2018 Preseason Rankings (OBP): Top 15 Third Baseman: Who Are The Risers & Fallers?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Even without recent positional transitions from Manny Machado (though he appears to be heading back to shortstop this season), Jose Ramirez and Alex Bregman, the current crop of third baseman would be impressive.  With them, though, it’s an extremely deep group that brings value up-and-down the listing regardless of the format.  Obviously when we move from standard formats to OBP things do reshuffle a bit, so let’s take a look at how things stack up:

1. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
2. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
3. Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
4. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
5. Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians
6. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
7. Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Alex Bregman – Houston Astros
9. Eugenio Suarez – Cincinnati Reds
10. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
11. Nick Castellanos – Detroit Tigers
12. Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers
13. Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins
14. Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers
15. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners

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Thoughts:

  • With the switch to OBP Josh Donaldson jumps from #5 to #3 on our rankings. He was always going to be close with Manny Machado and Jose Ramirez, but while he projects for the worst AVG of the three his OBP projects out the best.  That’s what happens when you’ve posted back-to-back seasons with a walk rate of 15.3% or better (and five straight with 10.3% or better).
  • Joey Gallo rises five spots on the rankings, becoming a borderline starting 3B. That’s not to say that his OBP was spectacular last season (.333), but that mark looks a lot better than his abysmal .209 AVG.  He should stay in the same range, thanks to his ability to draw a walk, and no one has ever questioned his power.  He’s not a spectacular option in OBP formats, with power across the game growing, but he’s a viable one.
  • Miguel Sano owns a similar profile to Gallo, though with a little less power and not as high of a walk rate (11.2% last season). With a similar OBP outlook, it makes sense for Sano to fall a few spots below Gallo.
  • It may be a surprise that Mike Moustakas was left off these rankings, and while a little bit of it is the unknown the fact is he’s not a great OBP option. His power is a near lock to regress, he doesn’t own a spectacular average and his aggressiveness (40.9% O-Swing%) limits his ability to draw a walk (5.7% in ’17, 6.4% for his career).  Keep that in mind before simply paying for the name.

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Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Rankings:

Position
Standard League
OBP League
Catchers03/14/1802/02/18
First Basemen01/08/1802/09/18
Second Basemen01/15/1802/13/18
Shortstops03/21/1802/27/18
Third Basemen03/09/1803/06/18
Outfielders1-20: 03/18/18

21-40: 03/19/18
1-20: 03/12/18

21-40:
Starting Pitchers1-20: 03/24/18

21-40: 03/24/18
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Relief Pitchers02/12/18--

2 comments

  1. KilleBrews says:

    Justin Turner? ZIPs projects a .370 OBP which would be 4th amongst 3B just behind Josh Donaldson. Steamer projects a 129 wRC+ which would also rank him 4th among 3B.

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