The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 21-50
Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. We hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.
We’ll kick off the second part of our list with a player likely to debut across the diamond:
21) D.J. Peterson, Seattle Mariners (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 32)
Peterson did what any good college hitter should do, which was demolish the Cal League to the tune of 18 home runs and a .996 OPS. He struggled a bit in Double-A and his profile has some problems, like how pull heavy his contact is. He is likely destined for first base and Safeco field which makes you pause, but Peterson could give you 25 home runs and solid counting stats across the board.
22) Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 10)
Things could have gone better for Pedro in 2014, like if he had hit at least 30 home runs as he did the previous two years. Instead he raised his walk rate, lowered his strikeout rate, and dropped .067 off his isolated power. If you just stop playing Alvarez against lefties (.175/.241/.263 and two home runs in 2014) and just hit him against righties (.245/.330/.440 and 16 home runs), life will be just fine for your team.
23) Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 27, Previous Rank: UR)
Even if you like Harrison, expecting a .315 batting average out of him going forward is a long shot. But, it is not totally unreasonable for him to be around .290 with 10+ home runs and 15+ stolen bases. If he does that he can be Zobrist-lite if he can get eligibility around the diamond. The downside of course, is that he is the guy who hit .250/.282/.367 over the previous three years.
24) Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland Indians (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 34)
A jump of a BABIP from .243 to .328 will do wonders for your batting line. Lonnie now looks to have a decent hold on playing time at third base, and the fact that the defensive metrics hate him doesn’t matter to us at all. Steamer sees him as a guy who could hit .262 with 12 home runs which sounds pretty reasonable.
25) Garin Cecchini, Boston Red Sox (Age: 23 Previous Rank: 25)
In a standard league, Cecchini is kind of boring. He should give you a good batting average, less than 10 home runs, and maybe 10 stolen bases. To keep his value at third base he is going to need a trade, because his profile in the outfield is not good. He’ll be worth a tad more in OBP leagues.
26) Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 29)
In 2014, Plouffe added doubles and some walks increasing real life value substantially. However, Plouffe remains a guy who will hit less than .260, with no speed, and it looks like more of the 15 home run type power, than his 24 home run power of 2012. Plouffe stands between Sano and the Twins third base job, so he could possibly get traded into a better hitting situation, or lose his starting job altogether.
27) Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals (Age:23, Previous Rank: UR)
If you ignore what happened in AA, things look great for Dozier. He hits enough doubles that you could see him growing into 15+ home run power. Dozier won’t be a top fantasy third baseman. If he gets over the trainwreck in AA and gets the strikeout rate back under control, he could be a top-10 third baseman for a while.
28) Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 38)
McMahon was a trendy sleeper a year ago, and then he got the joy of hitting in the A-ball version of Coors. There is a lot of upside here, with 25+ home runs per year at Coors, plus a solid average. There are some approach problems here, and the 25.9 percent strikeout rate is concerning. Now is the decision point, do you sell the Coors dream for a lot or roll with it?
29) Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 26)
The problem with a guy who strikes out at over 26 percent and doesn’t walk, is that if he has a .345 BABIP he can still put up only a .263 average. Johnson has a career .357 BABIP and .283 average, so if he can return to that and give you 10 home runs that is fairly solid. Questionable defense means he might not hold a starting job for long, though.
30) Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 20)
If we’re going to remember Moustakas hitting 20 home runs in a season, it’s going to have to be passed on like in The Giver, because 2012 feels like forever ago already. Moustakas is still fairly young and he has raw power, but he can’t hit lefties or make good contact. You hope at least he can give you 10+ home runs and a .240 batting average against righties while you hold out with your last strands of hope.
31) Brandon Drury, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 22, Previous Rank: UR)
Drury popped out of nowhere by producing in some hitter-friendly environments. His path at third base is possibly now blocked by Tomas (and to some extent Jake Lamb) at third, but second base will hit him better for our purposes. Either way you have a guy who can hit 20 home runs, not embarrass you with batting average, and could one day hit in Arizona in a lineup full of power. Not bad.
32) Juan Uribe, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 36)
Uribe has managed a bit of a late career resurgence with high average, low power solidness. Uribe is fine as a one year stop gap, but Corey Seager is coming fast and his contract is up after this year. Uribe may live on because of his defense, but this could be his last year of fantasy relevance.
33) Cody Asche, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 30)
For now, Asche still has the Phillies third base job, but Franco is lurking. Even if he somehow keeps a job, then you are still looking at limited fantasy upside, as it looks like Asche’s peak might be a .270 average, 15 home run hitter. Worth stashing for depth, but it looks like the ship may have sailed on holding down a job.
34) Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox (Age: 18. Previous Rank: UR)
Devers is an absolute monster. He probably ends up on the other side of the diamond, but he could be your franchise cornerstone. However, he has never played above the GCL, and is at best he is three years away. At worst you are holding onto him for four to five years while your competitors have guys graduate from the minors and play for their team. Even then, you may still get a chance to laugh at them with your 23-year-old superstar.
35) Luis Valbuena, Houston Astros (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 46)
Valbuena became fairly decent in 2014, with 16 home runs and a won’t-kill-you average. The Astros are likely to continue the Cubs’ use of him in a platoon, so you won’t get full advantage of him. There is also the chance he could return to the .222 batting average he showed over the previous 6 seasons. Either way the upside is a bit limited.
36) Jacob Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)
Lamb played 37 games in the big leagues and major league pitchers had no problem exposing holes in his swing, which led to a 27.8 percent strikeout rate and an uncharacteristically-low 4.5 percent walk rate. Chase Field is a good place for a lefty whose primary tool is raw power but the Diamondbacks seem intent on trying Yasmany Tomas at third base and Brandon Drury won’t be in Lamb’s rearview for long.
37) Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees (Age: 39, Previous Rank: 48)
A-Rod has only played in 44 games over the last two seasons and turns 40 shortly after Opening Day but still managed to move up 11 spots in our rankings, which tells you all you need to know about the current state of the position. He makes for a decent Hail Mary but you’re probably better off avoiding him and skipping the self-loathing.
38) David Freese, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 24)
Pros: there is no competition for playing time. Cons: pretty much everything else. Freese tallied only 19 home runs in the last two seasons combined and barely crossed 100 runs plus RBI in 2014. There’s very little in the profile that hints at a rebound.
39) Matt Dominguez, Houston Astros (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 31)
Dominguez damn near led the league in wins below replacement last year. Since we finalized our rankings, the Astros brought in Luis Valbuena to man the hot corner in Houston. Mercifully, that leaves Dominguez out of a job.
40) Conor Gillaspie, Chicago White Sox (Age: 27, Previous Rank: NR)
Gillaspie rode a .325 BABIP to an empty .282 batting average in 2014. He makes very little hard contact and will struggle to reach double-digit homers despite his home park’s boost for left handed hitters. Matt Davidson had a brutal year in AAA last year but if he can put wood on ball even a little bit, he’ll push Gillaspie aside.
41) Colin Moran, Houston Astros (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 28)
Scouts crush the former sixth-overall pick for his low-energy approach to the game but his hit tool is unquestioned. Moran spent most of 2014 in the Florida State League, where his .294 average was fifth best in the league. Houston assigned him to AA following the trade, where he hit .304 in 28 games. Despite a big frame, Moran doesn’t project for much over-the-fence pop but the high floor and proximity to the majors make him a decent target.
42) Casey McGehee, San Francisco Giants (Age: 32, Previous Rank: NR)
Izanagi and Izanami stood atop the Floating Bridge of Heaven and created the Japanese archipelago from the sea below. The deities descended to the newly formed islands and procreated a whole gaggle of gods and goddesses, one of which was Kagutsuchi, god of fire, whose birth took Izanami’s life. A lonely Izanagi eventually retired from celestial activity and settled in Miyagi Prefecture, where he became a rabid fan of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. In 2013 he summoned his power once more to deliver the Golden Eagles their first ever Japan Series victory. Keying the historic run was Izanagi’s rejuvenation of a washed up Casey McGehee, whose 28 homers and .292 average were 2nd and 16th best in the Pacific League, respectively.
I’m not sure what got into McGehee in 2014 besides BABIP luck and some divine residuals. Don’t expect a repeat.
43) Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)
Holt is eligible everywhere, so that’s pretty cool. When he’s in the lineup he’ll hit well enough and run some but between the Red Sox free agent acquisitions and the bevy of talent in the upper levels of the minors, it’s hard to figure how he’ll get enough at bats to be much of a factor.
44) Michael Chavis, Boston Red Sox (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)
Chavis was selected in the first round of the 2014 draft and had a solid showing in the Gulf Coast League. Baseball Prospectus aggressively ranked him sixth in a deep Sox system, which speaks to his natural hitting ability and well roundedness. Chavis should earn an assignment to full season ball in 2015.
45) Eric Jagielo, New York Yankees (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 43)
Jagielo hit 16 long balls in his first full professional season despite missing a chunk of time with an oblique injury. He also posted a 25.9 percent strikeout rate in High-A. He’ll struggle to hit advanced pitching and also to keep his teammates from calling him a male prostitute.
46) Will Middlebrooks, San Diego Padres (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 18)
It’s hard to know what to do with once-promising prospect who has gotten worse every year. On one hand he should have enough raw power in the stick to hit 15-20 homers if he can get on base enough to stay in the lineup. On the other hand, he hit two homers in 63 games last year and now calls Petco home.
47) Rio Ruiz, Atlanta Braves (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 41)
Ruiz batted .293/.387/.436 in the Cal League in 2014 despite being young for the level. The 11 homers indicate that the plus power potential hasn’t yet translated to in-game situations but he tied for the league lead in doubles, so it may well be on the way.
48) Yangervis Solarte, San Diego Padres (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)
Solarte, a minor league free agent signed by the Yankees and eventually shipped to San Diego in the Chase Headley trade, was one of the biggest surprises of 2014. Despite a solid approach and excellent contact ability, his production tailed off in the second half. His 2015 role in a crowded Padres infield is unclear.
49) Giovanny Urshela, Cleveland Indians (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)
Urshela has a first-division name and glove, and is knocking on the door of the big leagues. He slashed .276/.331/.473 in 104 Triple-A games and though scouts generally don’t believe he’ll show much home run power at the big league level, he did hit 18 across two levels last season. He’s currently blocked by Lonnie Chisenhall but could provide sneaky value if injuries or a trade provide an opportunity to play regularly.
50) Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 30, Previous Rank: NR)
Another utility-type without a clear path to regular at bats, Turner is a great option if you play in an NL-only league and realize in the last round that you haven’t drafted a third baseman yet.