THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2021 TOP 50 DYNASTY LEAGUE THIRD BASEMEN, #1-10
WELCOME BACK!!! Despite a scorching hot stove (I can’t believe the player you’re thinking of did or did not sign with the team you thought they would!), these long winter months can be some of the darkest of the year (figuratively and literally). But fear not, restless readers. The Dynasty Guru is here to the rescue.
While you were quarantining and enjoying virtual holidays, 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 and February with the deepest, most thoroughly and painstakingly selected dynasty baseball rankings on the internet. We have top-40s, top-50s, top-125s, top-200s, and of course top-500s.
The Dynasty Guru’s hard-working staff has spent countless hours crafting these rankings, and we hope you enjoy and continue to support our efforts.
So I hope you enjoy the package that the TDG team has put together here. And if you do, I hope that you will make a donation to show appreciation for the content you’ve seen here at the Dynasty Guru and share our content far and wide. You can do that through the field below. All donations are truly appreciated.
DONATE TO TDG
Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2021 consensus rankings by looking at the 1-10 third basemen in dynasty leagues.
1. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 5)
After a shaky 2019, Jose Ramirez bounced back with a vengeance in the shortened 2020 season. I’ll admit it, I had my doubts. The roller coaster ride that we all went on with him the previous season was a lot to handle! Luckily, he settled back in as the 30/30 threat we expect him to be. Now, it wasn’t all pretty (see: .202 AVG in August – yuck), but he sandwiched August with two very good stretches and while his hitting may been unsightly in the middle there, he made up for it with seven steals in August as well. You don’t have to squint too hard to envision another 30/30 season for Ramirez in 2021. (Taylor Case)
2. Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 2)
What a stud. Those are the words that come to mind when I think of Mr. Devers, who by some miracle, is still only 24 years old. What’s not to like about his profile? He’s shown an ability to stay healthy, he has an enviable batting average floor, he hits for power, and somehow he manages to throw in some stolen bags despite a below-average sprint speed. STEAMER is particularly high on Devers heading into 2021, projecting him for a .287/.346/.539 slash line and 124 wRC+. Like I said, it’s hard not to like those numbers. That being said, I do think there is reason to be concerned about the stolen base totals, and would be willing to take the under on the seven stolen bases projected by STEAMER. For that very reason, I had Devers ranked slightly lower in my personal rankings, but there is still a clear path for him to be the #1 third baseman over a full season in 2021. (Taylor Case)
3. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 1)
Alex Bregman was a wonderful reminder to let go of my biases when doing rankings. Was I expecting him to have more of a down year? Yes, very much so. However, that was in large part due to the expectation that baseball fans as a whole would’ve heckled the stuffing out of him. Alas, it was not to be. Luckily for him, he did not have to deal with stadiums full of rowdy and vengeful fans and was able to pull through with an above-average 122 wRC+. That’s pretty darn good, which is better than I can say for those apologies we all saw in February. Trust me, I’ve looked for holes in his game, and I haven’t come away with many red flags, if any. Don’t expect 41 homers again, but a 30 homer, 200+ runs and RBI season seems well within reach. (Taylor Case)
4. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 3)
Oh, Nolan. The guy just couldn’t get into a rhythm this year. From the pandemic (understandable), to a shoulder injury (unfortunate), to the rampant swirling trade rumors (ugh), it was relatively unfamiliar territory for Arenado this year as he stumbled to a 76 wRC+ over 48 games. Well, the new year is here, and just like the rest of us, Arenado should be able to get back to his consistent, productive ways in 2021. I’ll reiterate: he was injured for most of the season, so I beg of you to not take his stats as gospel at a glance. For many, many years, you were able to write his name into your lineup IN PEN, and expect 4-category production. I don’t believe that changes for 2021, and I am particularly high on him for redraft leagues, as right now you should be able to snag him in the middle of the third round in a 15-team league. Sign me up! (Taylor Case)
5. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 11)
Manny sure did earn his paycheck in 2020. After taking a year to adjust to a new division, he bounced back big time with a .304/.370/.580 slash line to go along with 16 homers and 90+ runs and RBI. He also improved his walk and strikeout rates, and continued to show remarkable durability that is oh so valuable in today’s game. I don’t think he’s a lock for double-digit stolen bases as his 2021 pace suggests, but hey, you never know! The new Padres system definitely had a field day on the bases this year, and I expect Manny to remain at least a small piece of that game plan. Bottom line: if he can maintain the plate discipline gains and keep contributing on all fronts, the sky’s the limit over a 162-game season. (Taylor Case)
6. Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 6)
Mr. Quietly Consistent had himself another excellent year at the plate. In his first season as an Angel, he batted .286 with 9 homers, 29 runs, 31 RBI, and had a stellar .418 OBP to boot. Not too shabby. His underlying stats impressed as well, as he was in the 88th percentile or higher in both expected batting average and xwOBA and continued to show elite plate discipline. He doesn’t steal much, but that’s fairly on-brand for the players on this portion of the list, and should be easy to overlook when the other four category stats are so helpful. All in all, Rendon feels like one of the safest, high-floor dynasty options in the game. (Taylor Case)
7. Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 8)
I’ve found it very difficult to appropriately rank players who contracted COVID-19 last season, specifically Yoan Moncada. How much stock do I put into a short performance in a weird season? Do I completely throw out his stats and instead only rely on 2019? Some sort of hybrid approach that includes both year’s stats? I guess I’d probably lean more towards the latter option, but I’ve found that this exercise needs to be tailored to each player because no two scenarios align perfectly. In Moncada’s case, I’m choosing to believe that he just was not at full strength after getting sick earlier in the year. My best guess would be that assuming good health, his 2021 stats are somewhere between his otherworldly 2019 (141 wRC+) and his slightly below-average 2020 stats (97 wRC+). If there is an opportunity to trade for him this offseason, I say go for it before the season begins. (Taylor Case)
8. Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 9)
Last year, Matt Chapman was just not the Matt Chapman we’ve come to know and love. Don’t hold it against him! While I am definitely on board with holding players accountable for their 2020 stat lines, there are some players I have a soft spot for, and, well Chapman is just one of those guys. Yes, the sample size was small with just 37 games and 152 plate appearances, but, before his hip injury, he was able to post a career-high barrel rate of 18%. 18%!! What was the issue then, you ask? Well, his contact% dropped off the table and he started to get a little too pull-happy, which I imagine contributed to his rather unsightly, and very uncharacteristic 35% strikeout rate. Luckily, we have enough of a baseline with Chapman from years past to expect the strikeouts to drop and the average to inch its way back up to “not going to kill you in that category” status. (Taylor Case)
9. Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 15)
Here’s the good news on Alec Bohm: he’s an enormous human being with a knack for crushing baseballs, he’s projected to hit near the top of an above-average Phillies lineup, and in my opinion, he plays good enough defense to stick at the position (and in said lineup) for years to come. His above-average plate skills transferred (for the most part) to the majors as well, as he was able to post solid 8.9% and 20.0% walk and strikeout rates, respectively. Personally, I think he can do even better than that, having never posted a strikeout rate over 15.7% before his cup of coffee. The bad news? Well, his excellent 2021 stats were buoyed by a .410 BABIP, and his swing is definitely geared more toward the gaps than the bleachers. Overall, though, I’m not too concerned, and I think with some offseason tinkering, Bohm could easily fall into 25 homers and 160+ runs and RBI. He’s definitely a target of mine this offseason, as I have yet to find a way to roster him in any of my dynasty leagues. (Taylor Case)
10. Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 10)
Eugenio Suarez doesn’t get the love he deserves. I mean, his 162-game pace over the past four years is 40 homers, around 190 runs and RBI combined, and a .264 batting average!! Are you kidding me!? Plus, he’s only 29, which gives me plenty of reason to be excited about the future for Suarez in the heart of the Red’s lineup. Can he keep up the power production with a steadily increasing K-rate? Well, that remains to be seen. He’s still shown an ability to hit the ball hard, especially in 2019 and 2020, but if contact continues to decline, he may really start to hurt your team batting average. I’m still rostering confidently for 2021 and would imagine that remains the case for the next few years. (Taylor Case)