As we’ve said with our other early rankings, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- We are still extremely early in the process so player movement, among other factors, will have an impact on these rankings as we get closer to the start of the season
- Just because a player his ranked #3 doesn’t mean you should draft him in that spot. In most cases you shouldn’t have to, it just shows the potential value they hold
- These rankings are based on our projections and expected production for 2019
Third base has suddenly become as deep of a position as there is, and that doesn’t include the wild card that is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and when he will arrive in Toronto. While he’s not included in this initial run of rankings, know that there’s a realistic chance that as things unfold this offseason and into Spring Training he develops into a very real option and finds himself in the Top 10. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:
1. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
2. Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians
3. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
4. Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs
5. Alex Bregman – Houston Astros
6. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
7. Eugenio Suarez – Cincinnati Reds
8. Matt Chapman – Oakland A’s
9. Josh Donaldson – Atlanta Braves
10. Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers
- Anthony Rendon is an often overlooked option at 3B and rarely gets the credit that he deserves. He’s coming off a year where he hit .308 with 24 HR, 92 RBI and 88 R and no one is going to argue against his average and approach, which are among the best in the game. The question is if he’s going to provide enough power, something he’s shown (he’s hit 38+ doubles in four of the past five seasons and shown a bit more power in the first half of each of the past two seasons). Maintaining the power for an entire season would lead to 30+ HR with the potential for over 100 RBI, and to go along with his average that puts him among the elite.
- We talked about Alex Bregman in our Top 10 Shortstop rankings (click here to view), but here’s a look at it once again, “Surprised to see Alex Bregman outside of the Top 5? So were we, to an extent. That speaks to the potential the position has, but we also can’t ignore the risk of a regression that Bregman faces. We will take a much closer look at him in the coming weeks, though the key risk is in his average as he became extremely pull happy in the second half (52.3% Pull%), saw his Hard% tumble (28.1% and 23.3% over the final two months) and was struggling with popups. Did the power surge get into his head? It’s something to monitor, because if he’s swinging for the fences it’s possible that the numbers really tumble.”
- Is Matt Chapman’s inclusion here a surprise? Better known for his defense, he hit .278 with 24 HR last season with even more upside in his power. The question is going to be whether or not he can maintain his improved approach (8.8% SwStr%, 24.5% O-Swing% last season) as opposing pitchers adjust. If he can, and he did show signs late in the season (AVG of .319 and .260 over the final two months), he could quickly emerge as one of the elite.
- We looked at the upside of Josh Donaldson after he recently signed with the Atlanta Braves, so click here to check that out.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2019 projections: