Opening Day is approximately two months away, but it's never too soon to start making those draft lists. Today I'm here to take a look at some overvalued, undervalued and fair value 3B for the 2017 fantasy baseball season.
ADP data from early NFBC rankings can give us a glimpse into what players may be great values and who should be passed over at the hot corner.
Here are some players to monitor in preseason mock drafts to see how their respective values may shift before Spring Training and the fantasy baseball season get underway.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!
Undervalued Third Basemen
Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks (Avg. pick: 147) - Many in the fantasy community are wary of Lamb's power surge being a fluke. Moving from 58.3 AB/HR to 18.0 AB/HR is quite a leap, as is a jump to a .260 ISO. Lamb never even hit more than 15 HR in a minor league season, so those concerns are legit. This may work in your favor if Lamb drops far enough on the draft board. Early NFBC data shows him as the 16th ranked 3B in terms of ADP and no higher than overall pick 121. It's hard to envision him surging beyond 30 HR, but if you miss out on the top two tiers of third baseman, you could have 20-25 HR and 80+ RBI waiting for you well past the 10th round.
Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals (Avg pick: 199) - Moose is coming off ACL surgery, which is the biggest reason he barely cracks the top 200 overall. An injury typically reserved for NFL players, it will affect his mobility initially, but as a corner infielder it shouldn't hamper him quite as much. The tragedy of the situation is that he was coming off a breakout season in 2015, where he hit .284 with 22 HR and 82 RBI. At 28 years old, he is still in his prime and could represent a good value if he is truly ready for Opening Day.
Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds (Avg. pick: 266) - A classic post-hype sleeper playing for a rebuilding team, Suarez represents the best potential value at the third base position. Many owners soured on Suarez as he struggled to a .248 average last season, but he did finish with 21 HR and 70 RBI. Streakiness was the biggest issue for Suarez. He hit .270 in April, .173 in May and no higher than .280 in any month. Much like Lamb, there is skepticism about Suarez improving on his power. At his current ADP, you won't have to fill a starting spot to find out.
Overvalued Third Basemen
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (Avg. pick: 94) - Bregman got off to the worst possible start upon his call-up in late July, recording one hit in his first 32 Major League at-bats. He soon corrected that and wound up batting .323 in September. Conventional wisdom is that rookie jitters got the best of him at first, but the hitter we saw toward season's end is indicative of what we'll get in 2017. The reality is that he's still green and will see his share of ups and downs. If you roll the dice with Bregman as your starter, it should only be after you've solidified the first base position with a certified stud earlier in the draft.
Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs (Avg. pick: 120) - The talent is undeniable, but plate discipline is still a question. 108 strikeouts in 450 plate appearances may not be as concerning as the fact his walk rate has actually declined the last two years, down to 3.3%. Baez definitely benefits from his surrounding cast, but he is likely to hit near the bottom of the lineup. He doesn't figure to be a .300 hitter this year or any time soon, so you're drafting him primarily for HR and RBI opportunities. Players like Justin Turner, Jake Lamb, and Maikel Franco have all posted stronger power numbers, yet are often being selected later than Baez. There's a chance Baez suddenly emerges into a star, but don't overpay for youth and potential in re-draft leagues.
Hernan Perez, Milwaukee Brewers (Avg. pick: 163) - 34 steals with a decent .272 average might seem like a late-round bargain for someone that slots at MI and CI. Perez participated in the Brewers' track meet of a season with 41 of their league-leading 237 SB attempts. If Perez can keep up that pace, he will be worth his current ADP for speed alone. If not, there is little else in his profile that gives him value at a traditional power-hitting position. He is a career .255 hitter with 14 HR in 740 big league at-bats. If he is still available outside of the 200th overall pick, peg him as a backup or utility player, but don't count on him as a fantasy starter.
Fair Value Third Basemen
Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians (Avg. pick: 97) - One of the more polarizing picks in this year's draft crop may be the budding star infielder for the AL champs. Ramirez provided value across the board in 2016 with 11 HR, 76 RBI, 22 SB and a .312 average. The problem lies in the fact that those numbers exceed his stats from the previous two seasons combined. At age 24, is he just tapping into his vast multi-category potential or is he due for regression? The reality, as usual, will likely be somewhere in between. Any time a player contributes in all five standard categories, he's got to be valued higher than most of his counterparts. Just don't overpay for one season's worth of evidence.
Eduardo Nunez, San Francisco Giants (Avg. pick: 118) - Shifting to San Fran at the trade deadline didn't do wonders for Nunez's fantasy value, but the talent is still there. He dealt with injuries in September too, clouding the end of his All-Star season. His 2016 seemingly came out of nowhere, but some positive indicators suggest this wasn't a flash in the pan. His ISO had been trending up for four straight years and his rate of SB per PA had been nearly as high when he was a Yankee seeing limited playing time. Nunez will turn 30 before the break hits, meaning we are unlikely to see better numbers than last year, but he shouldn't be completely dismissed either.
More Undervalued & Overvalued Picks
Check out RotoBaller's entire 2017 fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!