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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, #21-50

It’s been a slow off-season. Like, a really slow off-season. With the hot stove frigid, fantasy baseball players haven’t had many ways to quench their thirst, unless they’ve thrown themselves head-first into football, basketball, or hockey. January and February can be some of the darkest months of the year (figuratively and literally), but fear not, restless readers. The Dynasty Guru is here to the rescue.

While you were celebrating the holidays and ushering in the New Year, our brave group of writers has been ranking, debating, re-ranking, re-debating, and re-re-ranking over 600 players for dynasty leagues. The fruits of our efforts will be filling January, February, and even some of March with the deepest, most thoroughly and painstakingly selected dynasty baseball rankings on the internet. We have top-50s, top-125s, top-200s, top-500s (of course!), and even ultra-deep prospect rankings.

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2018 consensus rankings by looking at the rest of the league’s top-50 third baseman in dynasty leagues, kicking it off with a fast-rising third base prospect.


21) Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 42)

When you notch back-to-back 20 homer seasons by the age of 20, it attracts attention. Riley accomplished that feat on the back of a scorching second half, slashing .315/.389/.511 with 8 HR in 203 Double-A plate appearances. His 162 wRC+ in the league ranked sixth overall (min. 200 PA) and he carried that momentum into an excellent performance in the Arizona Fall League. Riley increased his walk rate while cutting his strikeout rate to under 25%. Power is his carrying tool, as Riley will bring 25-30 HR upside along with .240-.250 average to Atlanta sometime in 2019. (Tom Werner)

22) Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 14)

If bad-luck BABIP was a tornado, Maikel Franco’s 2017 stats were a trailer park. His .234 BABIP dropped his batting average down to a measly .230, wrecking his season despite a very solid 15.2% strikeout rate. That BABIP masked Franco’s improvements; he had better walk and strikeout rates, chased less pitches out of the zone, and made more contact than in 2016. He also hit 24 bombs after hitting 25 last year, so you can count on Franco producing power from the hot corner. He’s a great buy-low, bounceback candidate. (Tom Werner)

23) Jedd Gyorko, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 28th at SS)

Gyorko came out blazing in 2017, hitting .300 with 13 HR pre-ASB before battling injuries and faltering to .224 and seven dingers post-break. Gyorko’s true performance lies somewhere between the halves, but the real story here is that he can’t put together a full season, never surpassing 128 games played. Good news: among 3B since 2016, Gyorko is 4th in PA/HR (18.4), so he’s a sneaky source of power. Bad news: he lost 2B and SS eligibility, but he can still provide owners with low-mid 20s HR with an acceptable average. (Tom Werner)

24) Ryon Healy, Seattle Mariners (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 27)

After his first season and a half in the majors, it feels like we have a firm grasp of who Ryon Healy is, a .270/25 corner infielder who shouldn’t play third base. Those numbers are valuable at 3B, but he’ll move across the diamond after getting traded to Seattle. Soon to enter the muddy waters of first base, enjoy what looks to be his final year with 3B eligibility. Daily leagues take notice, since Healy mashes lefties to a career tune of .314/.343/.534. (Tom Werner)

25) Jeimer Candelario, Detroit Tigers (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 31)

Freed from the impassable presence of Kris Bryant in Chicago, Candelario found the light of the major leagues after being traded to Detroit in the Justin Wilson deal. With a strong understanding of the strike zone and good contact skills, Candelario hit .283/.359/.425 with a respectable 111 wRC+ over 38 games last year. It looks like he’ll be Detroit’s everyday third baseman, bringing decent batting average and 15-20 dinger pop to the Motor City with a bit more helium in OBP leagues. (Tom Werner)

26) Miguel Andujar, New York Yankees (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 50)

While the Bronx is getting amped for Gleyber Torres, don’t let their other rookie infielder slip under the radar. Andujar may not have that elite prospect pedigree, but he still mashed a .315/16/82 line with a .850 OPS across Double-A and Triple-A last season. Andujar has an aggressive attitude at the plate, but his ample contact skills keep his strikeout rate below 15%. The 22-year-old also has good raw power that has yet to truly show in games. He should have the 3B job this year and if it all comes together, Andujar could hit .280 with 20-25 homers and a handful of steals annually. (Tom Werner)

27) Michael Chavis, Boston Red Sox (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Michael Chavis is a powerful man. His 31 taters across High-A and Double-A last year weren’t a fluke, and Chavis will be a threat to reach 30 HRs per season once he hits the big leagues. However, he has the precocious Rafael Devers occupying 3B in Boston, and it’s still unclear whether he or Devers will be pushed across the diamond. Chavis won’t be a batting average asset, but he has curbed some of his strikeout problems, whiffing just 20.4% of the time in Double-A. There’s reason to get excited about Chavis’ .250/30 potential hot-corner production. (Tom Werner)

28) Todd Frazier, Free Agent (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 8)

Frazier’s the cautionary tale of why hitting too many fly balls can be a bad thing. Over the past two seasons, Frazier’s led all qualified hitters in fly balls (48.2%), helping him hit 67 HR over that span. Good, right? Well, he also leads the league in pop-ups (18.5%) and has the third-lowest line drive rate (16.9%) plummeting his batting average to .220. He also has stopped running, stealing just four bases in ’17 after averaging 16 SB in the previous three years. Big power, decent OBP, but not much else anymore. (Tom Werner)

29) Sheldon Neuse, Oakland Athletics (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Neuse went Godzilla on the lower levels of the minors last year, crushing pitchers en route to a .321/.382/.502 slash with 16 HRs and 14 SBs. Equipped with decent hit and power tools, Neuse does need to work out striking out less after whiffing more than 25% of the time at both High-A and Double-A. Expect the speed to dry up as he ages, but he has .270/20 capability and isn’t a risk to move off the hot corner. (Tom Werner)

30) Brian Anderson, Miami Marlins (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

High floor prospects tend to get overlooked in fantasy leagues since they don’t possess flashy upside. Anderson is exactly this type of player, possessing an average skill set across the board (save his non-existent speed). His numbers last year of .275/22/81 are indicative of his MLB ceiling and, despite his high strikeout-rate in a September call-up, Anderson has a very keen sense of the strike zone. His healthy walk rate of 10.5% helps boost his value in OBP leagues, and he should get the call to the rebuilding Marlins this summer. (Tom Werner)

31) Nolan Jones, Cleveland Indians (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

If teenagers with excellent plate discipline and 20 HR potential are your jam, Jones is your type of prospect. All he did last year was lead the New York-Penn League in OBP (.430) and wRC+ (171) while also finishing second in slugging (.482). Not too shabby. He hasn’t shown over-the-fence power yet, but 18 doubles in 218 AB reveals plenty of pop in his bat. There are rumblings that Jones may need to move to corner outfield or first base down the road, but there’s still high average/OBP and decent power potential with a lot of development time to go. (Tom Werner)

32) Wilmer Flores, New York Mets (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 28)

It’s amazing how young Flores is… it feels like the utility man has been around forever. Flores owns an interesting batting profile, as he’s maximized his decent clout by hitting tons of fly balls (45.8%). However, those fly balls mute his batting average potential despite his exceptional contact ability (his 85.3% contact rate equals Posey and Segura). The 3B/1B eligible Flores looks penciled in as the Mets second base starter for now, but unless he changes his swing, expect the usual .270 with 15-20 homers. (Tom Werner)

33) Cory Spangenberg, San Diego Padres (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 44th at 2B)

Another utility player, Spangenberg’s bat warmed up in the summer’s heat, producing .264/13/11 over 129 games while playing mostly 3B and OF. The peripherals don’t like him much, though, as a high BABIP (.342) and strikeout rate (26.3%) forecast batting average regression. Spangenberg hadn’t surpassed five home runs in a season prior to his 13 last year and he’s struggled to hit lefties, making him an uninspiring bat to own despite an imminent move to second base.(Tom Werner)

34) Hernan Perez, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 21)

Continuing to scrounge the utility closet, Perez was a waiver-wire MVP in 2016, hitting .272 with 13 HR and 34 SB. Alas, he fell back to earth last year, though the Brewer still hit a respectable .259/14/13 over 458 PA. However, Milwaukee’s recent acquisitions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain will siphon at-bats away from Perez, relegating him to a bench role. If a spot opens up for Perez, he can provide a little power/speed to your roster. (Tom Werner)

35) Chase Headley, San Diego Padres (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 38)

Headley is a remarkably consistent player. Since his career year in 2012, his ranges in HR (11-14) and SB (7-9, except a zero in ’15) waiver on the border of automatic. Couple that with his .255 average over that span, and that’s Headley in a nutshell. Nothing in his peripherals changes much year-to-year, so you know what you’re buying here. (Tom Werner)

36) Christian Arroyo, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Think about this for a second. Arroyo was the centerpiece in a deal for an admittedly aged Evan Longoria, only to be blocked – again – by one Matt Duffy. Tough break, kid. He ain’t gonna get any time at shortstop either with Willy Adames on the way. So while he wallows away in Durham waiting for his opportunity, let’s remember he has always been lauded for his (admittedly powerless) hit tool. Maybe you acquire him on the cheap in your league and see how he shakes out. Just keep your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed. (Adam Lawler)

37) Colin Moran, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

Another somewhat well-thought-of prospect who has mostly disappointed and was used as a ‘big’ piece to acquire a proven MLB commodity. Why did I sign up for this? I don’t know. When he was coming up through the Astros system, it was said that Moran doesn’t hit for power. However, there is data to show he’s adopting the flyball-heavy strategy, also changing his stance from open to closed. He was lauded for his hit tool and control of the strike zone, making for a decently interesting combination. Unlike Arroyo, he’s going to get ABs while Pittsburgh continues their deconstruction and rebuild. Maybe there’s some juice here. I would definitely take a flier on him in deeper leagues and see if reality trumps perception. (Adam Lawler)

38) Ryan Schimpf, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 30)

Full disclosure, I have a soft spot in my heart for Schimpf. My boy came from out of nowhere to hit a gajillion dingers in a handful of at-bats, only to be unceremoniously demoted from a bad team in favor of…Corey Spangenberg? I knew I didn’t like him for a reason. Look, someone just needs to give Schimpf scampi another chance. SO WHAT IF HE HAS A 33% K RATE ON FASTBALLS, HE PUTS THE BALL IN THE AIR 99% OF THE TIME. If the Rays just let it fly and give Shimpf and grits a chance, he will put up 30 HR. That would immediately put him in the middle of the third base pack, and I would be buying all the shares.(Adam Lawler)

39) David Freese, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 34, Previous Rank: NR)

Will not be a starter this year, is going to be 35, and hasn’t hit for plus anything since 2012. Hot damn, 2012 was a good year though…(Adam Lawler)

40) Eduardo Escobar, Minnesota Twins (Age: 29, Previous Rank: NR)

RosterResource has Escobar batting eighth at DH. Huh? Well, I actually kind of like Escobar for the near term. Miguel Sano should be suspended for the year due to sexual assault claims, but will unfortunately be suspended for a far less than that. In the meantime, Escobar should find himself at the hot corner, and a lineup shuffle should only benefit him. Last year, after Sano was injured, Escobar found himself in the fifth and sixth spot a majority of the time. I didn’t make the final call on the rankings, but I like him and the prospect of him producing for your team much more than Freese, Schimpf, and Arroyo over the coming two years or so. (Adam Lawler)

41) Colton Welker, Colorado Rockies (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

At just 20, Welker is a long ways away from the bigs. His body type is going to make him a 1B, but for now I get the honor of writing about the big-boned bruiser who will need his bat to carry him to the big leagues.  Eric Logenhagen graded him at an FV 60 Raw Power, which I think it fair. However, I would venture a guess that his hit tool is going to play up. This isn’t your run of the mill .260, 20+ HR masher. I wouldn’t be surprised if he put up .275 with 25+ dingers. Problem is, Welker’s won’t even sniff the big leagues until 2022 (at best), and there’s a lot that can happen between now and then. (Adam Lawler)

42) Yandy Diaz, Cleveland Indians (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)

A 2016 fan favorite on Carson Cistulli’s Fringe Five, Diaz proved to be a serviceable backup last year. He’s not going to wow you or help you in any category. He’s a guy you take from the waiver wire and plug into a lineup, in the event you and Cleveland simultaneously have an injury happen to your respective rosters. He has two options left while Giovanny Urshela is out of options, and so Cleveland will relegate Diaz to Columbus until Jason Kipnis falls apart or something happens with Urshela. (Adam Lawler)

43) Christian Villanueva, San Diego Padres (Age: 27, Previous Rank: NR)

No. Sorry. I’m not doing this to myself and I am not doing it to you. We deserve better. Moving on… (Adam Lawler)

44) Matt Davidson, Chicago White Sox (Age: 27, Previous Rank: NR)

Oh, to be a White Sox fan in 2017. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. On one hand, Sox fans like myself had a crop of exciting young and exciting talent to look forward to in the future. On the other hand, we had Matt Davidson. Seriously, he’s not bad and – for whatever reason – TDG “experts” decided to poo poo a 26-year-old third baseman who hit 26 homers. Was his 32.9% K% – BB% a positional worst (min 200 ABs)? Sure it was. Was his wOBA a paltry .297? Yes, so what? The almighty #23 ranked Maikel Franco and a whole five other 3B were worse. He’s going to get more ABs than a few of the other names listed above him for the foreseeable future. Is it going to be pretty? No. But if you can hold your nose and tolerate 20-25 homers for the next couple of years, it’s better than some of the complete zeros above him. (Adam Lawler)

45) Lucas Erceg, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

I want to believe. Give me a reason to believe Lucas. If that’s any indication, I’m buying in where the price is right. (Adam Lawler)

46) Cheslor Cuthbert, Kansas City Royals (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 38)

If you put on the gas mask and can withstand the dumpster fire which was once a World Series championship caliber team, Cuthbert is going to get his run and it’s going to be for a long while. 3B is deep and he isn’t going to be the sexiest name on the block. Hell, he won’t even be the “well, he wasn’t my third choice, but he’s got a nice personality and mom likes him” option. He’s going to be the guy that eats your food and continues to hone his improv “craft” and sometimes pays the rent. Who am I kidding? Pass. (Adam Lawler)

47) Yunel Escobar, Free Agent (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 49)

Somehow Yunel is only 35. If you would have asked me before I looked it up, I would have definitely said 38 and put money on it. The old reliable leather was lauded for solid batting average, bought out by the Braves only to be left beleaguered and bouncing from baseball field to baseball field before being buried in ambiguity. Hey…I have to humor myself somehow. (Adam Lawler)

48) Rio Ruiz, Atlanta Braves (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

Congrats on making it this far. Have you rostered Rio Ruiz? Are you thinking about rostering Rio Ruiz? Why? Please explain this to me in the comments. (Adam Lawler)

49) Jung Ho Kang, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 20)

Judging by our President’s SOTU the other night, this dude isn’t sniffing the major leagues again. Don’t drink and drive – let alone repeatedly. (Adam Lawler)

50) Matt Duffy, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 27)

Two Matt Duffys played third base for a major league baseball team in 2016. Neither Matt Duffy played third base for a major league baseball team in 2017. One of them is, for the most part, a career minor leaguer, while the other is a couple years removed from a surprising, breakout performance with the Giants. Don’t make the mistake in drafting the wrong Matt Duffy: look for the one who missed the entirety of last season with an Achilles injury, but has the chance to hit double digits in both home runs and steals next season for your fantasy team. (Ben Diamond)

The Author

Ben Diamond

Ben Diamond

Ben is an annoyingly enthusiastic fantasy baseball player and Yankees fan, and he writes about those passions at Baseball Prospectus and The Dynasty Guru. There's a 95% chance he's ranting about Michael Pineda right now.

9 Comments

  1. February 2, 2018 at 5:25 am

    This is from Jasan Parks over at BP in 2014 pertaining to Chavis:
    “He can flat-out hit, which is something that often gets lost in the modern showcase world where power potential is paramount and five o’clock bats make millions for their particularly parlor trick. Chavis might have the best bat-to-ball ability in the class, a true hitter that can square velocity, keep his hands back on off-speed offerings, shows the necessary combo of balance and bat speed, and offers some power potential without selling out for it.”

    I paste this here bc I specifically remember Chavis being a plus hit tool guy and even reading, “has one of the prettiest RHH swings you’ll ever see”.
    Players chance all the time as we see with Chavis now seen more of the average BA, plus power guy, but is there some upside with the hit tool masked below the TTO profile?
    I just made a deal that sent Domingo and Chavis for Whit and Polanco bc I was lacking speed in a 15Tm 5×5 OBP 50 player per dynasty and I cannot help but to think I sold Chavis low.
    Anyone still see a possible plus hit tool in this kid?

    • February 2, 2018 at 10:28 am

      Parks’ report from 2014 is extremely dated. Chavis was only 18 years old at the time. Since then Greg Goldstein and Tucker Blair at Baseball Prospectus both placed 45 grades on his hit tool and, most recently, MLB.com also placed a 45-grade on his hit tool.

      Chavis had an extremely loud season and, tomorrow, I will write in more detail regarding Chavis. Long story short: he is too aggressive, pull-heavy, and there is far too much swing-and-miss in his game to profile with a plus hit tool. I do not believe he is a TTO hitter, either (too aggressive, not enough walks). The power is very real, however.

      • February 2, 2018 at 11:11 am

        I didn’t post Parks assessment as a “he has a hit tool” it was just to point out that at one point a scout saw a plus hit, so after previously reading all the recent reports, I’m hoping he incorporates some of those old “hit” habits. I am assuming many disregard the hit to sell out for power, but now he knows he has the in-game power.
        If he came out next season and showed a grade better hit, we know it wasn’t out of nowhere is all. That’s more to bank on than hoping Jabari Blash round some hit in Yankee stadium ?
        Thanks. I’ll keep an eye out for the profile piece.

  2. […] 2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: TheDynastyGuru.com completes their rankings of the top 50 third basemen for keeper/dynasty leagues with #21-50. […]

  3. Alex
    February 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

    I’m rostering Rio Ruiz in my 6 team dynasty league just to spite you Ben.

    • Adam Lawler
      February 2, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Well, you would be spitting me and not Ben. I’m not entirely sure why, but i take love and spite the same way. At least you’re reading and at least we’re generating a reaction.

  4. Cody
    February 2, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Lots of exciting prospects in this list. Keep up the good work guys!

  5. Roger
    February 2, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Curious on Christian Villanueva. Can he be a poor man’s Jeimer Candelario?

    • Adam Lawler
      February 2, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      No. He really can’t. If he’s a poor man’s Calendario who, by all accounts is a better real life player than fantasy, then he’s a poor real life player AND a terrible fantasy player.

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