2021 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball


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.

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2021 consensus rankings by looking at the 31-50 third basemen in dynasty leagues.

31) Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 28)

College bats drafted fifth overall tend to take the express route to their major league debut. Not the case here, but not all the blame can be placed on India. He closed out 2018, the year he was drafted, in full-season A-ball. He made his way to Double-A in 2019 and did well. He walked almost as much as he struck out and had a .414 OBP. 2020 was spent at the alternate sites where reports said that he did well against major league pitching. At first glance, he is blocked but Eugenio Suarez has been rumored to be on the block. Should the Reds decide to move him at the deadline, India would be the logical replacement. (Paul Monte)

32) Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Texas Rangers, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

It was a break-out season for the 25-year-old former catcher. Former is the keyword there as Kiner-Falefa will not have that catcher eligibility entering 2021 and you should not expect to see it ever again. What he did as a catcher last year, hitting .280 with 3 home runs and 8 stolen bases was enough to put him in the top 5 for catchers. Those numbers are not sexy as a third baseman, but the steals kept him in the top 15. He will enter the 2021 season with both third base and shortstop eligibility and a firm role. He’s a good fit as you CI or MI. (Paul Monte)

33) Sherten Apostel, Texas Rangers, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 27)

One of the trends that we saw in 2020 with the presence of Covid and the expanded MLB rosters was the surprise appearances of rookies and prospects. Apostel was one of those as he completely skipped both Double-A and Triple-A and debuted at the major league level in 2020. The brief stint went as one would expect as he struggled to a .100/.143/.150 triple slash and struck out 9 times while walking once in 20 at-bats. He played 5 of his 7 games at 1B and the addition of Nate Lowe means that Apostel will likely start 2021 back in Triple-A. (Paul Monte)

34) Miguel Andujar, New York Yankees, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 18)

Hitting 27 home runs in your major league debut will get the attention of fantasy team owners and that’s exactly what he did in 2018. He started 2019 as the 11th ranked dynasty third baseman according to The Dynasty Guru rankings. He’s 34th now, so that should tell you how his last two years have gone. A torn labrum in his right shoulder ended his 2019 season prematurely and his 2020 season consisted of just 21 games and 62 at-bats. His defense has always been the biggest flaw and 2020 saw him play more games in the outfield than at the hot corner. Check your league settings to see where he is eligible. (Paul Monte)

35) Luis Toribio, San Francisco Giants, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

At just 20 years old Toribio is the youngest player on the third base list so far. Signing for 300k in 2017 Toribio did not bring the same level of hype that many of his teammates did when they signed during the J2 period. At this point, the 300k has looked like a steal. He has progressed nicely through three leagues and was even added to the Giants 60-man roster in 2020. Full season ball will be the next challenge where he will need to continue to improve his defense if he wants to stay at third. No matter where he ends up, the bat will play as he has shown good skills in his young career. (Paul Monte)

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

The first three seasons of Toro’s professional career were not anything to write home about. His incredible 2019 season in the minor leagues thrust him onto both the prospect scene and the major league roster. He came on at a time when there were superstars and top 5 picks on the Houston infield, so it was going to be tough for him to find a role. Right now, his role is a bench bat at the MLB level and unless he is traded, that will not change. His two seasons in the majors have left us with a .182/.269/.327 slash line in 165 at-bats. He’s still young enough where you could dream on his 2019 season (.324/.411/.527) but I’ll make my wishes somewhere else. (Paul Monte)

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

We will never see the production that you would expect for the 6th overall pick of the first round from Moran. He also has a fellow first-round pick in Ke’Bryan Hayes poised to take his starting third basemen role away from him. Pretty good timing for him that the Pirates sent Josh Bell to the Nationals and first base opened for him. Moran has always fared better against righties and may find himself in a platoon role at first this season. I do not expect him to carry his third base eligibility into 2022. (Paul Monte)

38) Yandy Diaz, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 22)

Baseball is a funny game. Diaz has biceps the size of most humans’ thighs and he has used that muscle to create interesting landscapes in major league stadiums around the country. I’m not the first to bring up his launch angle and there are plenty of articles out there that talk about it if you are interested. The problem is that it’s not getting better and neither will his home run numbers without it. If he can somehow find an everyday role with a Tampa Bay team that is notorious for platooning players, he could have a decent impact on your team. If you are in an OBP league he gets a big boost as he has a career OBP of .364. (Paul Monte)

39) Edwin Rios, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)

Long time Dodger Justin Turner is still a free agent and may not return to LA. If he chooses to sign elsewhere Rios will finally get a crack at being an everyday player. Rios has great power and although he’ll likely be batting at the bottom of the order, even the bottom of the order is stacked in LA. Rios struggled at the start of 2020 but caught fire in September and finished with 8 home runs in 76 at-bats. He ended 2019 with 31 home runs in Triple-A in just 393 at-bats. He has shown good OBP numbers in the minors and does not strike out much for a slugger, but he will need to improve in the walk category to keep the OBP up in the majors. This is a guy who could surprise and he’s cheap. (Paul Monte)

40) Mark Vientos, New York Mets, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 40)

It took two attempts for Vientos to get out of Rookie ball but some of that was because he was one of the youngest players in the 2017 draft. Four years later, we still have not seen Vientos above Low-A ball. He was invited to the Mets alternate camp in 2020 so it was not a complete loss. The last time we saw him play in real games he hit .255/.300/.411 with 12 home runs in the Sally league at just 19-years-old. Like all prospects, missing a year of development will hurt but we have yet to see how the alternate camp prospects fare versus their counterparts who were not invited. (Paul Monte)

41. Maikel Franco, Kansas City Royals, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 41)

The more things change, the more they stay the same for our buddy Maikel Franco, I guess. Franco finds himself at number 41 on our list for the second time in a row. In true Franco fashion, he had himself another “boom” year where he hit about .280 and smashed 8 homers in the shortened season, but he’s come back to Earth and then some the following season each time he’s put up good numbers. Will this be the time it sticks? My guess is no, considering that his average exit velocity dropped 2 full ticks under his career mark in 2020. At this point, he’s a second-division regular in a bad lineup and not a particularly good fielder, either. Despite only being 28, we may be looking at the end of the line for Franco. (Joe Drake)

42. Colton Welker, Colorado Rockies, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 37)

Once upon a time, Colton Welker was tearing through the minors and looked like he might be the next great hitting prospect to grace Coors Field. But upon closer inspection, it’s more likely that Welker was just a good hitter who took advantage of some prolific offensive environments in Asheville and Lancaster. In 2019, it became much more apparent that Welker doesn’t have the requisite pop or defense to profile as an everyday player at a corner (infield or outfield) in the big leagues. Without a dramatic change in his power profile or defensive abilities, Welker looks destined to be a bench bat in the bigs with little fantasy value. (Joe Drake)

43. Aaron Schunk, Colorado Rockies, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Meet the more likely heir to the hot corner in Colorado should the Rockies choose to move on from Arenado sooner than later. Schunk is similar to Welker in that he has a hit-over-power offensive profile (though Welker’s contact skills are better), but dissimilar in the fact that he’s a very strong defender who could play multiple positions well. Schunk’s fantasy profile will hinge on whether or not he starts getting to power in games. He’s got the size and strength to drive the ball, but his approach at the plate doesn’t lead to him driving the ball out of the park. Instead, he opts for solid, linedrive contact. He’s the third baseman you want out of the two Colorado kids mentioned on this list — though we’ll see him play another position if Arenado is still in a Rockies uniform when he debuts. (Joe Drake)

44. Tyler Callihan, Cincinnati Reds, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 50)

Shooters shoot and hitters hit and Tyler Callihan is nothing if not a hitter. Hit is exactly what I’m betting Callihan is going to do when the minor leagues start back up again. His pro debut wasn’t the most impressive, but sometimes kids need a year to adjust to the pro lifestyle and the grind of a long season. The only real question about Callihan’s game, for me, is where in the world he’s going to play defense. His future on the dirt is murky given his limited defensive abilities, but he should stick at third or second for at least the early part of his career. Given that this is a fantasy-centric list, I would personally take him ahead of many guys on this end of the rankings. (Joe Drake)

45. Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals, (Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR)

Jordan Walker has the foundational build of an absolute baseball monster. He’s already listed at 6’5” and 220 pounds at just 18 years old and it’s hard to imagine him not getting even bigger and stronger as he matures. If you want to take a shot on a guy who could grow into top-of-the-scale raw power, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better candidate. Walker probably isn’t long for third base, but his bat should be plenty powerful enough to play at any spot on the diamond (likely first base with an outside shot at right field). The swing will always be somewhat long given his long levers and there will be swing and miss, but the damage he does when he connects should make up for it. (Joe Drake)

46. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 33)

I have to be brutally honest here: I’m not quite sure why my buddy Carp is still on this list. It pains me to say that, but if you’ve watched him play at all over the last two years, you know what I’m talking about. The days of Matt Carpenter being a productive, everyday third baseman appear all but gone. His wRC+ the last two seasons is comfortably below average and 2020 was so bad that you have to wonder how much playing time he’s even going to get on a team that is (supposedly) planning to be competitive in 2021. I don’t think we’ll see him get completely relegated to bench duty to start the year, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it happens by the All-Star break. (Joe Drake)

47. Miguel Vargas, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 48)

Like Callihan, Vargas is a good hitter whose defensive skills cast a slight shadow over his bright future at the plate. Vargas was already built like a grown man last we saw him in-game action despite being just 19 years old at the time. That said, his above-average raw power wasn’t translating to games yet on a consistent basis and for that reason, I think his value as a fantasy prospect has been suppressed. The Dodgers challenged him by promoting him all the way to A+ at 19, and he responded by hitting .284 after hitting .325 in A-ball. The kid can hit. There’s a strong chance this is the last time we see him this far down on a list like this. (Joe Drake)

48. Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

Gunnar Henderson has been one of the names catching some buzz this offseason after reports surfaced of a stellar showing at the ATS this summer. Henderson brings a pretty complete package to the diamond with a strong glove to go along with his very good plate skills. He should hit for both average and power and may even chip in a few steals, depending on how much he fills out — but keep in mind, if he adds enough weight that it affects his ability to run, that likely means an increase in power, too. Should he hit the ground running when the minor leagues start back up again, I fully expect his fantasy stock to skyrocket. (Joe Drake)

49. Rio Ruiz, Baltimore Orioles, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)

Among third basemen with at least 600 plate appearances since the start of 2019, Rio Ruiz ranks dead last in wRC+ and WAR. He’s second to last in batting average (one spot above aforementioned Matt Carpenter) and 28th out of 32 in home runs with 1 stolen base to his name. I would say his hold on the starting 3B job in Baltimore is tenuous at best even though they will likely be in contention for the league’s worst record again. To be blunt, average defenders who swing a wet noodle at the plate have no business starting at third base in the modern game, even on the league’s worst teams. Roster Ruiz at your own risk. (Joe Drake)

50. Keoni Cavaco, Minnesota Twins, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

Keoni is a definitive high-risk, high-reward kind of prospect. His current skill set is obviously lacking: his defensive actions are inconsistent and a bit awkward at times, like a kid who is still learning how to control all his limbs; and at the plate, his swing gets out of sorts and he struggles to make contact more than you’d like to see. That said, he’s got a terrific athletic frame that already produces loud power. When he connects the ball carries. There’s a wide range of outcomes that we could see from Cavaco depending on the development of his hit tool and defense, from above-average middle of the order masher all the way to minor league org depth. If your dynasty squad is rebuilding, he ranks much higher on this list for you.  (Joe Drake)

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Joe Drake

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