in front of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Carlos Beltran.

RotoBaller currently has him ranked as a ninth round value for the upcoming fantasy season, which alone is a huge value based on where he was drafted, or not drafted for that matter, in 2016. You are going to want to keep this guy in your lineup for years to come. For what its worth, Scott White of CBSsports.com listed Bregman as one of his top breakout fantasy players for 2017. He just used far too many GIFs to explain himself, so obviously, for the rest of the article I will attempt to match his league-high GIF%....Here is Alex Bregman showing off his line drive power in the 2016 Futures Game.

 

1. Kris Bryant, CHC (Second Round ADP) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: 98.55

GIF time!  
 
Wow, pretty scary how long you can stare into another man's eyes...

When you first think of Keeper League, Kris Bryant is one of the first names to pop into your head. Another former second overall draft pick, few hitters in the history of the league have become as elite of a hitter so quickly as KB. Heres a list of the best age 24 seasons every in terms of WAR to prove it: 
 

 
Notice anything special about this list? Its Hall of Fame studded as hell! Now 25 years old, Bryant has already earned Rookie of the Year, MVP, two All-Star appearances, a World Series Championship (in Chicago!), and has hit five postseason HR. The upside is mind boggling to try and project, as he is still improving his game at the plate.

En route to the MVP Award, Bryant led the National League in runs scored (121), and hit 39 HR, 102 RBI with eight stolen bases. He put so many worries to bed as he cut down his strikeout rate by eight points, and increased his slash to .292/.385/.554 for the season. That's even with a 46 point drop in his BABIP from the previous year. My favorite adjustment Bryant made was cutting down his percentage of groundballs, and moving them all over to his line drive percentage, which he upped to 23.7 percent. He also was able to pull the ball more in 2016 (46.7 Pull%), which really helped his power numbers as he raised his Hard% up over the 40 percent plateau and his ISO to a sexy .262.
 

 
Kris Bryant is amazing, plain and simple. He was one of only four hitters to record at least 100 R, 30 HR, and 100 RBI in 2016. He'll hit second and third in arguably the best lineup in baseball, and if you are able to keep him at all (especially outside the first round), congratulations. On a side note, how fun was it to see this guy win the World Series? I mean, look at that joy. 
 

 
Keeper Value Articles: 

Catcher Rankings: Tier 1

Catcher Rankings: Tier 2

Catcher Rankings: Tier 3

First Base Rankings: Tier 1

First Base Rankings: Tier 2

First Base Rankings: Tiers 3-4

Second Base Rankings: Tier 1

Second Base Rankings: Tier 2

Second Base Rankings: Tier 3

Third Base Rankings: Tier 2

Third Base Rankings: Tier 3