The Dynasty Guru’s 2020 Top 50 Third Basemen, #21-50

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2020 consensus rankings by looking at the 21-50 third basemen in dynasty leagues.

21) Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: NR)

The signing of Makiel Franco moves Dozier to right field, though he will still qualify at third in most leagues, and who doesn’t love multi-position eligibility? Dozier finally showed some power in 2019, hitting 26 home runs with an OPS of .870 while leading the league with ten triples and a .279 batting average. Conversely, nothing in his career profile shows that he can repeat these numbers, from a sky-high strikeout percentage in the minors and majors to not much power (the 26 homer runs were a career-high by far including his minors numbers), and a consistently high BABIP yielding an unimpressive batting average. The biggest worry is that the juiced ball is no longer in 2020 and Dozier hits 15-ish home runs with a low average and poor counting stats. (Phil Barrington)

22) Yandy Diaz, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 32 at First Base)

With the body of an Adonis and enough guns to necessitate a rack, all Yandy Diaz needed to do was find a team to teach him to lift the ball in the air and quit pounding it into the ground. Lo and behold, the Rays unlocked the power of Yandy. In 2019 in 347 plate appearances he hit 14 home runs with a .267 batting average, although injuries sapped what would have been a more productive season. Diaz consistently put up a high BABIP in the minors and in his brief MLB appearances with the Indians in 2017 and 2018; his 2019 BABIP of .288 was the lowest of his career. So expect an increase in BABIP in 2020, and thus a higher batting average. His career strikeout percentage hovers around 18%, and a walk rate of 11% should remain consistent as well. Diaz started 17 games at first, so he should also qualify there. However, Tampa just keeps adding corner infielders, potentially cutting into his time. So projecting Yandy for more than 400 plate appearances isn’t something I’m going to do but if you think he gets to 600 then, by all means, add some home runs, runs, and RBI to his projections. (Phil Barrington)

23) Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 14)

Does anything excite a dynasty league player less than an injury-prone, declining 35-year-old playing a deep position? I am already exasperated thinking about Turner for 2020. Anyway, let’s start with the good: his batting average should remain above .290 and he should hit 25 plus home runs while providing decent counting stats as long as he remains the three-hole hitter in a stacked Dodgers lineup. Do not expect more than 125 games played and you won’t be disappointed. So there is value for 2020 but as a Dynasty player in a first-year draft you should seriously consider drafting #24-29 on this list over him. (Phil Barrington)

24) Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 27)

The top hitting prospect in the Pirates system and a consensus top 50 MLB prospect, Hayes has followed a straightforward path in the minors, starting in Rookie ball the year he was drafted (2015), moved to Single-A ball for 2016, Single-A+ for 2017, Double-A for 2018 and Triple-A for 2019. 2020 should be the year Hayes begins his illustrious Pirates career, as only journeyman Colin Moran stands in his way and Moran has been a below-average hitter and fielder for two seasons now. Hayes is an excellent defender which should assist his playing time on the big league roster.

He had a poor start at the plate to 2019, then in early June dislocated his left index finger and didn’t return until three weeks later. Once he returned to Triple-A on the fourth of July, Hayes hit seven home runs, stole four bases with a .291 average in 221 plate appearances. Hayes only hit ten home runs on the season so the late power surge is good to see, as he’s never shown much home run power in the minors up until that point. If he starts the season in the Majors expect about 10 home runs (juiced ball notwithstanding), 15-20 steals (with upside for more) and a .270 average for his first full MLB season. (Phil Barrington)

25) Josh Jung, Texas Rangers, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

The Rangers drafted the local product eighth overall in last year’s draft out of Texas Tech. Jung comes equipped with a great eye, not much speed, and decent power that should improve as he ages (at least that’s the hope). Jung did play shortstop in college out of need but the Rangers like him as a third baseman. He really hit in college, with a batting average in 2018 of .392 followed by .342 in 2019. The hit tool is real, further proven by his promotion to the Sally League after dominating four games in rookie ball. At Single-A Hickory Jung hit .287 in 40 games, though only one home run. I am not worried about that one home run and you should not either. A solid 6’2″, 215 pounds, Jung may be one of the biggest risers on this list in 2020. Get in on him now and be happy later. (Phil Barrington)

26) Isaac Paredes, Detroit Tigers, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 37 at Shortstop)

Acquired from the Cubs at the 2017 trade deadline, Paredes began his career at shortstop but has moved to third base due to his size of 5’11”, 225 pounds. Detroit wants him as a shortstop and even had his minor league manager play him there two games a week last season; however, Paredes wants to play third base. Whatever position he plays, he will play in Detroit, as Parades can hit, with a .282 average along with a .368 on-base percentage in 552 plate appearances in 2019. Paredes has lowered his strikeout rate and upped his walk rate each season in the minors. In 2019 at Double-A, Paredes struck out 61 times and walked 57 times; that’s very good in case you were wondering. Maintaining a 10% walk rate and 11% strikeout rate as he did in 2019 will be key to his growth in 2020, as will adding power to his game. He’s hit 11, 15 and 13 home runs the last three seasons- if that number can get into the twenties he’ll quickly climb prospect lists. A rebuild in Detroit means opportunity for Paredes, who should join the big league club in 2021 but could be up even sooner. (Phil Barrington)

27) Sherten Apostel, Texas Rangers, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 38)

A lanky 6’4″, 200 pounds from Curacao, Apostel was signed as a 16-year-old back in 2015. He’s climbing our rankings just as he has the Rangers system, though they are taking their time with him as he started last year at Single-A ball and was promoted to Single-A+ halfway through the season (Josh Jung actually replaced Apostel at Single-A ball). He started to showcase his power as well, hitting 19 total home runs in 2019. His average may never be great and he won’t steal many bases but the power is real. Patience is required but if Apostel can continue to improve, he may make it to Double-A by 2020 season’s end. Expect to see him in the big leagues around 2022 with an important caveat to note that the Rangers have already added him to their 40-man roster. Lastly, don’t sleep on his little brother Shendrik, only 19 but is already 6’5″, 245 pounds with power to spare. (Phil Barrington)

28) Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 18)

The University of Florida product (and SEC MVP) drafted fifth overall in 2018, India was a top 50 MLB prospect going into 2019. His final college season, India had a .350 average, 21 home runs, 15 steals, 60 walks compared to 56 strikeouts. He also primarily played third base but also second base and shortstop, so he may come up sooner due to the position flexibility. Most pundits wrote off his 2018 minor league season as he played for three teams and accumulated 184 plate appearances, hitting six homers and six steals with a poor .240 batting average and a much better .380 on-base percentage. India started 2019 at Single-A+ and was promoted to Double-A two-thirds of the way through the season where he hit .270 with a .414 on-base percentage and 22 walks compared to only 26 strikeouts. The hope is that the power he showed in college shows up in the majors and there’s not much of a reason to think it won’t. His upside is still great but this ranking shows that some don’t see it as clearly as yours truly. Don’t make their mistake your loss. (Phil Barrington)

29) Abraham Toro, Houston Astros, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Toro has climbed the Houston organizational ladder to rank as a top-five prospect in their system. He got a cup of coffee in the majors last season though he did not do much with the opportunity. But we know that happens all the time with young guys not seeing consistent playing time in the majors. Starting 2019 at Double-A, Toro attained 435 plate appearances and hit well enough to get promoted to Triple-A for 16 games before coming up to the majors. For 2020 expect a bench role as Yuli Gurriel is back on a one year deal at first base while Alex Bregman is entrenched at third base. Toro could play in the outfield, but Houston is full there too. An injury is his best bet to get playing time in Houston for this season. If Gurriel leaves after the season the first baseman job opens up for Toro; stash and hope is his 2020 outlook. (Phil Barrington)

30) Gio Urshela, New York Yankees, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: NR)

Urshela celebrated his tenth season in baseball by having the breakout season no one expected. 21 home runs, 34 doubles, a .314 batting average, and an .889 OPS came out of left field. The Indians sat on him for nine seasons, though he never showed the power he displayed until last season, hence this ranking. His defense was (and still is) his calling card, but once Miguel Andujar went down for the season, Urshela stepped up at the plate as well. Urshela credits the Yankees Triple-A hitting coach Phil Plantier with fixing his approach. His 2019 strikeout and walk rates were in line with his career numbers; it was the power stroke that separated his 2019 from prior seasons. Feel confident that the doubles tell more than the home runs about his power so that even if the homer total dips his power will still be prevalent. Playing time shouldn’t be an issue because while Andujar returns in 2020 Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that third base is his to lose. Urshela should provide great value for this ranking and at his age could continue to be productive for the next few seasons as well. (Phil Barrington)

31. Brian Anderson, Miami Marlins, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 32)

Another year older, another spot higher- that’s how this works, right? Okay, maybe not, but Brian Anderson is still trending up all the same. Despite missing time due to injury, he made a massive jump in power numbers, +9 HR and +.068 SLG in 150 fewer PAs, and even added a few more steals. Is that jump legit? Yes. Anderson continued to display power to all fields, not just pulling the ball, and increased his barrel rate (+3.1%) with an improved average launch angle (+2.4 degrees). It would seem that the uptick in steals is genuine, too, since it appears he got a little more savvy on the basepaths (2/6 in 2018, 5/6 in 2019) and ran at a slightly higher clip. 2019 was a good step forward for Brian Anderson and with an improved lineup around him and the fences coming in at Marlins Park, there’s an opportunity here for a breakout season in 2020. (Joe Drake)

32. Bobby Dalbec, Boston Red Sox, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

The phrase “light tower power” was invented for guys like Bobby Dalbec. He crushes baseballs into oblivion and is one of the kings of batting practice. You’ll see him launching balls over the Green Monster (or trying to put line drives through it) as soon as Opening Day this year, or perhaps as late as mid-May. The one thing that may hold him back is that pesky strikeout rate. Bobby has a propensity for swinging and missing (13.9 SwStr%, 24.7 K%). While those numbers don’t look horrifying, keep in mind he was 24-years old in Double-A for most of the year. You don’t have to squint to see how someone with his experience swinging and missing that often might struggle in the majors. How quickly he sees MLB action in 2020 will depend on his performance in the spring. The Sox probably don’t want to play Chavis at 1B if they don’t have to. (Joe Drake)

33. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 16)

Just one year after shellacking the NL for the majority of the year and pole-vaulting into the MVP conversation, the one that Cardinals fans lovingly call Marp was a shell of himself. Much like 2018, he dug quite a hole early on. Unlike 2018, he was unable to quit digging and hit rock bottom in July, landing on the IL. Though it may not feel like it, Carp was actually above average (105 wRC+) in the 2nd half and scrounged a 127 wRC+ in September with a .233 ISO. Cue Dumb & Dumber “redeemed yourself” gif here. Look, he’s obviously not getting any younger, but it is possible to paint the picture that he struggled through injury in the first half of the season and was finally feeling himself in September. It might also be random variance. What we do know is that he’s the starter coming into 2020, he’s got a strong track record, and he’s going to be cheap to acquire. (Joe Drake)

34. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners, (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 23)

If it feels like Kyle Seager has been around forever, that’s because 2020 will mark a decade in the majors for him. A decade of reliable, above-average offensive production and a good glove to boot. He missed most of April and May recovering from hand surgery, got off to a slow start when he returned (78 wRC+ 1st Half) and turned it on after the All-Star break (129 wRC+ 2nd Half). At age 32, you shouldn’t be penciling in any growth, but Kyle has shown that he’s still got it. What do the numbers say, you ask? The exit velocity is still in line with career averages along with his barrel rate. Expect more of the same going forward from the elder Seager. (Joe Drake)

35. Brett Baty, New York Mets, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

Big Brett in the Big Apple. Listed at 6’3” and 210lbs, there’s no need for projection because Baty’s frame is nearly maxed out already. That means that he’s got some prodigious power already that he’s ready to punish minor league pitchers with. One thing to note is that one of the reasons Baty has such a mature build for a prep prospect is that he’s already 20 years old. In turn, he should have a quicker timeline than most 18-year-olds. Look for the Mets to be aggressive with him and send him back to Low-A to start 2020 to see how quickly he can develop that feel to hit. Long term, there’s certainly some 1B risk here, but it’s not something to worry about yet. He appears athletic enough to stick there for a bit. To sum it up, Baty has a shot to be a patient slugger who anchors a lineup. (Joe Drake)

36. David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 41)

David Fletcher feels like the upgraded version of David Eckstein. Slightly bigger, hits for more power and a better average and plays everywhere on the field. Maybe that’s a cheap comp since they’re both short Angels middle infielders, but that’s who pops into my mind first. Shrug emoji. Okay, back to reality. Fletcher’s best attribute is his ability to play all over the field and he was eligible at 4 different positions in 2019 (2B, 3B, SS, OF). He’s the ultimate fantasy utility player in daily leagues who will give you a little pop, a couple of steals, and a nice batting average boost. However, what he does best is score. Fletcher leads off the majority of the time he’s in the lineup and his above-average speed coupled with his on-base abilities led him to score 83 runs in 2019 — and the Angels lineup just got unequivocally better with the addition of Anthony Rendon. (Joe Drake)

37. Colton Welker, Colorado Rockies, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 30)

Colton Welker is an interesting case. 2019 was the first time he’s struggled in his pro career, posting a 109 wRC+ in comparison to the 134 and 158 at lower levels in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Then he went to the Arizona Fall League… and the wheels fell off. We shouldn’t put too much stock in 83 at-bats, but, a .253 SLG and .024 ISO don’t paint a good picture. There is still plenty of time for Welker to rebound and boost his stock, however, it’s never good when a player with questionable defensive abilities for his position struggles at the plate. Welker doesn’t have the power profile to be a relevant fantasy 1B and isn’t athletic enough right now to transition to a position like 2B where the bat would play up. He needs a definitive bounceback in 2020 to revive his prospect stock. (Joe Drake)

38. Travis Shaw, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 10)

Have you ever ridden a skateboard down a steep hill? You know how everything is great at first and you’re having the time of your life… then you get the wobbles and suddenly find yourself in a heap on the ground covered in road rash? That’s pretty much what happened to Travis Shaw in 2019. Much like that skateboarding fall, Shaw’s campaign left you with your head in your hands wondering where everything went wrong. Well, the wheels fell off. His strikeout rate ballooned (+14.6%), his power plummeted (-25 HRs, -.126 ISO), and the batting average imploded (.157). The good news is that he was still able to destroy Triple-A in his time there (1.023 OPS) and opens the year in Toronto expected to start at 1B against righties in a talented lineup. Obviously, things didn’t go Shaw’s way last year, but he’s only a year removed from 31 HR season with serviceable counting stats. (Joe Drake)

39. Kody Hoese, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Kody Hoese is another 2019 draftee with a big frame. Hoese was more of a popup guy in the 2019 class due to a massive increase in production. He exploded his junior year, launching 23 dingers with a .391 average. For comparison, he hit just 5 during his freshman and sophomore seasons combined, and with a much lower average. That intrigued the Dodgers enough to snag him at the end of the first round and he was solid in his pro debut, finishing with a 108 wRC+ in A ball after crushing rookie ball. Since Hoese comes from a smaller conference, he may struggle a little more than expected with lower levels as he adjusts to more advanced pitching. The key for Hoese as a fantasy prospect is going to be staying athletic enough to play 3rd base. Right now, the bat doesn’t project for more than above-average power despite being listed at 6’4” and 200lbs. That’s not going to be enough to make an impact should he have to move across the diamond to 1st base.   (Joe Drake)

40. Mark Vientos, New York Mets, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 36)

Vientos slips a bit coming into the new decade after a solid debut in full-season ball. The batting average dropped, the strikeouts rose, the walks went down, the power faded, and the errors remained. Now, before we get too down, was 1 of only 31 teenagers across all of A ball, so he’s working ahead of schedule and was good enough that it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him start the year in A+ in 2020. Vientos finished in the top 15 of the Sally League in ISO and had the 2nd highest number for a teenager behind Casas. The biggest downside, aside from 23 errors in his 1st season as a 3rd baseman (there are questions as to whether he can stay there long term), is the 16% swinging-strike rate. The pitchers are only going to get better from here on out, so keeping that rate under control is going to play a major factor in being able to get to all that power he possesses. (Joe Drake)

41) Maikel Franco, Kansas City Royals (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 24)

Entering his prime age-27 season, Maikel Franco seemed poised to be relgated to a platoon (since he cannot hit left-handed pitchers at all) or a utility role entering this season after he was non-tendered by the Phillies in the offseason. Now, thanks to the one-year deal he signed with the Kansas City Royals, it looks like he may have another shot at a full-time gig to be an every day third basemen. The skills are still present, but unfortunately, the production has never quite been there for Franco. Last year, he posted a .234/.297/.409 batting line which, if he repeats, will likely make this his final opportunity at a full-time role. Of course, the raw power he has always possessed (and displayed a la his 17 homers and 56 RBIs) keeps major league teams and fantasy owners alike coming back for more. He isn’t a bad gamble for the rebuilding Royals, but for dynasty league owners, you have to ask: are you feeling lucky? (Steven D. Jaeger)

42) Ty France, San Diego Padres (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde. That is the best way to categorize Ty France’s 2019 season. While in the minors, he was an absolute monster, hitting to a tune of .399/.477/.770 with 27 homers in 348 plate appearances in the juiced Pacific Coast League. Then, he seemed to find his manners when he got called up to San Diego, allowing pitchers to hold him to a measly .234/.294/.402 batting line in 201 plate appearances. When you are blocked by Manny Machado for playing time, you have to be more Dr. Jekyll, and lose Mr. Hyde. Until he is able to maintain the monster, dynasty league owners will want to avoid him. (Steven D. Jaeger)

43) Colin Moran, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 33)

Colin Moran’s 2019 seemed like a repeat of his 2018 performance. But a closer look reveals that it was actually a mixed bag for dynasty league owners. On the positive side, he hit 13 homers and posted a strong 80 RBIs in his 503 plate appearances. On the other hand, his strikeout-rate increased to 23.3% and his walk rate fell from 8% down to 6.0%. In total, he ended the season at .277/.322/.429. Based on his skillset and underlying metrics, the only reliable stat seems to be a strong batting average, which will grossly underserve your dynasty team if you rely upon him as one of your producers from the corner. (Steven D. Jaeger)

44) Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 25)

For the most part, 2019 saw another disappointing season from Jake Lamb. He spent most of the first-half sidelined with injury, and then, when he returned, he was largely regulated to a platoon situation. Oddly, the platoon likely helped his numbers improve, and that shows just how bad of a season he actually had (.180/.293/.326). With power as his only skill to even remotely offer, coupled with his lack of an ability to secure a full-time playing role, Lamb offers fantasy team owners little to get excited about. He will kill your team in almost every stat (with the possible exception of home runs if given enough at bats). Given the ease that power is available in today’s game, you are better to look elsewhere, and leave Lamb to the wolves. (Steven D. Jaeger)

45) Matt Thaiss, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

Matt Thaiss was a first-round pick by the Angels in 2016. He made his major league debut in 2019, and it was underwhelming. He finished the season with eight homers, 23 RBIs, and a .211/.293/.422 line.  In the minors, however, it was a different story, where he hit 14 homers and posted an .867 OPS with 59:64 BB:K. He has the tools to hit for decent power and a mediocre batting average. He will likely figure it out enough to be a contributor at the major league level, but whether or not he can ever be a meaningful fantasy player is better left for other dynasty team owners to risk. (Steven D. Jaeger)

46) Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 37)

Evan Longoria has had a fantastic career. He has been a three-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year winner, three-time Gold Glove recipient, and the 2009 Silver Slugger winner. He is on pace to crack 300 home runs this season and will surpass 2000 career hits before he decides to hang up his cleats. Unfortunately, most of this is backward-looking and for dynasty team owners, it has to be about what lies ahead. For Longoria, that may not be much more. He did manage to hit .254 with 20 homers and 69 RBIs in 2019, and on the whole posted better numbers than he did in 2018, but at age 34, a consistent, sustainable improvement would be unlikely. If you draft him for your dynasty team, do so as a one-year stopgap while you wait on another third-basemen to develop on your roster, and cross your fingers for a repeat of Longoria’s 2019 numbers. (Steven D. Jaeger)

47) Jeimer Candelario, Detroit Tigers (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 20)

Jeimer Candelario began the 2019 season as the Detroit Tigers’ everyday third baseman and leadoff hitter. Unfortunately, that honor was short-lived, as he was demoted to the minors after just 28 games. From there, it was a yo-yo season for him, splitting time in the majors and minors due to non-performance and injury. At the end of the season, he ended up just above the Mendoza line (hitting .203), without any other statistics worth mentioning.

This season, Candelario will need to improve on 2019’s production. He has the tools to hit near .250 with 15 homers. Of course, he could also have a repeat of 2019 and end up out of a job altogether. That brings us to Canbdelario’s best asset: he lacks a clear choice for competition at the hot corner in Detroit to challenge his playing time, meaning he may have the chance to figure things out. (Steven D. Jaeger)

48) Miguel Vargas, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

At 6’3″, 205 pounds, Miguel Vargas offers a shift at this point in the list, starting a string of third basemen that dynasty leaguers need to know. Vargas split 2019 between Low-A and Hi-A ball. He earned honors as a Low-A All-Star by Baseball America. He posted a combined .308/.381/.440 with 38 doubles, three triples, seven homers, 77 RBIs and nine stolen bases. He offers good plate discipline, composure, and some natural raw power. He is still likely a couple of years away from making his major league debut, but in the meantime, dynasty leaguers will want to continue watching his progress.  (Steven D. Jaeger)

49) Sheldon Neuse, Oakland Athletics (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

Sheldon Neuse has the ability to contribute at the major league level. The problem is, he is blocked at all positions. He had a cup of coffee and made his debut in Oakland in 2019. Prior to that, he mashed pitching in the juiced PCL, hitting .318/.392/.554 with 27 homers and 101 RBIs. He could hit for decent average and power and has the ability to contribute to fantasy teams if he can get the opportunity to play every day. His strikeout numbers are a bit elevated, but IF he can translate his minor league production to a full-time gig in Oakland in 2020, you will want him on your fantasy roster. For now, that may be a big “if.” (Steven D. Jaeger)

50) Tyler Callihan, Cincinnati Reds (Age:19, Previous Rank: NR)

One of the better high school bats in the 2019 draft, Tyler Callihan was drafted in the third round by the Cincinnati Reds. While he was a shortstop in high school, he appears headed for either second or third base at the professional level. While he doesn’t have professional work to point to, his skills show he has above-average contact ability with plus power to the pull side. He struggles some with plate discipline, but at only 19 years old, he has time to figure that out. Dynasty leaguers will want to watch as he develops.  (Steven D. Jaeger)

The Author

Ian Hudson

Ian Hudson

Ian is an editor for The Dynasty Guru and a bowtie enthusiast. If you guessed one of those things about him you could probably guess the other.

He's also an attorney in Tampa, Florida.

Go Rays.

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