The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 21-50
From the 21st of January to the 20th of February, the writers at TDG will be taking you through our rankings position-by-position. As I mentioned in the primer, this year we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of having my personal rankings up on this site, like last year, these rankings for 2014 are of the consensus variety and being brought to you by all of the TDG staff. Everyone put a lot of work into this project, so we hope you enjoy the end result. And if you are looking for my personal dynasty league rankings, you can find them this off-season at Baseball Prospectus.
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And now the remaining 30 of the Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, led off by a still rookie-eligible player who is going to get as much work as he can handle in 2014:
21) Matt Davidson, Chicago White Sox (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 24)
As the favorite to win the Pale Hose 3B starting gig in 2014 Davidson brings full time ABs, youth and some decent big league power to the hot corner. The BA is going to be rough but he’s shown ability in the past to take a walk his patient approach may keep him at the hot corner for years to come. Give him a slight bump in OBP leagues.
22) Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 25)
Seager really struggled after his promotion to A+ in 2013 but since he doesn’t turn 20 until April of 2014 some struggles were expected. Even with the small blip, Seager has a solid pedigree, his brother Kyle Seager plays in the majors, and a bat that could profile as a perennial all-star. He’s still quite a few years away but he’s a great long format keeper.
23) Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)
Franco really broke out in 2013 as he crushed A+ and AA for 31 HRs and put up a monstrous wRC+s in the 150s at both stops. Franco’s only real blemish is his inability to walk and while he can help keep that at bay with his low strikeout totals it will be hard to succeed in the show without learning some patience.
24) David Freese, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 19)
2012 was probably the high point of David Freese’s career and he capped it off by demolishing the ball throughout the playoffs. When 2013 rolled around Freese was only a shell of his former self and was almost unownable in most leagues. Freese’s true talent probably lies somewhere in between these two seasons and expecting 13+ HRs and decent RBI/RUN totals out of him isn’t out of the question for 2014.
25) Garin Cecchini, Boston Red Sox (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)
One of my personal favorite hitters Cecchini has one of the sweetest swings in the minors. On top of that his approach, patience and eye are all outstanding as shown by his gaudy 17.3% BB rate in AA. The power hasn’t quite developed yet but if it does Cecchini has monster potential and no matter what he should be an OBP monster who can throw in a dozen or so steals in the show.
26) Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 39)
The king of BABIP, Johnson’s career rate stands at .361. The power isn’t going to wow and the counting stats are probably pretty mediocre but Johnson is going to get 500 ABs and will help keep your BA alive in the process
27) Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 29)
Blessed with 80 power Gallo is a three true outcomes hitter in every sense of the phrase with well over 50% of his plate appearances in 2013 ending in either a BB, HR or K. Gallo’s ceiling is something like Pedro Alvarez but watch out for him as he could just as easily wash out. He does get some lift in OBP leagues as his walk rate will help carry his awful BA.
28) Colin Moran, Miami Marlins (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)
Moran did everything he was supposed to do in his 1st year coming out of UNC and looks like he’ll quickly move through the Marlins system. His hit tool profiles better than his power but if he can ever tap into the power upside we’ll be looking at an outstanding 3B prospect. I’d throw a fantasy sleeper label on him for 2014 as we see what his 1st full year in pro ball holds.
29) Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 34)
Can I interest you in 20 homers? Because if that is what you are looking for Plouffe is your man. He’ll also be the opening day 3B but other than that we can’t guarantee much about him. Plouffe is still only 27 so crazy things have happened but right now what you see is what you get with him.
30) Cody Asche, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)
The favorite to win the Phillies’ 3B job in 2014 Asche profiles as a decent but not outstanding fantasy player. He should be OK in power, AVG, Runs and RBIs. On top of that he’ll only be 24. However, there doesn’t look to be a ton of upside here so don’t over extend for him.
31) Matt Dominguez, Houston Astros (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 44)
The best thing you can say about Dominguez is that he is a starting baseball player in the Major Leagues…and honestly that is pretty good for the average person. But in fantasy that usually doesn’t do much for us, count on the PAs but not much else.
32) D.J. Peterson, Seattle Mariners (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)
Peterson is probably a year away from the majors but he holds interesting promise if he can keep his Ks down. Expect some power and some strikeout struggles but there is solid upside here.
33) Mike Olt, Chicago Cubs (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 18)
Mike Olt, son of Steve Olt (not true) really fell off the map during 2013. Coming into 2013 as the 22nd overall prospect Olt flailed his way through AAA until laser eye surgery was deemed a necessary procedure. If the diagnosis was correct Olt could provide immediate value, however, if not a AAAA player may be all that the future holds.
34) Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland Indians (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 33)
Another post-hype prospect, after being rated 25th overall in 2011 Chisenhall has never been able to create positive returns in the show. With talk of Carlos Santana now playing 3B Chisenhall may need a change of scenery to ever tap into his potential.
35) Kaleb Cowart, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 23)
A terrible 2013 really ruined Cowart’s prospect stock but the tools are still there. Cross your fingers and hope that he can put those tools to good use as a hitter or a return to the mound may be in his near future.
36) Juan Uribe, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 34, Previous Rank: NR)
There are rat-infested ghost ships that had more hope for value than pre-2013 Uribe. One of several oft-used punchlines regarding GM Ned Colletti’s tenure, Uribe had gone from $21 million man to pinch-strikeout machine and had lost his job to ten year MiLB veteran Luis Cruz. Out of nowhere though, Uribe became something close to the guy Ned thought he was signing. It’s impossible to know what’s coming for Uribe, but we do that he’ll swing really, really hard.
37) Wilmer Flores, New York Mets (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 25)
Forever a conundrum, Flores’ most defining quality in fantasy leagues is his immediate value. What’s the conundrum? He’s blocked at every viable position, rendering his immediacy relatively worthless as the Mets have David Wright and Daniel Murphy occupying his ideal (fantasy) positions. If he does play, he’s be a good bet for a solid batting average with moderate power and low counting numbers.
38) Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)
SOUND THE SLEEPER ALARM. McMahon is getting rave reviews and already has people saying he’s a steal to the Rockies in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft. He can offer plus hit and power ratings with the athleticism to stay at third base. Buy now.
39) Mark Reynolds, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 30, Previous Rank: NR)
There’s reason to believe that the polar vortex is actually Mark Reynolds taking practice swings earlier than ever. He lands in a great spot for his value (which isn’t to be confused with having great value) as the depth chart in front of him is as weak as his contact percentage.
40) Christian Villanueva, Chicago Cubs (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)
Lost in the six-deck shuffle that is the Cubs farm system, Villanueva is just one of many third base prospects worth noting. There’s nothing flashy to his game, but with a full slate of at-bats he’d be a guy who could plug a hole in a fantasy lineup.
41) Rio Ruiz, Houston Astros (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 37)
Part of the bounty that Houston pulled in from the 2012 draft, Ruiz was dropped in the draft due to a blood clot issue in high school and was signed for above-slot in the fourth round. He’s not going to be a fast mover, but there’s a chance for a solid average hit tool with above-average power.
42) Michael Young, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 37, Previous Rank: 31)
He’s most useful in fantasy as the player you offer to another owner for his best player to troll them for making you terrible offers. Class dismissed. [Editor’s Note: Yes he’s retired. And we’re leaving him on here to show respect for his veteran presents.]
43) Eric Jagielo, New York Yankees (Age:21 , Previous Rank: NR)
Has the pedigree of a first round pick, but the drawback of a tepid overall offensive profile and a difficult to pronounce last name.
44) Jeimer Candelario, Chicago Cubs (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 32)
Another in the Cubs long line of third base prospects, Candelario boasts the a strong approach at the plate, developing power and a fun name to say.
45) Edward Salcedo, Atlanta Braves (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)
If you like prospects who have been pushed to Double-A despite never producing, boy is this guy for you.
46) Luis Valbuena, Chicago Cubs (Age: 28, Previous Rank: NR)
He’s more bad than he is good, but he’s not entirely bad which is good, plus he plays in the majors right now. Bet you he’s outperforms the $1 it costs to get him.
47) Mitch Nay, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)
While defense doesn’t factor in as much in fantasy as it does in real life, it matters for Nay a lot. He’s got above-average projections on his hit and power, but might have to shift to 1B. If he does, it saps a lot of value.
48) Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees (kinda) (Age: 38, Previous Rank: 26)
Ok, this is actually the guy you offer to troll fellow owners.
49) Juan Francisco, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 39)
He offers below league average production as he continues his slide down the defensive spectrum.
50) Richie Shaffer, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 28)
Offers first-round pedigree coming off a down year and enough power to go for 20+ home runs.
Commentary by Luke Chatelain and Craig Goldstein.