2017 Rankings (OBP): Top 15 Third Basemen: Major Changes At The Top

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There is a trend for leagues to move away from the traditional AVG category, and instead utilizing OBP or OPS.  How does that type of change impact our rankings?  In many cases it may not be a dramatic change, but there definitely are those who rise and those who fall.

The rankings among third baseman is fairly unchanged, aside from a pretty significant shakeup at the top.  After that there’s just minor shuffling, but let’s take a look to see where the adjustments are made (the number in parenthesis is the players ranking for “standard” formats):

1. Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays (2)
2. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs (3)
3. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies (1)
4. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles (4)
5. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals (5)
6. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals (6)
7. Todd Frazier – Chicago White Sox (7)
8. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners (8)
9. Jonathan Villar – Milwaukee Brewers (9)
10. Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers (11)
11. Alex Bregman – Houston Astros (10)
12. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays (12)
13. Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians (13)
14. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers (14)
15. Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals (17)


  • Falling behind Josh Donaldson and Kris Bryant isn’t a slight in the least, but with the move to OBP we have to move Nolan Arenado down a few spots.  While he did show an improvement in his walk rate last season (9.8%), he had been under 6% in each of his first two seasons.  On the flipside Donaldson is always above 10% (and coming off a year where he posted a .404 OBP) and Bryant owns an 11.3% walk rate.  Those rates help give Donaldson & Bryant the edge in OBP, despite Arenado holding a better average, and shifts the balance of power.
  • Todd Frazier is a low average, big power option.  Typically those types of players draw a lot of walks and therefore see a bump in their rankings with the move to OBP.  While he did post a 9.6% walk rate last season that hasn’t been the norm (7.9% for his career).  The lack of significant improvement there keeps his ranking stagnant.
  • Jonathan Villar posted a .369 OBP last season, courtesy of an 11.6% walk rate.  While we are projecting a bit of a regression (it’s more due to his average, having come courtesy of a .373 BABIP), that mark placed him 23rd in the league.  Couple that with his speed and you can argue moving him up a few spots on the rankings.  It all comes down to how far you think he’s going to fall, which is why his rankings stays the same.

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Make sure to check out our other 2017 Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
Relief Pitcher01/02/17--


  1. Carlito says:

    Two things where is Franco? No way Moustakis over Franco.

    And in a keeper league out of these 3 who would you hold, Edwin Diaz, Fulmer, Gausman?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Gausman for me (though I love Diaz)

      As for Franco, while he’s outside my Top 15 in standard (shows how deep the position is) you have to remember he hardly walks. That’s certainly going to keep him outside the Top 15 in OBP

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