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Early 2020 ADP Reflections - Third Base

When a baseball season ends, the following season can’t come here soon enough for some fans, myself included. We start thinking about what we want to see from some players, which includes letdowns, bounce-backs, and even young prospects. Instead of letting them bounce off the brain walls, let’s put these musings into digits. This includes things to watch out for as the season approaches that will affect drafts and in-season management. Some will force further research in the offseason.

This series will provide a few insights and items for consideration at each position. We've already ventured across the catcher, first base, second base, and shortstop positions. This week we dive into the power-laded position of third basemen. It is filled with a bunch of well-known guys, brutes, and even a few power/speed guys. Let's toast with your favorite bourbon du jour to the flexibility that most of these players provide.

Third base is quite deep as there are tons of players that you should want. Also, there is an abundance of players with multi-positional eligibility which is part of the problem. Most of the guys you would grab for third base would be better values playing at other positions. Don't fret. It may not be Golden Corral, but there's plenty for you to consider. The first 11 third basemen will likely be off the board in the first four rounds. My preference is to grab a solid guy by the fifth round. If not, I'll just target one of the Twins a few rounds later.

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Accelerating Off The Draft Line

  • Alex Bregman (ADP: 10) was covered in the shortstop ranks, but since he has eligibility at the hot corner, we will cover him again considering his new development. Thanks to the cheating scandal news, some drafters have become leery of Bregman’s skills and he’s falling as late as pick 18 in the last week. If this happens in your draft, SNATCH him up quickly with a super-sized grin on your face. (LSU bias included).
  • There’s drama in the Rockies. Nolan Arenado (ADP: 13), justifiably, feels disrespected thanks to trade talks with his name in them. Should he stay or should he go now? If he stays there will be trouble (40 HR, 200 R + RBI); if he goes, there will be double (.265 AVG away from Coors). I’d still buy a 40-homer season, but have a plan for speed and pitching.
  • At times, fantasy managers have the memory of an elephant. We screamed with frustration at Jose Ramirez’ (ADP: 18) numbers in the first half of 2019 (.218 AVG and seven homers in 364 plate appearances). But here we are again, smitten with him entering 2020. It’s that speed, though. If we’re talking 30/30 with .270 AVG, ok, I can pay that price. If only.
  • Rafael Devers (ADP: 22) has everything you need in a second-round bat. The power and batting average are legit. I would shy away from relying on the eight stolen bases (27.1 ft/sec). You may also ask yourself how the management scenario will affect the team. The answer: If Devers is doing his pre-at-bat big-breath routine, I’d buy in.


Coasting Down Draft's Main Street

  • What do we do with Kris Bryant (ADP: 56)? How about we just sit back and appreciate instead of busting his chops because he's not replicating his 2017 stats? 31 long balls with triple-digit runs (it's still a category, remember?) and a very good batting average (.282) is nice. If your primary fifth-round targets aren't there anymore, don't let your brain automatically switch to "need upside-guy" mode. Consider Bryant's boring stats that are good for you. One of these years he will avoid injuries. Will you remember where you were on draft day?
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (ADP: 58) is in the best shape of his life and that is great news for The Crusher (118.9 mph max exit velo). Of course, the barrel rate won’t reach the desired level with a 6.7-degree launch angle. No matter. I want a few shares because I’m sure he’ll figure it out.
  • Good things happened when Yoan Moncada (ADP: 67) let the bat fly (six percent swing increase). He dropped his K rate (27.5%) and ended up with 25 homers. Double-digit stolen bases are a plus too. Add in the juicy lineup surrounding him, and I’d want him everywhere.
  • There’s nothing wrong with cruising to Baskin-Robbins for Vanilla. Order the Matt Chapman Vanilla. 35 HR, 100 runs, and 90 RBI with .260 AVG. There’s nothing wrong with that. You know what to expect and it is delicious.


Stuck In The Draft Mud

  • Today, you’ve got Twinsies getting slow starts off the line. That isn’t completely true for both of them anymore though.
  • Josh Donaldson (ADP: 105) evidently wasn’t impressed with the Braves lineup (.452 SLG) and decided the Twins needed a little boost (.494 SLG!!!). His stock is rising (ADP of 90 last week) so if you need a 30-homer third baseman. Jump Quickly. OR….you could wait a little longer for his teammate.
  • In Miguel Sano (ADP: 128) you get 40+ long balls and likely positional flexibility of 3B and 1B. This dreamy amount of long balls in a stacked lineup is akin to a unicorn.*All sales of Sano are final. The buyer agrees to the cost of a league-leading 36.2% K rate (min 400 plate appearances). The buyer waives the right to complain if Sano's AVG falls to near .220 levels.
  • If Arenado feels disrespected, how do you think Eduardo Escobar (ADP: 116) feels? That draft value is a bone-chilling cold shoulder after hitting 35 long balls with 94 runs and 118 RBI. Maybe it is the 40.8% Chase rate and 91.1mph airborne exit velo (ranked 342nd) that cast doubt on the possibility of a repeat.


Frugal Shoppers

  • Tommy Edman (ADP: 135) is the 20th third baseman-eligible player off the board. If you’re looking for stolen bases later, this young man is an option. He might even chip in 15 homers if you ask nicely. Plus, there is a chance for more playing time if the Cardinals don’t sign an outfielder to replace Marcell Ozuna.
  • In the middle-to-later rounds, you'll look for a guy that can fill a couple of offensive spots and won't hurt you. If you're smart, you won't gloss over Hunter Dozier (ADP: 175). Forgive him for playing in Kauffman Stadium. He still has the power (increased avg exit velocity to 91.1) to generate a 25-homer season. Oh, if you're looking at his late-season fade, factor in his mid-season IL stint for a chest injury. Plus, he offers OF eligibility as lagniappe.
  • J.D. Davis (ADP: 177) is going way too late if you ask me. I know, you didn’t. Admittedly, there might be a bit of lady luck (.355 BABIP) factored into his .307 AVG. However, there is no denying that he will provide 25 homers (7.9% Brls/PA) with a very good batting average. He’s a great compliment to a player lacking in the average but provides elsewhere. (Rougned Odor anyone?)

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