2019 Preseason Rankings: Top 10 Third Basemen: A Deep Position Still Has Some Surprises

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

Thoughts:

  • 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.

** PRE-ORDER THE 2019 DRAFT GUIDE TODAY **
Pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.75!!  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 2019 projections:

Player
Date Posted
Dylan Bundy10/22/18
Foltynewicz, Mike10/09/18
Gibson, Kyle10/29/18
Hoskins, Rhys10/16/18
Hosmer, Eric11/05/18
Wheeler, Zack10/02/18

4 comments

  1. n joseph says:

    No Miguel Andujar? No way Chapman and Shaw should be ranked ahead of him unless you are in an OBP league. You are looking at projections that only have Andujar at 459 at bats as per CBSsports. Give hime the same at bats as last year, which he started in the minors so there is even upside to that, and he should out-perform most of these top ten guys.

  2. Bartonrp says:

    No Miguel Andujar?

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    I think the best way to answer the Andujar question is to give you an unedited look at a portion of his writeup for the Draft Guide, highlighting my concerns moving forward:

    “That said there is obvious risk in his AVG, as he routinely chased outside the strike zone (39.4% O-Swing%) and popped the ball up a little too much (14.5% IFFB). A lot of his numbers were bolstered by a huge August (.320 with 10 HR) and you can argue that the surge got into his head and gives further reason for skepticism (45.3% fly ball rate in September). If he is going to start swinging for the fences, given the O-Swing% and IFFB, there is significant risk in the AVG plummeting.”

    • rick b says:

      I absolutely appreciate your opinion, but I also don’t agree with it. Looking at your list, you have much higher risk players than Andujar on this list. Kris Bryant was a shell of himself last year. Something is terribly wrong with his body as he barely had the strength to get the ball out of the infield last year and nothing structurally has been done in the offseason to address his shoulder, which means its a genetic issue or muscle related – both are horrible problems for a 3b/of. I’ll take the 23 yr old NYY stud 3bman @ 6 over KB.

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