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Third Base - Early Points League Rankings and Tiers

The hot corner is stacked like never before, especially with the anticipated arrival of mega-prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Waiting on a third baseman won't hurt given the relative depth of the position. With the multi-position eligibility of several players on this list, one could easily grab several of these names within the first few rounds and make a well-rounded infield. In points league formats, there is no need to focus on speed, which gives a slight boost to the position as well.

These rankings for points league and head-to-head (H2H) formats come courtesy of our lead analysts: JB Branson, Nick Mariano, and Bill Dubiel (a.k.a. the fourth-most accurate MLB expert for 2017 on FantasyPros). We’ve broken them down into tiers, for your viewing pleasure. As you may know, in this format, hitters get a bump for total bases and walks, while strikeouts provide a slight knock.

In case you missed it, check out our analysis on first base and second base. Now, let's take a look at the 2019 third base points league rankings.

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2019 Fantasy Baseball Points League Rankings: Third Base

Ranking Tier Player Name Position Nick JB Bill
1 1 Jose Ramirez 2B/3B 2 3 3
2 1 Nolan Arenado 3B 8 7 7
3 1 Alex Bregman 3B/SS 10 12 10
4 1 Manny Machado 3B/SS 14 17 17
5 2 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 33 38 32
6 2 Anthony Rendon 3B 35 34 36
7 2 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 41 39 39
8 2 Javier Baez 2B/SS/3B 50 49 50
9 3 Eugenio Suarez 3B 60 56 61
10 3 Justin Turner 3B 65 60 60
11 3 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B 64 58 65
12 3 Josh Donaldson 3B 78 73 75
13 3 Miguel Andujar 3B 84 81 86
14 3 Travis Shaw 1B/2B/3B 96 94 97
15 4 Carlos Santana 1B/3B 103 97 105
16 4 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B 102 102 151
17 4 Mike Moustakas 3B 123 115 125
18 4 Jurickson Profar SS/3B/1B/2B 141 118 126
19 4 Wil Myers 3B/OF 124 135 143
20 4 Matt Chapman 3B 139 146 137
21 5 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 151 175 158
22 5 Yulieski Gurriel 1B/2B/3B 184 166 172
23 5 Rafael Devers 3B 177 168 180
24 5 Miguel Sano 1B/3B 165 184 179
25 5 Eduardo Escobar SS/3B 200 191 199
26 6 Maikel Franco 3B 213 215 190
27 6 Joey Wendle 2B/3B/SS/OF 214 212 201
28 6 Kyle Seager 3B 212 208 211
29 6 Ian Happ 3B/OF 235 227 224
30 7 Brian Anderson 3B/OF 270 250 272
31 7 Jake Lamb 3B 284 257 283
32 7 Jeimer Candelario 3B 288 297 291
33 7 Evan Longoria 3B 282 313 #N/A
34 7 Johan Camargo 2B/3B/SS 359 281 258
35 7 Isiah Kiner-Falefa C/2B/3B 327 326 323
36 7 Yolmer Sanchez 2B/3B 395 325 300
37 7 Scott Kingery SS/3B/OF 356 343 359
38 7 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 381 365 346
39 7 Ehire Adrianza SS/1B/3B 406 372 342
40 7 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B/2B 375 373 #N/A
41 7 Eduardo Nunez 2B/3B 394 370 368
42 7 Nick Senzel 3B 385 371 #N/A
43 7 Yandy Diaz 3B 398 388 374
44 7 Todd Frazier 3B 409 409 #N/A
45 7 Colin Moran 3B/1B 433 408 394
46 7 Jung Ho Kang 3B 440 #N/A 398
47 7 Brock Holt 2B/3B/OF 443 435 399
48 7 Tim Beckham SS/3B 445 441 #N/A
49 7 Zack Cozart SS/2B/3B 463 447 #N/A
50 7 Jedd Gyorko 1B/3B 470 463 #N/A
51 7 Chris Owings 2B/3B/OF 478 455 #N/A
52 7 Matt Duffy SS/3B 476 458 #N/A
53 7 Asdrubal Cabrera SS/2B/3B 483 460 #N/A
54 7 Logan Forsythe 2B/3B 481 468 #N/A
55 7 Matt Davidson 3B 498 476 #N/A

 

Third Base Rankings: Upper Tiers

Tier One

The top tier is topped by the same duo as our standard mixed league ranks, yet there is a slightly bigger gap between Ramirez and Arenado. This is simply due to Ramirez's incredible 1.33 BB:K that more than doubles Arenado's 0.60 BB:K. In fact, if it weren't for a guy named Mike Trout, Ramirez would be the top overall selection in points leagues, coming in as our second overall pick. The fact he slots in at either 2B or 3B might even tilt the decision in his favor for some owners on draft day.

Nolan Arenado is about as safe a pick as you can get in any format. If his number eight overall ranking seems a bit low, it's only because aces Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Chris Sale jump ahead of him, given the weighted value of high-end starting pitchers in points leagues.

As of this writing, we still don't know where Manny Machado will take his talents for the 2019 season. It won't shift his value dramatically but it would be preferable to see him in a lineup like the Phils or Yanks, as opposed to the pale hose of Chicago. Machado has improved his plate discipline the last two years, up to a 0.67 BB/K in 2018. A jump back up to 14 steals was a welcome sight as well. He is still just 26 years old and shouldn't slip past the middle of the second round.

Alex Bregman officially broke out last year and he's just 24 years old. Like J-Ram, he walked more than he struck out and will stack points across every category. Along with 31 home runs, his 51 doubles led the majors. That's a big factor to consider in points leagues, as those two-baggers can add up quickly to provide value despite being relatively worthless in 5x5 leagues.

Tier Two

Kris Bryant was one of the biggest disappointments from last season, largely due to injury. A left shoulder injury sapped him of power and effectiveness before landing him on the DL for an extended stint. Selected fifth on average in fantasy, his stock has fallen down to 33 overall in NFBC drafts. If he is truly 100% as he claims, then this could be the biggest bargain of 2019.

Anthony Rendon sees a slight bump in these rankings, coming in as the sixth-ranked 3B compared to his roto rank of ninth. He finished seventh among qualified batters with 44 doubles and holds a tidy 0.67 BB:K that is even better than Arenado. It's unclear whether the presumed absence of Bryce Harper will have a negative effect but he can't be discounted too much in this format.

Javier Baez will be a high pick in most drafts after his impressive 2018 campaign but he takes an understandable dip in points leagues due to the fact he still struck out 26% of the time and hasn't posted a walk rate over 6% across a full MLB season. Many expect regression as well, particularly in his 24.3% HR/FB rate. His 32.3% fly ball rate was actually lower than normal and his hard hit rate has been rising each of the past three years, so things could even out in terms of his HR totals. He should also maintain his status as a run-scoring and producing machine in the heart of a stacked Cubs lineup, so don't discount him too much this coming season even in points leagues, where he could potentially fall below his true value.

 

Third Base Rankings: Middle Tiers

Tier Three

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been pronounced one of the best hitting prospects of our generation before he takes a single cut on a Major League Baseball field. He's got a raw power grade of 80 and the bloodlines of a Hall of Famer, after all. While Guerrero hasn't grown into that power just yet, he's shown great plate discipline in the minors and has the upside of, well, a future Hall of Famer. You'll have to pay up for his services and hope the Jays don't hold him back too long.

Miguel Andujar will be a slightly polarizing figure this draft season, as he showed great promise in his rookie year but hasn't convinced everyone he is a budding superstar. Andujar finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting after posting a .297/27/92 triple-crown line, sits in the middle of one of the most potent lineups in all the majors, and is just 23 years old. He also tied Mookie Betts for third in the bigs with 47 doubles. What's not to like? The fact he only walked 25 times over 606 plate appearances is a knock against him, as is the fact he may bat either sixth or seventh in the lineup. Those are minor concerns for such a talented player, but enough to keep him at the lower end of the third tier.

Travis Shaw was recently signed to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration, and will take back the third base job even though he retains second base eligibility. Shaw hit .241 with 32 home runs and 86 RBIs last year and made great strides in plate discipline, more than doubling his BB/K ratio (0.72) from two years ago in Boston (0.32). If you choose to wait on the position, he could be a mid-round gem.

Tier Four

Former Brewer and still free agent Mike Moustakas must have a fungus or something - this marks two straight offseasons that teams are staying away from the former second overall pick despite the fact he hit 28 HR and drove in 95 runs. He posted a career-high 41.2% hard hit rate and just turned 30, so it's not as if there are multiple red flags here. His depressed value in the free agent market could once again make him a bargain in fantasy drafts.

The failed experiment of Wil Myers at third base is officially over, whether or not the club's alleged pursuit of Machado comes to fruition. Heck, maybe they should sign Moustakas and pair the corners with overpriced former Royals. Myers should be a full-time outfielder in 2019, which should help the defense in general after his impressively bad -5.4 UZR at third base followed up a -7.3 UZR at first base in 2017. The good news is that his eligibility at third base is a nice way to sneak his bat into the infield on fantasy teams. Plate discipline has never been a strong suit and his power/speed combo plays better in rotisserie leagues, where he finds himself in the third tier of our rankings. Still, Myers will carry a fairly strong slugging percentage that makes him either a low-end starter at the hot corner or an OF3.

Players like Max Muncy and Jurickson Profar have enough pop to slot in a CI spot or as a high-end backup 3B but realistically they carry more value at 2B or MI.

Tier Five

Unsurprisingly, Gallo is a full 55 spots lower in points league rankings due to a sizeable hole in his bat that seems to miss the ball 36% of the time. Three-true-outcomes hitters tend to not be popular choices in points leagues, especially in H2H because of the peaks and valleys they bring. You can't completely ignore a player that has gone deep 40+ times the last two years either.

Devers made some strides throughout the season, increasing his walk rate in the second half and hitting better against the shift (.331) than without it (.213). A lowly 15.2% LD% must be improved along with his 34.4% Hard% if wants to be considered a top slugger. At age 22, he may require more seasoning before being declared ready to jump into the higher tiers. Otherwise, he may find himself developing into the next Miguel Sano.

Speaking of Sano, it was a tough year for the Twins' third baseman, who was once thought to be a foundational piece for the franchise. Among all batters with at least 250 plate appearances, Sano posted an MLB-worst 38.5% K% and finished with a .199 average. An extended trip down to the minors didn't seem to ignite the light bulb, flip the switch, or any other sort of metaphor that would imply Sano was suddenly good again. His career .233 ISO and immense power potential is enticing but he could easily become a black hole at third base again, making him nothing more than a dice roll in the later rounds.

Eduardo Escobar was a valuable waiver wire add in 2018 but could be slightly overvalued in 2019. His breakout came on the heels of his age-30 season and he has played 150 games only once in his career. Statcast measures indicate that he may see negative regression based on xBA (.250) and xSLG (.426). He could reach the 20-HR mark with a middling average but that's nothing to get excited about at a position filled with power options.

 

Third Base Rankings: Lower Tiers

Tier Six

Should we believe in Maikel Franco's improved batting average of .270 and consistent, if unspectacular, track record of three straight 20+ HR seasons? Or should we be more concerned about the fact his hard hit rate dropped to 27.5% while his ground ball percentage jumped near 50%? It appears the breakout may never happen, as Franco has put up eerily similar batted ball numbers over the past four years, except for last year's unwanted shift toward soft contact. He's on a one-year prove-it deal for a team courting big-name free agents, which means his time as the starter in Philly may soon be up.

Kyle Seager was a top-10 option at third base not long ago. Now, he can be had outside the top 225 players and is our 28th-ranked third baseman, behind the mighty Joey Wendle. It's not like Seager fell off a cliff in '18, but it's concerning that his strikeout rate spiked to 21.9%, four points above his career average, while his slugging percentage dropped by 50 points. The Mariners are in a rebuild, so the RBI opportunities might be less plentiful as well.

Tier Seven

The final tier only has about 2000 players in it, so let's just highlight some key sleepers that could be well worth a late-round flier.

Brian Anderson may never be a full-blown power hitter, especially in spacious Marlins Park with a glorified Triple-A lineup around him. He showed out fairly well as a rookie, however, slashing .273/.357/400 with 65 RBI and 87 runs scored. His 34 doubles and above-average walk rate indicate some usefulness in points leagues.

Nick Senzel could be a steal if he proves fully rehabbed after multiple injuries and a bout with vertigo last year. The Reds are still making moves but Senzel is still without a clear position at the Major League level. If injury strikes or he forces his way into the lineup with a strong Spring, he could become a valuable piece.

Yandy Diaz is a name that isn't on many radars despite the fact he may become the everyday third baseman in Tampa Bay. Known more for his glove than bat, Diaz has a strong 0.59 BB/K and has shown he can hit for average in two brief Major League trials. If he holds down a starting job, he could be a cheap source of points at the end of your bench.

Colin Moran and Jung Ho Kang will be battling for the third base job in Spring Training but they may not have to. Kang has played some shortstop before and could easily beat out Erik Gonzalez in order to keep his bat in the lineup. He has limited mileage on his body after missing all last year due to a visa issue. Kang is the ultimate sleeper, whereas Moran looks to be a top prospect that may never pan out as more than a replacement-level player.

Filling Adrian Beltre's shoes is no enviable task. The Rangers are leaving it to Asdrubal Cabrera, who signed a one-year deal to play third base. He popped 23 homers along with 36 doubles last year between the Mets and Phillies. Now in the AL West, Cabrera could be a forgotten man on draft day who is more than serviceable at either 3B or SS.

More Fantasy Baseball Rankings Analysis




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