3rd basemen are the new Dolly Parton. They are so top heavy they haven’t seen their toes in years. After the top ten 3rd basemen, the rest are a wing, a prayer and Winger doing a cover of Living on a Prayer, which can’t hold a candle to Bon Jovi, because A) Jersey B) No one can hold a candle to Bon Jovi because of Jersey. C) There’s no C. D) Jersey! I can’t remember a position like this for any other year in recent memory, but I’ve killed my brain for years with hard drugs. If you don’t have a 3rd baseman by the 100th overall pick, you might be kissing your 3rd baseman position goodbye. Literally, smooching your computer monitor like you’re in that Spike Jonze movie with Scarlett Johansson robot-talking. By the way, Johansson is 31 years old, in nine years, she’s gonna be old. In nine years, I’m gonna be distinguished. Damn, Hollywood, you’re messed up giving me these ageist ideas! As always, my projections and tiers are noted. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:
5. Todd Frazier – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until here. I call this tier, “No Sam, no Diane, no Niles, no Cliff, no Carla, just Frazier.” I tried to get Frazier in the top 20 overall, but I failed. He’s also not in the same tier as Maikel and company in the next tier. So, here’s Frazier, in his own tier. Here’s what I said when he went to the White Sox, “The Reds are like the slowest team ever to rebuild. They sell off a piece every few months or so. “We’re getting rid of Cueto as we look to the future.” Dot dot dot. A month later, “Someone make us an offer for Leake. We’re rebuilding…kinda.” Dot dot dot. A few months later, “Okay, who wants Aroldis? For what it’s worth, he has a gun permit.” Dot dot dot. “Todd Frazier anyone? Everything must go…eventually!” Dot dot dot. “Hey, what do y’all think of Brandon Phillips?” The teamsters on three hours of sleep broke down the Titanic set quicker than the Reds. By August of 2016, Votto may be hitting between Kyle Waldrop and Cozart, and, knowing Votto, he will still hit .320. Any hoo! Moving to the White Sox doesn’t hurt Frazier, in theory. I say that because I feel like everything the White Sox touch turns to the wall of a Porta-Potty. Maybe it’s the Curse of Bill Veeck. Or just the Curse of the “Ill, Eek.” Capital I’s with an L next to it are weird, right? Okay, back to baseball! Frazier had 35 HRs last year and a 15.1% HR/FB, which is nothing. That’s around his career norm. He achieved this by hitting everything in the air. If he keeps that up — literally — in Chi-town, good things can continue to happen. Of course, every action has an equal opposite reaction, and more fly balls could hurt his average, which would hurt his runs and RBIs. Brucely, I’d take that trade off. Then throw in his 15-ish steals and you have a guy that should be near the top 25 overall for fantasy.” And that’s me quoting me! 2016 Projections: 86/30/98/.250/14
6. Maikel Franco – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Seager. I call this tier, “Is this the last tier I love as my 3rd baseman? Oy.” Forget Dolly, the 3rd basemen are built like Morganna. A strong gust of wind and the 3rd basemen will topple over they are so top heavy. Or they will run out and kiss Don Mattingly. As for Franco, for s’s and g’s, I sorted rookies by strikeout percentage and Franco had the 4th best, right in front of Matt Duffy and Francisco Lindor. If you sort by 15% strikeouts and 7+ walk percentage, you get two guys, Franco and Clint Robinson. Clint Robinson doesn’t really count because he’s 30 years old. Franco was 22 years old. What does this mean? He’s beyond his years with his bat. I know this doesn’t mean everything or maybe anything, but Steamer projects Franco for more homers than Joey Votto. Will the Phils be awful? Yes, but the three hole hitter, which Franco will be, will still get plenty of counting stats. Last year, the White Sox were worse than the Phils for runs and Abreu still drove in 100 RBIs. The difference between Arenado and Franco? Coors and a better lineup. Not much else. 2016 Projections: 81/27/95/.284/2
7. Kyle Seager – It’s rarely as easy as taking the previous year’s stats and repeating them for this year’s projections, but Seager’s consistency is absurd. From 2014 to 2015, he was within two percentage points in line drive rate, fly ball rate, HR/FB, infield hit rate and soft contact rate. His OBP between the two years: .334/.328. His SLG: .454/.451. His batting average: .268/.266. His walk rate: 8%/7.9%. Forget Kyle Seager, his name is now Automaton 3000. Someone set him up on a date with the grabby Hitter-Tron. 2016 Projections: 85/25/75/.269/8
8. Evan Longoria – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Carpenter. I call this tier, “Bottom of the areolas touching the waist.” If the 3rd basemen as a position are top heavy like a big-breasted woman, then this tier is the sagging nipples that are touching the waist. The bosoms are no longer perky and this tier is the visual representation of that. Maybe one of these guys can go into a Cryotherapy session and have their nipples permanently perked, but it looks like we’re on the wrong side of things here. (By the by, I’ve had four different friends try the Cryotherapy thing, which is you go in a chamber of below -100 °C temperatures and it supposedly helps you repair your muscles. Of course, there’s no scientific proof and it’s likely crazy Los Angeles quackery, but four different friends on four different occasions and each friend spotted the same celebrity: Russell Simmons.) All of the guys in this tier burned me recently. Most of them as recent as last year. Or fecescent, as recent should be called for them. For those saying Longoria has a chance to get back the power that he lost last year with his 21 homers, remind them it wasn’t even last year. In 2014, he only hit 22 homers too. Screw this doode in the screw-hole. 2016 Projections: 81/23/84/.264/3
9. Adrian Beltre – This guy’s last two years look like a poor man’s Longoria. 19 HRs and 18 HRs the last two years. I just yawned and a bubble floated out of my mouth and in that bubble is the word, “Yawn.” My metaphorical yawn bubble is yawning! 2016 Projections: 87/19/91/.290/1
11. Brett Lawrie – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Castellanos. I call this tier, “Sexy time!” Well, anatomically we’re below the above tier which was to the waist, so…well, this is sexy time. I want to draft all of the guys in this tier for my corner infidel slot. As for Lawrie, I went over him at the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball.
12. Mike Moustakas – This begins a smaller mini tier inside of this tier that I call, “You kiss your Greek grandmother’s mustache with that mouth?” Aw, I’m just playing, spray some Windex on your hurt feelings and it’ll be fine. Here’s a Twitter poll for you: Nia Vardalos has done more harm to Greek culture or more good? Favorite if good, retweet with the additional comment, “Nice nose,” if more harm. As for Moustakas, he’s the Greek God of 20-ish homers and no speed. That is the worst Greek God ever! Though, it’s not terrible for a corner infidel. I do think his breakout last year can be built on and he might just push 30 homers one of these years. Definitely someone I’m gonna have another go at. “You wanna have a go at it?! He said, ‘YOU WANNA HAVE A GO AT IT?!'” Top ten movie quote? Yeah, I think so. 2016 Projections: 78/25/88/.281/1
13. Matt Duffy – Last year, he went 12/12, .295 and is currently penciled in as the three-hole hitter. I never thought I’d say this about a guy that went 12/12, but I think I’m underrating him. Yes, I think he should likely be ranked higher. What’s his unknown? He’s 24 years old and I think he has upside. Maybe it’s the first name, but I think he could have Matt Carpenter-type upside. In the minors, he stole 22 bases one year and he wasn’t caught once last year, so there could be more speed. He is young so maybe a bit more power will come. His park won’t help him, but there’s always road trips to Coors. I’m only half joking. The ladies say the bottom half is the joke. 2016 Projections: 87/16/81/.274/15
15. David Wright – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Murphy. I call this tier, “Does 15/7 sound bad to you? Cause it sounds boring to me.” By this tier name, I mean those are the number of homers and steals I’d expect from these guys, plus or minus one. We’re gonna look back in a few years and think about how David Wright should totally get enough votes to stay on the Hall of Fame ballot, but by no means should he get inducted. I just randomly looked up another Mets 3rd baseman from yesteryear to see who had better numbers. That 3rd baseman was hotelier, Howard Johnson, and they happened to have nearly the same number of plate appearances as of right now. Wright has a better average by a lot, but isn’t much better different in power and speed. Johnson has 38 more steals, and Wright has seven more homers. Any hoo! Wright has 13 homers combined over the past two years, so, um, yeah. 2016 Projections: 73/15/69/.275/7
16. Chase Headley – I wanna say that I can get enthusiastic Headley having a huge year, then I see that he’s 31 and had 11 homers last year, so I’m not holding my breath for a breakout without scuba gear. 2016 Projections: 70/14/76/.248/6
19. Trevor Plouffe – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Valbuena. I call this tier, “I shouldn’t have eaten that cottage cheese that smelled funny.” By the tier name, I mean, you were in the bathroom autopicking when you took one of these guys. As for Plouffe, I went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball.
21. Jung-ho Kang – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Harrison. I call this tier, “You can draft these guys if you like, but not for 3rd base.” Tier is pretty self-explanatory. Went over Kang at the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball.
26. Justin Turner – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the end of the list. I call this tier, “Platooning, or should be.” This tier name and size illustrates something that is apparent from just skimming over this post. I haven’t even done the outfielders yet, and 75% of this post is guys I’ve covered previously in the rankings. At some point in the last year or so, 3rd base became a position where teams threw their utility guy. Not having a dedicated 3rd baseman on some teams makes George Brett turn over in his tanning bed. (Like you haven’t noticed how tan Brett is. He could be The Situation for Halloween with no makeup.) As for Turner, went over him at the top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball.
28. Jake Lamb – The reason why I didn’t rank Lamb higher — because he does have some upside — is due to how the Diamondbacks used him last year. It looked a little like this, “We have no idea what to do with him.” Words of advice for the Diamondbacks: take some classes at Sur La Table because Lamb can be great! 2016 Projections: 48/14/45/.258/3
29. Danny Valencia – You know who this guy reminds me of? He reminds me of Adonis Garcia. Wait a second! Danny Valencia sounds like a porn actor’s real name and Adonis Garcia sounds like a stage name for a porn actor. They’re the same person! Their careers appear that way too. Both languished in the minors for almost ten years because they’re not very good. Scary is they both might be the cleanup hitters for their teams. By the by, you know what Danny Valencia/Adonis Garcia’s favorite song is? J. Cole’s, “Wet Dreamz,” with its chorus, “I ain’t ever did this for porno.” 2016 Projections: 58/16/66/.257/3
30. Yasmany Tomas – A voice from behind the oak door bellows, “Password por favor.” I stammer, “Plantains?” “No!” “Yasiel Puig?” “God no!” “Aroldis?” “Are you just going to name every Cuban player?” “Okay, listen, I don’t know the password, but for humanitarian reasons you have to let me into El Cubanati.” “Why?” “Because my government says if I plant a tree, I can buy $400 worth of Cuban cigars and try a real Cuban sandwich.” “Go away.” “The tree will help your pollution!” I pound the door and slowly fall to my knees. And thus another attempt at figuring out what lies behind the doors of El Cubanati and the secrets to all of their players remains a mystery. Can Yasmany hit 25 homers? I think so. Will he? No one has any idea. UPDATE: Yasmany’s getting his methods handed to him by Socrates and could be losing the job. There’s no way I’d draft him now where I originally ranked him. 2016 Projections: 47/13/55/.268/3 in 350 ABs
31. Pablo Sandoval – Yes, I know it would make more sense for Sandoval to be in the sagging boob tier. It’s too bad he’s given absolutely no reason to be in that tier other than his need for a bra. This tier makes my skin crawl, and not in “Ooh, my skin is crawling for the first time, then in ten months it will walk and in eighteen years I’ll be putting it through college while wishing I ran off with my secretary.” No, as in I hate your guts, and Sandoval has a lot of guts. And blubber. And you are a bleb on humanity’s ass! But, ya know, no hard feelings about last year. Red Sox manager, John Farrell, says Sandoval is “down to 20-22 pounds.*” So he now weighs about as much as Dee Gordon. Hopefully each appendage weighs 5 pounds, otherwise he’s going to tip over. *Might’ve read that ridiculous news item about Sandoval losing weight that comes out every year incorrectly. UPDATE: Travis Shaw won the job in spring because he was in better shape. Okay, if that’s the case, I could’ve won the job. I’m not convinced Pablo won’t see any time on the field, but if he sits for a long time, he may not be able to stand up again. It’s call Jabba the Hut Syndrome. 2016 Projections: 44/10/52/.266
32. Lonnie Chisenhall – Doesn’t really have a legit competition in his platoon, so he could break out and move way up these rankings. The reason I ranked him here is because the preceding about how he has upside has been said about him for the last four years and he’s still done nothing. His upside can only be viewed at this point in a Chisenhall of mirrors. 2016 Projections: 46/12/52/.251/3
35. Adonis Garcia – There’s something Olivera and Garcia have in common besides being in this tier and playing for the same garbage team. They are old-as-“oh no, the mother of all curse words” to have next-to-no major league playing time. Garcia’s last year of ten homers in 58 games screams flash in the pan and then his neighbor screams back to stop screaming flash in the pan. Garcia’s career high in the minors was nine homers in Triple-A in 2014 and, at that point, he already seemed washed up. Luckily, the Braves are that aforementioned garbagey and Garcia should play. 2016 Projections: 53/13/66/.256/3
36. David Freese – If the 3rd basemen were top heavy and bosomy, we are firmly in the “ankles tier.” Obviously when Freese signs somewhere his projections could change. UPDATE: Signed with the Pirates, where he will act as depth for the recovering Jung-Ho Kang and be a role player once Kang returns. That gives the Pirates five role players for two positions. To quote Michael Morse, “That’s beeping crazy.” 2016 Projections: 55/15/58/.252/1
37. Yunel Escobar – Here’s what I said this offseason, “(Yunel was) traded to the Angels. Yunel is such a Sciosciapath-type player. I could see The Sciosciapath hitting Yunel leadoff for the entire season like he’s some unearthed 33-year-old gem. Mean’s while, C.J. Cron will be on the bench being asked to keep score. Effin’ Scioscia.” And that’s me quoting me! 2016 Projections: 81/8/49/.263/2
44. Juan Uribe – Signed with the Indians as an upgrade for their 3rd base position. This is more of a comment on the dreck the Indians had at third base than Uribe’s ability. Uribe is like a poor man’s Beltre. Terrible stats, but you can pat his head. 2016 Projections: 44/13/48/.248/2
45. Will Middlebrooks – The Brewers signed Middlebrooks to fight for the job at 3rd base with Jonathan Villar also vying for the job. As Bob Uecker would say about the Brewers’ 3rd base competition, “It looks juuuuuust a bit like a gravesite.” 2016 Projections: 32/10/44/.204/1