Top 15 Third Basemen (2019): OBP Formats: Who Rises & Who Falls?

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Obviously when we change the format of our leagues the rankings need to be altered. One of the popular changes going to day is the move away from AVG and towards OBP as a league category. So who rises and who falls?

As with AVG formats, here are a few things to remember as you review the rankings (and if you want to see even deeper rankings, make sure to order our 2019 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide that includes a Top 30 for OBP formats, by clicking here):

  • A player being 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 that he holds.
  • These rankings are based on our projections and expected production for 2019.

Who are the names we should trust?  Who should be ignored? Let’s dive in and take a look:

  1. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
  2. Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians
  3. Alex Bregman – Houston Astros
  4. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
  5. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs
  6. Eugenio Suarez – Cincinnati Reds
  7. Josh Donaldson – Atlanta Braves
  8. Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs
  9. Matt Chapman – Oakland A’s
  10. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
  11. Wil Myers – San Diego Padres
  12. Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers
  13. Max Muncy – Los Angeles Dodgers
  14. Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers
  15. Mike Moustakas – Milwaukee Brewers

Thoughts:

  • We talked about Matt Carpenter’s rise in OBP formats as part of our first baseman rankings, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he vaults up the list here as well.  Could he perform better than #10?  Maybe, as his OBP is going to be among the elite in the game, but there are numerous strong options at 3B who have more upside in their power (i.e. Josh Donaldson and Matt Chapman).
  • Another player we’ve discussed before is Javier Baez, who falls down the rankings thanks to his inability to draw a walk.  Even last season when he hit .290 he managed just a .326 OBP and considering that there is risk of his average falling due to a rise in strikeouts (17.9% SwStr% and 45.5% O-Swing% could result in a rise of his 25.9% strikeout rate) and a fall in BABIP (.347, 35.8% Hard%).  Combining those two things could lead to a scary OBP and even with his power and speed it’s not enough to overcome it.
  • Josh Donaldson is a player who is getting overlooked, likely due to his age and the injury plagued 2018.  Of course when he was healthy he posted a .352 OBP and had been at .371 or better from 2015-2017 (including a .404 in ’16) thanks to a strong average and an inflated walk rate (15.6%, 15.3% and 14.2% over the past three seasons).  Don’t make the mistake of not respecting the performance and upside,
  • Surprised not to find Miguel Andujar included on the list?  We took an in-depth look at him recently, which you can read by clicking here.  The fact is that there’s the risk of a sophomore slump regardless, but a poor approach (39.4% O-Swing%) and inability to draw a walk (4.1% in ’18) looms even larger in OBP formats.

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