2015 Third Base Preview

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Who should you draft at No. 2? Check out this article

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Zach here,

Rather than identifying players who I like, I tend to begin my draft preparation by making a list of players who I have little interest in owning, whether it be because I expect a drop-off in production from the previous season or simply because I feel they are being overvalued to the point where it is unlikely that I can get an equal return, let alone a profit, out of my investment. This year, the third base pool includes a number of these guys, so as of now, I’m strongly leaning towards shelling out the necessary dough in order to secure one of the top-tier options, saving my bargain hunting for other positions.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

3 UP

Xander Bogaerts – At this time last year, the fantasy world was drooling over Bogaerts, but a largely disappointing 2014 campaign has resulted in him being on average the 14th third base-eligible player off the board in NFBC drafts. So, Bogaerts certainly fits the “post-hype sleeper” description. Note that he batted .313 with four homers and 16 RBI in September. Also note that he doesn’t turn 23 until October. The 3B/SS dual eligibility is an added bonus, as Bogaerts owners will probably end up starting him at shortstop anyway.

Chase Headley – If you decide to wait awhile before drafting your third baseman (something that I do not plan on doing), take a long look at Headley. At this point, his 2012 season can safely be written off as an outlier. But following his trade to the Yankees last season, the 30-year-old batted a respectable .262 with six homers, 17 RBI and a .769 OPS across 58 games. Nothing special, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a full season playing half of his games at Yankee Stadium yields a stat line in the neighborhood of .270-18-75 to go along with double-digit steals. Although Headley shouldn’t be a draft day target, there’s nothing wrong with settling on him in deeper leagues if you want to prioritize other positions.

Brett Lawrie – I value Lawrie similarly to Headley, that is as a low risk/medium reward third sacker. And like Bogaerts, he’s an intriguing post-hype sleeper. Maybe a fresh start in Oakland will do the trick, and maybe getting away from the artificial turf in Toronto will help him finally stay healthy. Lawrie managed to hit 12 home runs in just 70 games last season, and although he did not record any stolen bases, his myriad of injuries, particularly the oblique strain, probably had something to do with it. A DL-free season could translate to double-digit swipes and 20 homers, despite the move away from hitter-friendly Rogers Centre. Oh, and he also qualifies at 2B. In 12-team mixed leagues, he’s a strong starting MI.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees-Game Two

3 DOWN

Josh Harrison – Harrison came out of nowhere last season to enjoy a career year, and the dual 3B/OF eligibility is nice. But take a closer look at his 2014 numbers. Aside from the .315 AVG, there’s little that stands out. We’re talking 13 homers, 18 steals and 77 runs scored. Not much to get overly excited about, especially considering that it was his only fantasy-relevant season to date. I need to see more. Why is he being drafted ahead of David Wright and Pablo Sandoval in NFBC? I have no clue.

Evan Longoria – I’d happily take Longoria if I can get him at a discount. In fact, I drafted him towards the end of the fifth round (#71 overall) in NFBC. The problem, however, is that he’s being valued much higher than that in most of the mocks and early drafts that I’ve seen. It is true that Longo has now turned in two straight fully healthy seasons, but the Rays lineup is likely to struggle this year, which will limit his RBI and run-scoring opportunities. Plus, he won’t be of much help in the batting average department. Again, I wouldn’t necessarily avoid him if the price is right, but be careful not to overpay due to the name recognition.

Matt Carpenter – Sorry, but I can’t figure out why this guy continues to be valued so highly in fantasy. Perhaps if he was still second base-eligible, I could understand it. But he isn’t, and a third baseman who failed to muster double-digit home runs last season and saw a 46-point drop in batting average is of no interest to me. Can he get his AVG back up to maybe the .290-.300 range? Possibly. But even then, he would be only a two-category player. He’s currently the #12 third baseman in NFBC ADP rankings. In a 12-team mixed leagues, there’s no way I’d draft him as my starting 3B.

17 Comments

hey again I like Wong also….thinking of taking him over Pedroria and Kipnis??

I’d take Wong over Pedroia but not over Kipnis. I think Kipnis will have a big bounce back year as long as he stays healthy.

Zach

Hi Guys- any thoughts on who to keep? AL only -auction- 10 team- basic 10 categories- can keep 10- Can I keep Trout at 51 and still build a good team?
Semien -$1
Martin (tex)- $5
Headley-$11
Wieters- $16
Castro- $4
Garcia- $10
Castellanos- $12
Trout- $51
Robertson- $5
Cobb- $11
Bettances- $10
Duffy-$10
Archer-$15
Davis- $10

Thanks!

My definites would be Martin, Robertson, Cobb, Betances, Davis (I’m assuming Chris). From there, I’d go Archer, Duffy, Garcia, Headley. The final one would be a toss-up between Semien and Castellanos. I’d lean towards Semien mostly because you have no other MI keepers, though we just don’t know what we’re going to see from him. Still, the price tag is so tempting.

I’d be surprised if you can’t redraft Trout for 51, but who knows!

Zach

Thanks Zach- it’s actaully Wade Davis- probably not a keeper

In that case, my 10 would be: Martin, Robertson, Cobb, Betances, Archer, Duffy, Garcia, Headley, Semien, Castellanos. Wouldn’t blame you for keeping Wieters instead of Castellanos though (potential 20-HR catcher) but I think you would be able to get him back for $16 if you wanted.

Zach

so in round 9\10 of draft in mixed 12 team league,,,,,looking at wong in 9th but wondering about 10th,,,,looking at Polanco\ Tomas\ Blackmon or a catcher like Grandal or weiters or Zunino?? or should I grab a 2 closer as getting low on options,,,have Robertson

Hard to answer that. Really depends on what your team looks like at that point and what categories you need help in.

Zach

Hi 411,

I was just offered Jose Fernandez & Zack Britton for my Matt Kemp & Danny Salazar in a 10 team (Keep 3) league. …I’d be filling in the offensive hole with Denard Span – he’d be able to provide a good source of Runs, AVG, OBP, XBH and SB in Kemp’s absence. What do you think?

League Categories:
R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP, SLG, XBH
IP, W. SV, K, HLD, ERA, WHIP, QS

My Team: C – Wilson Ramos, 1B – Jose Abreu, 2B – Jason Kipnis, 3B – Chris Davis, SS – Ian Desmond, OF – George Springer, Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich UTL – Anthony Rizzo, Matt Kemp BN – Denard Span, Mark Teixera

SP – Corey Kluber, Cole Hamels, Garret Richards, Alex Wood, Andrew Cashner, Zack Wheeler, Jose Quintana, Brandon McCarthy, Danny Salazar
RP – Cody Allen, Francisco Rodriguez, Wade Davis, Brad Boxberger, Tony Watson

Harvey worth a 10th round pick as number 2 starter?

Hi Zach,

I’m wondering about Lamb, especially for a deep NL only league. I see a lot of projections which give him very little playing time which assumes that Tomas will get the majority of 3B starts. I’ve picked him up cheap from other teams who seem to believe those projections. Have you seen or heard anything this spring which supports my hunch that he will get a lot more abs at 3B than most projections are giving? I haven’t had a chance to see how Tomas looks fielding at 3B, but my gut tells me he won’t be the starting 3B.

I think the team’s strong preference is to play Tomas at 3B, so as long as he proves capable of fielding the position, Lamb’s appeal will be limited, even though he looks like a solid prospect. Arizona also has a bunch of outfielders, so with no DH, I just don’t see a path to consistent playing time for Lamb, barring an injury. I guess it depends on your other keepers and their prices, but I’m not very optimistic.

Zach

Not to rub it in or anything, but my hunch was right😉

Hey Zach –
If my draft ends up going this way, who are you liking as a 3B value play between Wright, Bryant, and Panda?

In a non-keeper, I’d still go Panda, Wright, Bryant. I need to see Bryant put up quality MLB numbers before I jump on the bandwagon.

Zach

Zach,
Just a follow up on my Lamb question. I decided to keep a cheap Lamb in one of my 12 NL only leagues because I just had this gut feeling. I may turn out to right from recent quotes from La Russa:
While the Diamondbacks continue to evaluate whether or not Yasmany Tomas is better suited at third base or in left field, they also have to decide if the Cuban slugger might need a stint in the minors, per The Arizona Republic.
“The jury is out on Yasmany,” Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said. “But you do know, I think, those of us who have watched, that this guy has a real good-looking approach at the plate. He’s going to be an outstanding hitter. And I really believe that a number of us in the organization believe that he could hit. He could handle himself now. If we were short and he had to play, at the end of the year he would survive. He’s got a lot of maturity at the plate. He’s got a good-looking swing.”

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