2014 Rankings: Top 15 Third Basemen

by Eric Stashin

Remember when third base was considered the weakest position in fantasy baseball?  While there’s some risk in many of the options, it is no longer a complete black hole.  Let’s take a look at how our initial Top 15 rankings look for 2014:

  1. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  2. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  3. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Josh Donaldson – Oakland Athletics
  5. David Wright – New York Mets
  6. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
  7. Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
  8. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
  9. Pedro Alvarez – Pittsburgh Pirates
  10. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
  11. Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays
  12. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
  13. Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
  14. Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
  15. Chris Johnson – Atlanta Braves

Thoughts:

  • This is likely the last chance you’ll have to utilize Miguel Cabrera at third base, so make sure to take advantage while you can.
  • Manny Machado’s health is the only reason he’s not ranked even higher on this list.  That said, we are going to have to monitor the news as Opening Day approaches because it is still in question whether he’ll be ready for the start of the season.  If it looks like he’ll be on the field come April, he could be ranked as high as #6 on this list. (Note – The original projection has him for 475 AB, so if he’s going to get more than that he is going to fly up the rankings)
  • Fantasy owners have been burnt by Brett Lawrie and Nolan Arenado before, but there’s still a lot of upside there.  Just make sure you have depth if you want to take the gambles, in case they struggle once again.
  • Surprised to see Josh Donaldson ranked ahead of Ryan Zimmerman?  You shouldn’t be, but if you want more details on why click here for our take.
  • Chase Headley is definitely a bounce back candidate, having been plagued by a knee injury and some poor luck (.288 BABIP in the first half).  That said, we also shouldn’t expect him to return to his 2012 levels either (.286 with 31 HR and 115 RBI).  Let someone else overdraft him based on that illusion.  For more on Headley and why he is more of a low-end option, click here.

*** Make sure to pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, complete with projections of over 500 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day).  For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league!  For more information and to place your order, click here. ***

Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings:

18 comments

  1. Bbboston says:

    What would you say is the reason you’ve reset your opinion of Seager slightly. Do you think his battered ball profile has taken a step back? What do you think happened to him the second half of the year? I ask that because at mid-year he and Donaldson were neck and neck in performance.

  2. Kevin says:

    You’re going to regret not putting Sandoval on this list.

  3. Sea says:

    Pablo Sandoval in a walk year?

  4. carlito says:

    bogaets too low

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    Bbboston – I don’t think I’ve backed off my opinion on Seager, as I still am a big fan of his. The question for him is simply if he can put things together for an entire season, since he has had drastic splits in back-to-back seasons (in ’12 he was better in the second half). This could be the season that he does it, but there’s obvious some risk.

    Kevin/Sea – I’ll address you both in one shot, since you both mentioned Sandoval. He’s actually #16, so he literally just missed. The fact is, even in a contract season, can we say for sure that he’s going to be motivated and in shape? We want to believe that he will, but it unfortunately isn’t a guarantee.

    carlito – He could outperform the ranking, but I would have concerns that the power isn’t going to be there yet (25.8% OFB% in the minors in ’13). He’s still young and developing, the question is how big of a step is he able to take.

  6. Joeboo says:

    Putting Donaldson ahead of wright is a crime against humanity.

  7. Seth says:

    I love Arenado! If his bat can stick like his glove, he is going to be around for years!

  8. Bilbo Baggins says:

    Where does Matt Carpenter fit in these rankings? Granted he’s 2b in most minds, but eligibility at 3b opens up some flexibility.

  9. Rotoprofessor says:

    Joeboo – Why? Wright hits less than 20 HR, has fewer than 20 SB, benefited from a .340 BABIP and is in a less than potent lineup (aka there’s not a ton of upside). Donaldson doesn’t have the speed, but you can easily argue that his upside in HR/RBI/AVG is all greater than Wright’s at this point.

    Bilno Baggins – Somewhere in the 6-8 range. Last season was impressive, though we can’t expect him to replicate the run totals

  10. Sean says:

    Is Nick Castellanos going to put up a legitimate rookie campaign and what do you think his numbers will look like?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He should hold low-end appeal, hitting .270ish with the over/under being 15 HR. As a 3B he will hold more value than at OF.

  11. Noah says:

    Sandoval lost 42 lbs. this winter. He’s in shape and in his prime and in a contract year. I smell a career year. .320/74/27/102/1. Top 5 catcher by end of year.

  12. Nate says:

    Uh yeah, you know the part where you have Headley as a “low end option”? THAT is what I need. I’m working on a massively neglected Dynasty Team that, long story short, entered the year with Chisenhall, Plouffe and Sano as 3B. I added Mark Reynolds through a 5-round draft and think Headley would be the guy to bridge that one year to Sano.

    Now is THAT what you mean by low end? Is he enough of an improvement over a year to even bother giving up talent?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He absolutely is worth trying to acquire. While I wouldn’t give up a ton to get him, if the price is right he easily could bridge the gap until Sano is ready.

  13. Justin says:

    I don’t see how Machado would be higher even with health. HIs power has not developed, and he isn’t a huge threat on the basepaths. Sure a line of 90R .290 BA 10 HR 90 RBI and 10 SBs is solid, but I would take EL TORO (aka Pedro Alvarez). He will go like 80R .240 BA 35 HR 90RBI 2 SBs. Maybe a little lower runs and BA, but his power is substantially better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>