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2018 Third Base - Early Fantasy Baseball Tiered Rankings


Today, I’ll be taking a look at how we ranked players at the hot corner. Third base offered an abundance of productive fantasy assets last year, and 2018 figures to be no different.

In case you missed it, you can also check out our rankings and analysis for catcher, first base and second base - compliment of my self, Pierre Camus and Jeff Kahntroff.

Our analysis columns will be coming soon for all remaining positions, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can see all of our preliminary 2018 fantasy baseball rankings for mixed leagues. Bookmark that page!

Editor's Note: Get our 2020 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our draft kit, premium rankings, player projections and outlooks, our top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 20 preseason and in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research and tools. Sign Up Now!

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Tiered Rankings: Third Base (January)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Pierre Jeff
1 1 Nolan Arenado 3B 4 4 7
2 1 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 11 15 17
3 1 Freddie Freeman 1B/3B 16 17 10
4 2 Manny Machado 3B 18 9 23
5 2 Jose Ramirez 2B/3B 19 19 24
6 2 Josh Donaldson 3B 17 20 26
7 2 Alex Bregman 3B/SS 60 44 32
8 2 Anthony Rendon 3B 49 73 45
9 2 Justin Turner 3B 57 70 47
10 3 Miguel Sano 3B 71 54 67
11 3 Jake Lamb 3B 83 79 80
12 3 Travis Shaw 3B 76 87 102
13 3 Mike Moustakas 3B 104 52 115
14 3 Adrian Beltre 3B 111 106 103
15 4 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 124 96 114
16 4 Nicholas Castellanos 3B 134 128 121
17 4 Kyle Seager 3B 123 122 151
18 4 Rafael Devers 3B 117 118 185
19 4 Evan Longoria 3B 163 114 152
20 4 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B/2B/OF 171 148 123
21 4 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 141 130 191
22 4 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 142 221 129
23 4 Scooter Gennett 2B/3B/OF 170 #N/A 172
24 4 Eugenio Suarez 3B 178 178 249
25 5 Ryon Healy 3B/1B 231 146 234
26 5 Todd Frazier 3B 226 233 261
27 5 Maikel Franco 3B 243 239 #N/A
28 5 Jeimer Candelario 3B #N/A 244 #N/A
29 5 Jose Reyes 2B/SS/3B 281 #N/A 253
30 5 Matt Chapman 3B 325 230 256
31 5 Asdrubal Cabrera SS/2B/3B 298 #N/A 244
32 5 Jedd Gyorko 1B/3B 280 #N/A #N/A
33 5 Nick Senzel 3B #N/A #N/A 289
34 5 Hernan Perez 2B/3B/OF 297 #N/A 291
35 5 Logan Forsythe 2B/3B 295 #N/A #N/A

 
 
Tier 1

Not much disagreement here, as all three of us have the top three players at the position ranked 17th overall or higher. Consensus #1 Nolan Arenado has averaged 40 home runs, 104 runs, and 131 RBI over the last three seasons, never hitting below .287 and setting a career best with his .309 mark in 2017. Pierre and I both had Kris Bryant just ahead of Freddie Freeman, while Jeff had the two flipped. Both are clear studs, but Bryant is younger, plays for a better team, and carries outfield eligibility in addition to qualifying for both corner infield slots.

Tier 2

None of us seem worried about Manny Machado’s step back in 2017, particularly not Pierre, who slotted him into the top 10 overall. Losing his shortstop eligibility dings his value ever so slightly, but when you put up .259-81-33-95-9 at age 25 and it’s considered a disappointment, positional considerations aren’t weighted too heavily. Josh Donaldson’s huge second half eased any concerns that his early-season struggles might have raised about a dropoff from one of fantasy’s premier talents.

Credit to Jeff for correctly buying into Jose Ramirez’s 2016 breakout last winter; he followed it up with a 2017 that earned him top-25 ranks from all three of us this year. This time around, Jeff is the high man on Alex Bregman, whose performance last year bears some similarities to Ramirez’s 2016. I’m bearish by comparison, but still view him as a fifth-round pick in standard leagues. Rounding out this tier, Pierre is a bit lower on Anthony Rendon and Justin Turner than we are.

Tier 3

As one would reasonably expect, this tier is where uncertainty begins to build. This round of rankings was compiled prior to the sexual assault allegations against Miguel Sano. If the allegations lead to any disciplinary action on the part of MLB, he’ll likely take a significant tumble in our rankings. As he had is 2016, Jake Lamb dominated prior to the All-Star break before collapsing in the second half. Without an injury to pin the blame on this time, it’s fair to wonder if he has the stamina to produce at a high level for six months. Travis Shaw was outstanding in his first season with the Brewers; only 12 other players managed to hit 30 homers while stealing 10 or more bases, and none of them were third basemen. With no track record of success prior to 2017, however, owners may be reluctant to pay for a repeat performance. Adrian Beltre, meanwhile, continued to produce at a high level but will be 39 this season and played in only 94 games in 2017. As for Mike Moustakas, Pierre is much higher on him than Jeff or myself. While I don’t take issue with his production, I do want to see where he signs before I commit to moving him up.

Tier 4

The fourth tier is an interesting mix of boring vets (Matt Carpenter, Evan Longoria, Kyle Seager), high-variance youngsters (Rafael Devers, Joey Gallo, Nick Castellanos), and 2017 breakouts (Scooter Gennett, Marwin Gonzalez, Gallo and Castellanos again). I was high on Carpenter heading into last year based on his 2016 performance prior to suffering a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, that same shoulder appears to have been bothering him for about a year and a half at this point. He posted the worst batting average of his career (.241) without producing enough in other categories to make up for the shortfall. Seager falls into a similar bucket, as his counting stats held steady but his average tumbled to liability level. Neither, of course, is as much of a drain on that category as Gallo, whose 41 homers, solid run productions, and seven steals were undercut by a putrid .209 mark. Castellanos and Devers won’t provide as much pop, but they’re both solid bets for 25 bombs with much more palatable batting averages.

Gennett was the poster boy for the 2017 power surge, as the infielder was picked up off the scrap heap by the Reds and proceeded to launch 27 homers. Just to underline how ridiculous his performance was, here’s a table:

AVG R+RBI HR SB
Gennett .295 177 27 3
Player B .295 184 29 7

 

Player B, in this case, is Kris Bryant. Please feel free to draft Scooter ahead of him in all leagues, provided I am also in said league. Gonzalez also morphed from utility man to multi-cat stud in 2017, and if you play on Yahoo’s platform, he’s eligible everywhere except catcher.

Tier 5

A steep fall from grace for Todd Frazier compared to his ranking last winter. That’ll happen when your average falls ever closer to the Mendoza line for a fourth straight year, you quit stealing bases, and your HR total drops from 40 to 27 in a year where Scooter friggin’ Gennett hits that many. Ryon Healy and his former teammate Matt Chapman profile as similar low-average players with pop and no speed. Maikel Franco enters 2018 in make-or-break mode, and early mocks suggest more people expect the latter after a couple of disappointing seasons. The rest of this group are either prospects or guys who profile better at middle infield positions.

 

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