Updated 2018 Preseason Rankings: Top 15 Third Baseman: Back In KC, Moustakas’ Spot May Surprise You

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was a long, winding road full of guesses and rumors but we finally got an answer as to where Mike Moustakas will play in 2018.  Late last night reports broke that he had signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract (with a mutual option for 2019) to return to the Kansas City Royals.  It’s a team friendly deal, especially after he posted 38 HR last season, though there are definite questions regarding if he can maintain that type of pace (which likely played a role in his lack of market).  Let’s take a look at where he fits on the rankings now:

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

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Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Thoughts:

  • We will take an in-depth look at Moustakas in the coming days, but the fact is that there’s a big risk that his strikeout rate takes a significant step backwards (15.7%, but his discipline was poor with a 10.5% SwStr% and 40.3% O-Swing%). He also saw his power regress throughout the season (20.8% HR/FB in the first half, 14.0% in the second), which means he could profile closer to a .260/25 player with no speed and slotted into a less than ideal lineup.  That makes him a harder sell overall, especially with so many strong alternatives.
  • Travis Shaw is coming off a breakout campaign, hitting .273 with 31 HR and 101 RBI. There are similar concerns to Moustakas in terms of a regression in his power (12 HR over 240 AB in the second half) and his strikeout rate (31.3% O-Swing%, 10.1% SwStr% in the second half), but the overall upside is a little bit higher (he will play in a friendlier home ballpark and be part of a much more dangerous lineup).
  • The biggest surprise on the rankings may be Eugenio Suarez, especially with Nick Senzel seemingly primed to push him for a job. However the Reds are testing their prized prospect at other positions and there’s little in the underlying numbers to make you doubt the performance of Suarez (.260 with 26 HR).
  • We recently took a look at Nick Castellanos and why we are buying for 2018. To check that out click here.

** ORDER ROTOPROFESSOR’S 2017 DRAFT GUIDE TODAY **
Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

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. Brandon says:

    How does Justin Turner not make the top 15?

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