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Third Base and Shortstop - Early 2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Analysis

Bobby Witt Jr. - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

It might only be the second week of December, but 2024 draft season is already beginning to heat up. Sites like NFBC and Fantrax make it easy to scratch that early draft itch and I've already completed one draft for 2024, a 50-round draft champions draft on NFBC.

I've been working through my early 2024 positional rankings and player projections over on my Patreon, so this draft was a good way to test out my rankings. And since I'm already full steam ahead with 2024 content and ADP analysis, I figured now was a great time to begin analyzing early 2024 ADP in articles here on RotoBaller. I've already looked at catcher, first base, and second base in a previous article, and I'll round out the infield today by digging into early third base and shortstop ADP.

This ADP is from 25 NFBC Draft Champion drafts completed since October 1. You'll find the ADP tables below along with my analysis of the ADP at the position, player values I like/dislike, etc. It's NEVER too early to discuss and draft for 2024!

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Third Base Fantasy Baseball ADP Analysis

Rank Player Team ADP Min Pick Max Pick
1 Jose Ramirez CLE 14.44 8 23
2 Elly De La Cruz CIN 19.04 11 35
3 Austin Riley ATL 22.4 18 32
4 Rafael Devers BOS 26.56 20 36
5 Gunnar Henderson BAL 28.96 23 51
6 Royce Lewis MIN 41.28 18 110
7 Manny Machado SD 73.2 31 128
8 Ha-Seong Kim SD 80.72 50 111
9 Josh Jung TEX 89.56 55 132
10 Nolan Arenado STL 94.04 47 127
11 Spencer Steer CIN 100.44 72 158
12 Alex Bregman HOU 106.92 82 129
13 Noelvi Marte CIN 145.52 106 232
14 Alec Bohm PHI 159.12 130 178
15 Jake Burger MIA 164.24 125 198
16 Ke'Bryan Hayes PIT 164.4 141 212
17 Max Muncy LAD 164.44 127 209
18 Isaac Paredes TB 174.36 148 203
19 Junior Caminero TB 194.96 123 252
20 Ryan McMahon COL 221.04 171 284
21 Maikel Garcia KC 230.36 176 299
22 Matt Chapman TOR 260.44 210 307
23 Luis Rengifo LAA 276.88 209 337
24 Jeimer Candelario CIN 278.16 236 332
25 Eugenio Suarez ARZ 281.4 249 316
26 Jordan Westburg BAL 291.36 229 338
27 Willi Castro MIN 312.48 231 397
28 Colt Keith DET 339.88 290 415
29 Wilmer Flores SF 340.2 273 391
30 Brett Baty NYM 340.56 265 408
31 Chris Taylor LAD 361.92 310 434
32 Ezequiel Duran TEX 365.28 305 434
33 Matt Vierling DET 373.92 304 462
34 Yoan Moncada CWS 390.68 333 476
35 Tyler Black MLW 395.88 290 496
36 DJ LeMahieu NYY 411.44 337 476
37 Zach McKinstry DET 416.64 368 466
38 Oswald Peraza NYY 416.76 314 513
39 J.D. Davis SF 426.04 364 479
40 Curtis Mead TB 427.72 354 504
41 Jon Berti MIA 448.8 353 528
42 Michael Busch LAD 458.76 346 535
43 Jared Triolo PIT 466.4 378 545
44 Coby Mayo BAL 470.64 400 554
45 Josh Rojas SEA 482.12 344 609
46 Taylor Walls TB 493.36 408 578
47 Anthony Rendon LAA 515 350 656
48 Kyle Farmer MIN 520.08 458 624
49 Jordan Diaz OAK 521.44 397 669
50 Justyn-Henry Malloy DET 543.48 440 654

After a few years where the depth was tested at this position, the hot corner is once again becoming an incredibly deep position for fantasy purposes. In early 2024 drafts, we have five in the top 30 picks, six in the top 50, and 11 in the top 100. Well, top 100.44 if we're being precise. Most of those names are new additions to the top of third base ADP as we experienced a bit of a third base revolution in 2022.

Right off the bat, the big question at this position is if Elly De La Cruz is worth a top-20 overall selection. It's not often we see someone with less than a year of MLB experience go this highly in drafts, let alone one with a risky profile like De La Cruz possesses.

In his 427 plate appearances with the Reds, De La Cruz struck out 33.7% of the time with a 29.7% whiff rate, but his contact metrics were only slightly below league average and he was on a 650 PA pace of 20 home runs and 53 steals. Given his home ballpark, big power potential, and elite speed, a 30/50 season cannot be ruled out in 2024. And if he can trim the strikeout rate and maintain at least close to league-average contact rates, a .260 AVG is possible, especially in Great American Ball Park.

For more on Elly, check out my full Elly De La Cruz profile on my Patreon.

As long as you surround him with more stable star players in the first round and the next few rounds after him, I don't have a problem taking De La Cruz in the second round of fantasy drafts.

After De La Cruz, Gunnar Henderson and Royce Lewis have jumped up into the top 2-3 rounds of fantasy drafts with Henderson just inside the top 30 ADP on average and Lewis around 10-12 spots after that. Both of these spots are fair in my eyes, although I feel a bit more confident in Henderson returning a positive ROI in 2024. Why? Health.

Lewis is a potential top-20 overall player and we saw a glimpse of that upside in 2023 when he racked up 15 home runs and six steals in just 239 plate appearances with a .309/.372/.548 slash line. The upside is a 35/15 player and a potential first-round pick in 2025, but his multiple knee injuries are still worrisome, especially given his lofty ADP.

As we get into the back half of the top 100, you'll notice two former top-50 picks in Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado with ADPs of 73 and 94, respectively. Yes, it was a down year offensively for both, at least given their respective track records, but I'm not sure we're done seeing them provide top-50 overall value, especially with Machado still posting 30 home runs, 91 RBI, and 75 runs scored in his down season. His quality of contact metrics are still impressive and his contact, whiff, and chase rates are all in line with previous seasons. I'd bank on a bounce-back in 2024.

As for Arenado, I'm not quite as confident in a return to top-50 value, but his 94 ADP is more than fair. He still had 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 71 runs last season and this St. Louis lineup is due for a rebound from several players. His floor is a top-100 player with what he did last season and I wouldn't be surprised to see him back up in the 30/100/80 range in 2024.

 

Third Basemen I Anticipate Having The Most Shares Of

  • Noelvi Marte
  • Jake Burger
  • Ke'Bryan Hayes

The addition of Jeimer Candelario makes the Cincinnati Reds infield more crowded, but I'm anticipating a trade to alleviate that logjam. And assuming Noelvi Marte is playing regularly in 2024, he has a shot to take his current 145 ADP and cut that 2x or 3x in 2025 drafts. In 2023 with Cincinnati, Marte posted a 46.1% hard-hit rate, 91st percentile sprint speed, and around league-average contact rates. He has the skills to go 20+/20+ with a solid AVG and OBP in 2024 hitting in the middle of an exciting young Cincinnati lineup while playing half of his games in a hitter's paradise.

Even after mashing 34 home runs in 540 plate appearances last season, Jake Burger still feels like a nice value pick in 2024 drafts. The power is 100% legit as Burger recorded a stellar 16.7% barrel rate and 49.6% hard-hit rate, and he could easily eclipse 40 home runs in 2024 with another 100 plate appearances. A .250/40 season would look really damn good when coming from a near 170 ADP.

Lastly, Ke'Bryan Hayes is going to break out one of these years. Mark my words! In 2023, Hayes had a 92.2 mph AVG EV and 48.3% hard-hit rate, both of which were in the top 15% of hitters. On top of that, Hayes continues to show phenomenal plate discipline with a 19.8% strikeout rate, 21.2% whiff rate, and a zone contact rate of around 90%. I'm definitely willing to use a top-170 pick on him and hope that the breakout finally comes. If not, you likely won't lose value with this pick either.

 

Third Base ADPs I'm Not Keen On

  • Ha-Seong Kim
  • Isaac Paredes

 

Shortstop Fantasy Baseball ADP Analysis

Rank Player Team ADP Min Pick Max Pick
1 Bobby Witt Jr. KC 3 2 7
2 Trea Turner PHI 9.52 2 18
3 Elly De La Cruz CIN 19.04 11 35
4 Corey Seager TEX 20.48 15 27
5 Francisco Lindor NYM 23.92 16 35
6 Gunnar Henderson BAL 28.96 23 51
7 Bo Bichette TOR 35.56 17 49
8 CJ Abrams WAS 41.12 33 68
9 Matt McLain CIN 61 44 80
10 Nico Hoerner CHC 66 49 100
11 Ha-Seong Kim SD 80.72 50 111
12 Oneil Cruz PIT 85.84 48 116
13 Xander Bogaerts SD 112.8 83 145
14 Anthony Volpe NYY 132.36 86 178
15 Dansby Swanson CHC 135.72 104 174
16 Thairo Estrada SF 150.04 109 188
17 Tommy Edman STL 152.36 81 195
18 Trevor Story BOS 168.56 92 216
19 Willy Adames MLW 184.88 140 224
20 Jackson Holliday BAL 194.24 145 279
21 Ezequiel Tovar COL 194.76 128 238
22 Jeremy Pena HOU 226.48 189 265
23 Jordan Lawlar ARZ 245.8 180 310
24 J.P. Crawford SEA 260.52 149 343
25 Carlos Correa MIN 262.84 216 327
26 Zach Neto LAA 274.04 235 347
27 Luis Rengifo LAA 276.88 209 337
28 Tim Anderson CWS 319.4 255 447
29 Amed Rosario LAD 334.92 259 403
30 Brice Turang MLW 344.96 281 432
31 Chris Taylor LAD 361.92 310 434
32 Masyn Winn STL 362.4 307 457
33 Ezequiel Duran TEX 365.28 305 434
34 Orlando Arcia ATL 374.44 337 438
35 Vaughn Grissom ATL 376.44 234 454
36 Javier Baez DET 404 335 486
37 Zach McKinstry DET 416.64 368 466
38 Geraldo Perdomo ARZ 425.92 329 546
39 Liover Peguero PIT 429.84 363 491
40 Jon Berti MIA 448.8 353 528
41 Marco Luciano SF 465.28 375 571
42 Taylor Walls TB 493.36 408 578
43 Brayan Rocchio CLE 503.04 411 585
44 Adalberto Mondesi BOS 514.6 365 680
45 Jorge Mateo BAL 519.4 386 655
46 Kyle Farmer MIN 520.08 458 624
47 Enrique Hernandez LAD 533.6 407 623
48 Colson Montgomery CWS 536.16 436 649
49 Gabriel Arias CLE 549.72 451 673
50 Luisangel Acuna NYM 618.12 484 745

Once again, this shortstop position is incredibly talented and deep with eight in the top 50 ADP, 12 in the top 100, and 21 in the top 200. After a 30/49 season, you're going to seed a top-five pick to even have a chance of drafting Bobby Witt Jr., who isn't falling past pick four very often in drafts. Right behind Witt is Trea Turner, who needed a massive finish to the season to sneak back into the top 10 ADP. Could he return top-10 value in 2024? Absolutely. But given his subpar (for him) first 2/3 of 2023, I'm probably going to be passing on him in that range unless he falls a few picks.

After those two, I have zero issues with the ADPs of Elly De La Cruz, Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, Gunnar Henderson, or Bo Bichette, but CJ Abrams going in the third round of 15-team drafts is too rich for my drafting taste buds. While he's coming off an 18/47 season in 2023, Abrams' quality of contact metrics are below average and there's a much better chance that his home run total goes down and not up in 2024. Plus, the lineup around him isn't getting any better in Washington, so don't count on elite counting stats either. I'm not saying he can't provide plenty of value in 2024, but he's going a round or two before I'd be comfortable drafting him.

Nico Hoerner is another top-100 ADP I'll be passing on this year. The approach is elite, but Hoerner has very minimal power upside and would need to replicate his 40+ steals from 2023 to return equal value at this ADP, let alone a profit. If he falls to the 100+ range, I'd be more willing to buy in. But with a max pick of 100, that's unlikely to happen.

While this position is deep, don't wait too long to secure your starting shortstop or you'll be left with a SSSTWLMBAMCI. That long-winded acronym stands for "starting shortstop that would look much better as my corner infielder." If you don't secure one of the top dozen names or so, a shortstop run in the pick 130-155 range could leave you with Willy Adames or Ezequiel Tovar as your starting shortstop.

 

Shortsopts I Anticipate Having The Most Shares Of

  • Matt McLain
  • Oneil Cruz
  • Trevor Story
  • Jordan Lawlar

Give me all of the Matt McLain shares in 2023. In just 403 plate appearances with Cincinnati last season, McLain racked up 16 home runs and 14 steals with a .290/.357/.507 slash line. If you extrapolated out his stats to 650 plate appearances, you'd wind up with 105 runs, 26 home runs, 81 RBI, and 23 steals.

Those numbers are definitely in play for McLain in 2023 given his above-average quality of contact metrics, 90th percentile sprint speed, and hitter-friendly home park. However, I do think the average ticks down slightly as his contact metrics were slightly below the league average. Still, a .270/100/25/80/20 season would have him in the top 25 ADP in 2025.

Drafting the other three names above depends on the roster you already have when considering them. It's obvious that Oneil Cruz has early-round fantasy upside, but we've also seen the heightened risk surrounding him as well. A 25/15 season from Trevor Story is in play if he can stay healthy for at least 600 plate appearances in 2024, but is he going to stay on the field that much? If you have a solid core of reliable players already, taking a risk on one of these two makes a lot more sense.

As for Jordan Lawlar, I'm fully on board with him having a breakout season in 2024, but the recent acquisition of Eugenio Suarez makes this situation a bit less clear. With Geraldo Perdomo also in the mix, I wonder if Lawlar gets some time at Triple-A to open the season. A big showing in spring training could force the Diamondbacks' hand, though. If it looks like he'll open in the majors, don't shy away from Lawlar and his 20/25 potential as a high-upside middle infield target.

 

Early Shortstop ADPs I'm Not Keen On

  • CJ Abrams
  • Nico Hoerner
  • Ha-Seong Kim


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Hey, RotoBallers, we are back with more fantasy football rankings! The 202 NFL Draft is over, and free agency is winding down; most players are now reporting to offseason workouts. The heart of fantasy football draft season is a few months away, but it's never too early to start preparing for your fantasy drafts. Today,... Read More