The Dynasty Guru Podcast Episode 4: Third Base Rankings

The Dynasty Guru Podcast Episode 3 is live. Listen below, subscribe on iTunes or stream here. – Tom Trudeau, Nick Doran, and Tyler Baber discuss the consensus third base consensus rankings from the TheDynastyGuru.com.

Topics include:

  • Will one of Anthony Rendon, Alex Bregman, or Kyle Seager jump up to the same tier as Josh Donaldson?
  • What to make of Miguel Sano
  • Vets vs Youth: Justin Turner and Adrian Beltre or Jose Ramirez, Nick Castellanos and Maikel Franco?
  • Third Base Prospects: Rafael Devers, Nick Senzel and beyond
  • The back half of the top 50:Hernan Perez, Ryon Healey, Jeimer Candelario and the ghost of David Wright
  • We don’t talk about Mike Moustakas

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Building a Balanced Team: Conclusion

Over the last several weeks, we have identified catchers, first basemen, second basemen, third basemen, shortstops, and outfielders who have the potential to contribute to three or more hitting categories. Today, we’ll compare our evaluations of each position to determine relative values and scarcity. As a reminder on the methodology behind this series, I began this exercise by gathering data for each position over the past decade (plus a bonus year because why not?) to determine the average production for each hitting category. In order to eliminate outliers resulting from limited sample sizes, I used a 400-plate appearance qualifier for all positions with the exception of catcher, for which I set the threshold at 300 plate appearances. I also wanted to control for lost playing time resulting from unforeseeable injuries, so rather than calculate the average counting stat totals for each category, I calculated the ratio of plate appearances to each counting stat (e.g. 30 plate appearances per home run as opposed to an average of 20 home runs).

After calculating the baseline for each category and year, I tallied the number of players who met three or more category thresholds as a measure of positional scarcity. I then calculated the average for each category and position over the 11-year period to reduce the noise and determine the baselines we will use to identify multi-category contributors in our draft.  Once the 11-year baselines were calculated, I converted the ratios back to counting stats based on 600 plate appearances (450 for catchers) so that we could easily compare each position. Finally, since not all positions will produce the same value, I calculated the composite z-score for each, which reflects the sum of standard deviations each position falls above or below each of the categorical averages over the 11-year period. Since most five-category players are properly valued in drafts and dynasty leagues, this value will help us prioritize the positions we should target when attempting to build a balanced roster.

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Building a Balanced Team: Third Base & Shortstop

Over the last several weeks, we have identified catchers, first basemen, and second basemen who have the potential to contribute to three or more hitting categories. Today we continue our quest to build a balanced team and turn to the third basemen and shortstops. As a reminder on the methodology behind this series, I began this exercise by gathering data for each position over the past decade (plus a bonus year because why not?) to determine the average production for each hitting category. In order to eliminate outliers resulting from limited sample sizes, I used a 400-plate appearance qualifier for all positions with the exception of catcher, for which I set the threshold at 300 plate appearances. I also wanted to control for lost playing time resulting from unforeseeable injuries, so rather than calculate the average counting stat totals for each category, I calculated the ratio of plate appearances to each counting stat (e.g. 30 plate appearances per home run as opposed to an average of 20 home runs).

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 1-20

It’s the time of the year where we offer congratulations to those of you brave dynasty league owners that survived the offseason. The greatness that 2016 will surely offer is upon us and that means we’ll be spending the next six weeks moving our way through the positional landscape, offering thoughts on the respective values of roughly 700 players throughout the process.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy the countless hours of hard work that went into these rankings and continue to support The Dynasty Guru by showing your appreciation through this link or via the splendid ‘donate’ button located on the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated.

Players are ranked where they played 20 or more games at during the 2015 season at their highest position on the defensive spectrum, e.g. Chris Davis played 30 games in the outfield, meaning he’s an outfielder for our purposes. We can’t assume that a player will have eligibility at a position in the future (so no Hanley Ramirez at 1b for these rankings) or that a player will lose eligibility at a position in the future. This should clear things up for all non-Javier Baez/Jurickson Profar players, and we’ll do our best to explain where those players are ranked when the time comes. All DH types, such as Evan Gattis and David Ortiz, appear on the 1B rankings, as we will not be doing a UTIL rankings list.

As we move to the hot corner, we find a new hitter atop the mountain–despite a reigning league MVP holding the top spot last season :
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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 1-20

Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month  traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. We hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

The hot corner has lost some valuable commodities in recent years, as the like of Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion no longer qualify, and it’s yet to gain ascendant talent like Anthony Rendon. Still, The Bringer of Rain proved he was more than a one-time wonder with a second straight dominant season that pushed him to the top of the third base rankings, and there’s plenty of promising prospect talent behind him:

1) Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays  (Age 29, Previous Rank: 7)

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Dynasty League Third Basemen, Nos. 1-20

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.

So we hope you enjoy the rankings package that we’ve 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. You can do that through this link, or by clicking the “Donate” button on the top-right corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

Third base, like last year, has some heavy hitters at the top. In fact, the top-five at the position may be as strong as any other position on the diamond (including first base). However, once you get beyond that, it’s a number of players who either haven’t proven anything or have been breakout stars without the requisite prospect status to give that extra layer of comfort. Then you have the aging third basemen who are still hanging on to their value despite being one year closer to retirement. It’s a position of power, and that’s only going to get stronger as the two prospects who clock in highest on this list both have at least 70 power potential.

Now the 20 best third baseman in dynasty leagues, starting with one of the best hitters in the game today:

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Up the Middle: Corey Seager

We’re down to just four teams left in the 2013 playoffs, and sticking with the idea of highlighting players from playoff teams, we’ll take a look at one of the better shortstops in the Midwest League this year – Dodgers’ shortstop prospect Corey Seager. Big brother Kyle Seager has had success with the Mariners, but it could be Corey who ends up holding more fantasy value in the long run despite a quiet start to the Arizona Fall League season.

Seager was drafted 18th overall by the Dodgers back in 2012, the same year Carlos Correa was taken with the first overall pick. After struggling in the early part of this season, Seager actually ended up with 3 more homers than Correa in about 40 fewer Midwest League games. At 19 years old, he led all Midwest League shortstops with 12 homers.  He slashed .309/.389/.529 in 74 games. His 6-3, 190 lb. frame might not stick at shortstop and he could end up as a third baseman, but the Dodgers have plenty of time to decide on a position.

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Being All Judge-y About Contract Extensions

Like most of us, I have played in enough different types of leagues to know what I like. My favourite kind of leagues are auction leagues that use some of the original keeper rules, specifically, l love the leagues where you can keep a player at a given price for a couple of years and then you have to decide whether to extend his contract (at an extra charge) or let him go. The added strategic dimension is a nice puzzle to figure out and thinking about it keeps the winter from getting too boring without actual ball games. It may be a bit early, but I have already got these questions on my mind (can you tell that my teams were not as competitive this year as I would like).

I am going to look at a few players to consider whether or not they are good candidates for extensions. In some cases the answer may be obvious, but in others it is less clear. Obviously, the object here is to maximize the value you get from your keepers, effectively keeping the most value for the least price. Continue reading

Up the Middle: Nick Franklin

Nothing gets me jazzed like an HBO free preview weekend. It’s the perfect mix of my love for movies and my desire not to pay for them. So I was pumped to find out that this past weekend there would be not only an HBO freebie but also a Cinemax freebie! With my DVR working overtime, I had the opportunity to relive one of the greatest cinematic achievements of the twentieth century: Harry and the Hendersons. It’s a classic fish-out-of-water tale really, and it takes place in Seattle, which inspired me to write about a Mariner for this week’s post. The youngster with the coke bottle glasses (a staple in 80s films) even dons this killer old school Mariners cap in the opening scene:

Dad, he's not an animal!

Dad, he’s not an animal!

You know what’s almost as hard to find as Bigfoot? Middle infielders who can hit for power. Nick Franklin wasn’t even a twinkle in his parents’ eyes when that movie came out, but now finds himself the starting second baseman for the Seattle Mariners with 12 homers in just 85 games as a rookie. While this year Franklin has both shortstop and second base eligibility, he hasn’t made a start at short in the majors and will most certainly lose that eligibility next year. That being the case, we’ll only look at where he ranks among other second basemen to determine where he might fit into the plans of dynasty league owners. Continue reading

More Fun At The Hot Corner With Nolan Arenado

Third base has been hit-and-miss in 2013, with Matt Carpenter, Manny Machado and Kyle Seager among the obvious hits, and Pablo Sandoval, Brett Lawrie and Mike Moustakas among the glaring misses.

Carpenter, Seager, Lawrie and Moustakas have all recently been discussed in great detail here at The Dynasty Guru, and I’m about to add one more third base question mark to the mix: the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado.

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