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2022 Keeper Value Rankings - Third Base

Many many years ago, I noticed the managers in my long-time keeper league were consistently making terrible keeper decisions year after year. Instead of taking their money every year thought I would help them out and find a good set of Keeper League Rankings to share with them. What I found was quite disturbing.

There appeared to be two types of Keeper Rankings available in the industry: Type A is just the site's normal rankings with younger players boosted. These types of rankings only benefit leagues where all Keepers carry the same cost or no cost, such as Rounds 1-4 for everyone's keepers. I also found a Type B that I have no explanation on how any human could ever perceive to be useful in any type of fantasy format. So instead of pulling a rankings list for them, I sat down on Excel for a good month and the Keeper Value Formula was born.

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values." In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is perceived by its customer (fantasy owner) to meet his/her needs or wants." The Keeper Values are derived from my Keeper Valuation Formula which accounts for age, player cost (ADP), remaining player pool, past performance, future projections, missed playing time, and even position scarcity.

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JB's Keeper Value System

The final product is a quantitative depiction of a player's ability to meet/exceed fantasy owners' needs based on the cost they paid for the player in the previous season (2021 ADP) and will subsequently pay for in the current season's draft (2021). The higher the score, the higher the return the fantasy owner will receive from the player keeping him at their associated cost. Approaching Keeper selections with this value-based attitude will greatly increase the effectiveness of a fantasy owner's draft in a keeper league.

Whereas the main purpose of the Keeper Value Formula is for customization based on specific leagues and keeper costs, I create these yearly rankings with standard 12 team league data, 2021 ADP, and 23rd Round cost for UDFA just as a baseline to help managers get an idea of their options. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @RowdyRotoJB to check out your specific league's values.

 TIER   SCORE   DESCRIPTION
1 >100 Finders Keepers! These are the Elite Keeper Values. MUST BE KEPT at all costs.
2 75-99 Great Keeper values. Unless you have a full load of Tier 1 players, these guys need to be kept.
3 50-74 You are gaining good value with these players. The majority of good keeper options tend to fall into this category.
4 25-49 Minimal value. The value exists, but not as much as your opponents are likely receiving with their selections. Consider if your options are limited.
5 0-24 Break-even point. Keeping these players will likely hurt your overall draft, as you are not adding enough value. The idea is if you don't use a keeper selection here you can likely still draft that player in the vicinity of their 2021 cost.
6 <0 The associated costs make it impossible to return any value, these players will ruin your draft. Stay far away.

 

2022 Third Base Keeper Value Rankings

Position Rank Keeper Tier Name Team 2021 ADP Keeper Score
1 2 Austin Riley ATL 18 90.2481
2 2 Rafael Devers BOS 4 80.6737
3 2 Jose Ramirez CLE 1 78.33703
4 4 Luis Urias MIL 23 48.2867
5 4 Ryan McMahon COL 21 37.4907
6 4 Kris Bryant FA 11 37.2379
7 4 Eduardo Escobar NYM 23 27.6363
8 5 Jeimer Candelario DET 23 14.0048
9 5 Manny Machado SDP 2 13.9503
10 5 Justin Turner LAD 16 13.907
11 5 Josh Jung TEX 23 2.55187

 

Tier Two

You thought that third base was shallow in redraft leagues! That's only ELEVEN third basemen with a positive keeper value from 2021 costs, and none of those 11 scored in the top tier, so we begin with tier two. Man oh man, what a couple of absolute studskies we get here.

Austin Riley broke out in a huge way in 2021. We always knew he could tear the cover off the ball, but the .303 BA surprised even the most extreme Braves fans. His .368 BABIP was third-highest among qualified hitters and the other names around his on that list are all speedsters. So we can all safely expect the BA to be heading south in 2022, but the power and run production from the heart of the Atlanta lineup is here to stay for the 24-year-old.

We've now seen two full fantastic seasons from Rafael Devers, but I fully believe he's still just tapping into his potential. As early as 2023, Raffy is going to be a consensus first-round pick in all formats. Only two hitters in the league hit over 30 HR, 100 R, 100 RBI, and over a .275 BA; Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Devers. I mean just look at this beauty:

 

With the position being as scarce as water in a desert, of course, Jose Ramirez is still a top hot-corner keeper score despite the first-round cost. He is by far the safest five-category corner infielder in the league, thanks to the consistent 25+ SB ability. He finished fifth overall on the 2021 Razzball Player Rater and is a top-five pick in drafts for 2022. If you have the option to lock him down in your keeper league, don't pass it up regardless of the cost.

 

Tier Four

This might be the least exciting keeper tier I've ever laid eyes on. We already spoke on Luis Urias, Ryan McMahon, and Eduardo Escobar in the Second Base article, and how they're all basically just different-aged versions of themselves.

Kris Bryant still remains an intriguing name after we saw his draft stock fall in 2021 after a putrid COVID-2020 campaign. He enjoyed a nice little bounce-back last season hitting 25 HR with a .265 BA and stealing 10 bases with the Cubbies and Giants. The 10 swipes were his highest total since his rookie season back in 2015. His 10.3 Barrel% was his best since 2016, and his .260 xBA was his highest since 2017. One big issue with KB at the moment is not knowing where he's playing in 2022. A hitter with the fringe power of KB can teeter quite significantly in value based on what stadium he plays most of his games in.

 

Tier Five

Manny Machado is getting no value love because he's consistent and does what fantasy managers expect him to do. Based on which pick you have in the second round and pending the number of keepers that are taken away from your draft pool, there is still a chance you end up coming out with positive value if you wanted to keep Machado to lock up a stud third baseman, but the tier five score shows it's by a slim margin.

Speaking of consistency, is there a better perennial CI pick than Justin Turner? He's hit at least .275 for the last nine years. He's hit 27 HR in three of the last five (not counting 2020), and he's finished with an OBP at or above .400 for three of the last five (counting 2020 this time to fit my narrative). Of course, we are talking keeper leagues, and the guy is 37. So unless you are in a serious win-now window in an OBP league, it's best to use those keeper selections elsewhere.

What an absolute bummer on the Josh Jung shoulder injury news. If he ends up needing surgery it could cost him a large portion of the 2022 season. In which case, we will see him again in this article next year.

 

2022 Keeper Value Rankings by Position



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