Welcome back, RotoBallers. I've already looked at the top 10 prospects for each MLB team, and now I'll be breaking down impact prospects by position. Today I'm bringing you my top 10 third basemen - dynasty prospect rankings for 2017 dynasty baseball leagues.
Historically, third base has always been a great source of slugging prospects. These are guys who exemplify what it means to be powerful. They are usually big, they’ve sometimes got the best arm in the infield and they seemingly always hit for a ton of power.
The next guys coming up are no different. You are looking at a group of guys who appear to be nothing short of a bunch of 20-home run producers and future middle-of-the-order threats. There are several incredibly high-upside players in here like Rafael Devers and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and a couple of guys who look like low-risk investments like Nick Senzel and Jeimer Candelario. This is a very talented group of players, the deepest position I’ve written about (so far). Be on the lookout for these guys in your dynasty leagues as they could be future stud bats for your team!Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Top 10 Third Base Prospects for 2017 Dynasty Baseball Leagues
1. Rafael Devers (BOS, A+)
Stats: 546 PA, .282/.335/.443, 11 HR, 18 SB, 7.3% BB rate, 17.2% K rate
Most prospects with a ceiling as high as Devers’ typically come with a low floor. There is usually going to be some risk associated with him. But that’s where Devers parts from the rest of most minor leaguers. He not only possesses one of the most explosive bats in the minors, but he also comes with incredible patience with an advanced understanding of the strike zone for someone only 20 years of age (though his numbers were put up when he was 19 years old at High-A last season). Though he had a few steals in 2016, Devers is not going to steal much more than 10 bases per season. But who needs steals when you’ve got a player with the bat to hit .300 and the power to potentially smash 30 home runs. Devers has an incredible ceiling and should not take too much longer to reach the majors.
2. Nick Senzel (CIN, A+)
Stats: 249 PA, .329/.415/.567, 7 HR, 15 SB, 12.9% BB rate, 19.7% K rate
ETA: Early 2018
Devers has the highest ceiling in this group of players, but Senzel easily has the highest floor. He was viewed as the top college bat coming off several dominant seasons at Tennessee and has demonstrated that he can not only make consistent, hard contact, but he also understands the strike zone better than most. He is a bit faster than the average third baseman and may steal 15-20 bases per season with the potential to post 20/20 seasons. And with most scouts already set on him being a future batting title contender, it is safe to say Senzel is already a fantasy prospect worth owning in dynasty leagues.
Let’s also not forget that the last trio of so-called “advanced college bats” (Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman and Andrew Benintendi) all debuted a season after being drafted so Senzel could potentially do the same. I would not put money on him doing so, but fantasy owners should not rule out a 2017 debut for him.
3. Matt Chapman (OAK, AAA)
Stats: (from AA) 504 PA, .244/.335/.521, 29 HR, 7 SB, 11.7% BB rate, 29.2% K rate
ETA: Late 2017
By no means is Chapman the most polished prospect. He has a lot of issues he still needs to iron out, not least of which is his plate discipline which was poor in 2016. But when you have a guy who seems like a perennial lock to hit 30 home runs in a season, he has to be considered for ownership in dynasty leagues. Chapman is a slick glove and potentially elite power hitter who may struggle to hit for average all his career, but again, 30+ home runs does not come around all that often and owners should still view him as a must-own in most dynasty leagues.
4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR, ROK)
Stats: 276 PA, .271/.359/.449, 8 HR, 15 SB, 12.0% BB rate, 12.7% K rate
The son of Vladimir Guerrero has already proven in just a brief taste of Rookie League action that he could be a potentially elite bat like his father. Guerrero Jr.’s numbers don’t jump out on the page until you realize that he was only 17 for the entire body of work. He has already demonstrated an elite understanding of the strike zone while flashing some well above-average power. Now he still has yet to face a high level of pitching and certainly has risk attached to him given his inexperience and distance from the majors, but Guerrero Jr. has a ton of potential and could be a future middle-of-the-order slugger for dynasty owners.
5. Austin Riley (ATL, A)
Stats: 543 PA, .271/.324/.479, 20 HR, 3 SB, 7.2% BB rate, 27.1% K rate
It’s not often that a 19-year-old is only the second youngest player on a prospect list, but that’s exactly the case here with Riley. He absolutely crushed Class-A pitching in 2016 and firmly established himself among the top third base prospects in the game. His only fault is that he does not have the same upside (or high ceiling in Senzel’s case) as those ahead of him on this list. With that said, Riley is still an exciting third base prospect that features a ton of raw power and is a guy who could find himself one day batting in the middle of a potent Braves’ lineup.
6. Jeimer Candelario (CHC, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 309 PA, .333/.417/.542, 9 HR, 0 SB, 12.3% BB rate, 17.2% K rate
If Candelario played for any other team, he would be probably be starting on Opening Day. But alas, he plays for the Cubs who are loaded at every position and he is now destined to return to Triple-A Iowa until he is inevitably traded at the trade deadline. He is one of the more polished bats on this list and has spent many years perfecting a line-drive-oriented approach that has now started to develop into over-the-fence pop. He is a relatively low-risk third base prospect who will not jump out on paper, but should nonetheless be a solid third baseman for another MLB team and a deep-league dynasty team.
7. Hunter Dozier (KC, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 434 PA, .294/.357/.506, 15 HR, 3 SB, 9.2% BB rate, 23.0% K rate
Dozier has slowly but surely started to come around in the eyes of evaluators. After many years of being considered a ho-hum kind of boring third base prospect, Dozier exploded onto the scene in 2016 with 23 home runs across Double- and Triple-A with a combined .296/.366/.533 slash line. Dozier may continue to have strikeout issues, but the 20-homer power is here to stay, as will Dozier once Mike Moustakas leaves Kansas City.
8. Ryan McMahon (COL, AA)
Stats: 534 PA, .242/.325/.399, 12 HR, 11 SB, 10.3% BB rate, 30.1% K rate
I said it once in my Top 10 Dynasty Second Baseman article and I will say it again here, Coors Field does wonders for the fantasy stock of prospects. For Forrest Wall, it gave him decent power. For McMahon, it gives him lofty home run potential. As of right now, that is really the only thing McMahon can do well as his plate discipline is poor and his defense could eventually shift him to first base. But should McMahon even barely clean up his discipline and reach the majors, he could be a 30-homer threat in Coors Field.
9. Bobby Dalbec (BOS, A-)
Stats: 143 PA, .386/.427/.674, 7 HR, 2 SB, 6.3% BB rate, 23.1% K rate
ETA: Late 2018
Dalbec’s fantasy stock has rapidly ascended between when he was drafted 118th overall in 2016 to now. He absolutely mashed the Cape Cod League before the draft and kept his hot-hitting alive going into his first exposure in Low Class-A. Dalbec has received some lofty comparisons to Kris Bryant for his size and raw power potential and could, like Bryant, cut down on the strikeouts and be an all-around stud third baseman. I don’t see Dalbec ever reducing the Ks as much as Bryant did, which will keep Dalbec’s average relatively low, but the power is real and there is no doubt Dalbec has a lofty ceiling that fantasy owners should buy into.
10. Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT, A)
Stats: 276 PA, .263/.319/.393, 6 HR, 8 SB, 5.8% BB rate, 18.5% K rate
The fourth guy on this list who spent all of last season in his teens, Hayes is yet another high-upside third base prospect who could be a future stud if everything works out well for him. Unlike most of the youngsters, scouts do not see the same type of jaw-dropping power in Hayes, but rather they see a player capable of contending for batting titles in the future with 15-20-homer power developing later on down the road. Hayes could be a special prospect, but like Guerrero Jr. and Riley, he still has some time to develop into a middle-of-the-order presence for Pittsburgh.