Playing in an OBP league not only takes into account more of the players overall performance, it can also help you get a couple of steals on draft day. I took a look at third base and singled out a few players to target and one to pass over that others in your league may be sleeping on…

Looking at the top-5 in OBP last year, we end up with Adrian Beltre (.388), Matt Carpenter (.375), Carlos Santana (.365), Casey McGehee (.355), and Anthony Rendon (.351). No surprise that at number one, is the top ranked third baseman going into 2015, and Rendon is going in the top-20 overall in most leagues, however the others are a bit more surprising. No one is taking Casey McGehee in the top-20 at third base in any league, and no one should, but it’s interesting to see him so high on the list.  Looking past him, we have a couple of guys that are pretty well known to be more valuable in OBP leagues: Carpenter and Santana. Each brings a different skill set to the table, but have significantly more value in an OBP league vs. standard, and if your league is a new to OBP, you should be able to get both at a bargain. Here are a few stand outs that I am targeting in any OBP league.

 

Carlos Santana – This isn’t a controversial statement to anyone that has been in an OBP league for a while. Santana does two things extremely well; hits for power and walks. Looking at his stats over the past 3 years he is fairly consistent at doing both.

YEAR R HR RBI BB SB AVG OBP
2012 72 18 76 91 3 0.252 0.365
2013 75 20 74 93 3 0.268 0.377
2014 68 27 85 113 5 0.231 0.365

Entering the season, he will be 28 and seems to be hitting his peak. In each of his last three years, he has increased his HR’s, walks, and RBI’s. Steamer has him projected for 22 HR’s, 77 runs, 76 RBI, 95 walks, a .245 AVG, a .364 OBP and I am taking the over on almost all of those numbers. Steamer only projects one player to have a higher OBP (Carpenter at .366) and they have him tied for 3rd most HR’s at the position. I expect him to have a top-5 and maybe even a top-3 finish at the position this year, and am targeting him heavily.

 

Chase Headley – Chase Headley seems to be a popular sleeper in most circles after his move to Yankee stadium, but in OBP leagues, he may be an even better option than it seems.

YEAR R HR RBI BB SB AVG OBP
2012 95 31 115 86 17 0.286 0.376
2013 59 13 50 67 8 0.250 0.347
2014 55 13 49 51 7 0.243 0.328
2014 – NYY 28 6 17 29 3 0.262 0.371

While his OBP has fallen each year since his breakout 2012, there are some bright spots if we look past his overall 2014 numbers. His career OBP is .347, and while it’s well below his Yankees numbers, it leads me to think his true OBP should be much higher than his overall number landed last year. If we take just his career average (.347), he comes in at tied for 6th last year in OBP. If we break it down and look at his last three-year average (.352), he comes in 5th, knocking Rendon from the top-5. Steamer has him at .343 and Fans has him at .348, both near his career number. And each projection system has him in the top-8 at third base offensively, while I tend to see him ranked in the 15-23 range.

Chase Headley seems to be a pretty clear sleeper in OBP for me, he has the power to hit 20+ HR’s and could steal 10 while coming in near or in the top 5 in OBP. While I don’t see him as a top-5 third baseman, he is easily a top-10 option in my book, and he’s going as the 20th ranked at the hot corner so far.  In OBP leagues, if I’m not the first five to get a corner, I’m waiting to get Headley 200 overall picks later.

 

Todd Frazier – Todd Frazier is coming off an All-Star breakout year in 2014 and is going well inside the top-10 at the position and closer to 5 than 10 on most lists. Breaking down his numbers I can easily see a finish outside the top 10 in an OBP league.

YEAR R HR RBI BB SB AVG OBP
2012 55 19 67 36 3 0.273 0.331
2013 63 19 73 50 6 0.234 0.314
2014 88 29 80 52 20 0.273 0.336

Frazier had a monster year offensively last year and finished second in the Home Run Derby. While I don’t doubt his power, his OBP does leave me a bit more skeptical of a repeat in OBP leagues. Frazier finished 10th in OBP last year, and it was his breakout year. Looking at his Steamer projections it has him outside the top-20 in OBP at .316. Just a few names projected to finish ahead of him: Brett Lawrie, Alberto Callaspo, and Lonnie Chisenhall. None of those names are in the discussion to be ranked in the top-20, let alone the top-10. While I do think Frazier is a solid 3b option in any league I think there is a strong possibility of him finishing outside the top-10. And I’m skipping over him and taking Santana or Headley later in OBP drafts.

  1. Tehol Beddict says:
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    Great read! The Elder Gods presence is strong in you

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: Not necessarily a good thing, mind you. Domonic Brown, for instance, had the Elder Gods blessing last year…

      • Catcher Fever says:
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        @Jay: a useful article, much better than “he’s athletic so i like him!”

        • Tehol Beddict says:
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          @Catcher Fever: a sphincter says what?

      • Tehol Beddict says:
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        @Jay: Will Venable

  2. gordon shumway says:
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    Thanks so much for the info! Any additional research you’ve done on other positions will be greatly appreciated!

    • Duda Want To Build A Snowman? says:
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      @gordon shumway: seconded! I’m hoping to be all over springer and joc this year – most projections seem to put these guys’ obp at or above someone like Jones, even if they do both hit .230.

      Do you think Davis gains value as a 3B in obp leagues too?

      • TheHukillEffect

        TheHukillEffect says:
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        @Duda Want To Build A Snowman?: I’m thinking you mean Chris Davis, and yes! The past two years his OBP has been near 100 points higher than his average. Even last year his OBP was .300 while that’s not very good, it was while he was hitting sub-.200.

        Travis
        Twitter: TheHukillEffect

    • TheHukillEffect

      TheHukillEffect says:
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      @gordon shumway: A preview for each of the positions will be coming soon!

      Travis
      Twitter: TheHukillEffect

  3. Cafuné

    Maxi says:
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    Great read, I’m definitely looking to target Headley if I miss out on Arenado (he ended the season as a free agent in my keeper league. Gotta question about OBP keepers (not 3B though):

    I currently have 5 keepers in a 12-team, OBP and SLG, 25 round snake draft league; this will be our last year before switching to auction, so it’s kinda cool cuz I can keep keepers without worrying about next year’s value.

    The players I can choose from are: Abreu (4), Seager (5), Cespedes (8), Dickerson (25), Soler (25), Wong (25), Strasburg (7), deGrom (25), Gray (20)

    Right now, I’m leaning towards keeping Abreu, Dickerson, Soler, Wong and Strasburg. However, a guy in my league is offering me to swap a 10th round pick for one of my late-round picks + Soler.

    The trade is intriguing, but the problem is then who do I keep instead of Soler? Do I go with Cespedes (he and Jay Bruce killed me in OBP last year, looking to avoid a repeat), or take one of those pitchers instead? I could just keep Soler too. If I keep Cespedes, I’m essentially swapping Soler, an 8th rounder and a late round pick for Cespedes and a 10th round pick.

    Do you see Soler putting up better OBP/SLG than Cespy? If so, is getting a 10th rounder and keeping one of those pitchers the better option?

    I appreciate all these articles on how to approach OBP leagues, thanks!

    • Catcher Fever says:
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      @Maxi: deGrom is the much better value over cespedes for 8th. but id probably stick with your original 5… or simply ask for more since that guy is already willing to give up 10th.

      “8th rounder instead and Soler is yours.”

    • TheHukillEffect

      TheHukillEffect says:
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      @Maxi: Soler in the 25th vs Cespedes in the 8th isn’t closer for me, its Soler. Also I wouldn’t trade Soler for a 10th round pick when you keep 5 (or even in a league with no keepers). I don’t know how your league values keepers in trades and such but I wouldn’t take less than a second and it would probably have to be a first. If you can get a better pick I’d probably do the deal and keep either deGrom or Gray.

      Travis
      Twitter: TheHukillEffect

      • Cafuné

        Maxi says:
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        @TheHukillEffect: OK, I appreciate the input because that’s what my gut was telling me too. The few months of Soler last year were way more exciting than Cespy post-trade, and while Detroit could be good, all those little injuries could quickly derail everything and make it huge disappointment.

        Do you like keeping Wong over deGrom/Gray? Having 2OF, a 2B and my 1B on lock before we start the draft feels really nice, and Stras is good enough to carry my staff since I got him in the 7th and won’t have to reach for any aces. Plus, I can always reach for deGrom and Gray if I really want them back.

        • TheHukillEffect

          TheHukillEffect says:
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          @Maxi: I’d keep Wong over both, he has potential to be a star soon and 2b is a semi-shallow position.

          Travis
          Twitter: TheHukillEffect

  4. Principal Blackman says:
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    Good read. Would you extend these recommendations to fit OPS leagues as well?

    Is there any chance that we might see an OPS version of these posts?

    • TheHukillEffect

      TheHukillEffect says:
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      @Principal Blackman: I would be targeting Santana heavily in OPS leagues. He has huge power and good OBP numbers. I am writing the rest of the positions up for OBP leagues but I will see about doing an OPS post as well. One quick name for OPS leagues that I DON’T like as much as in an OBP: Matt Carpenter. He is great in OBP leagues but his lack of power really hurts him in OPS leagues.

      Travis
      Twitter: TheHukillEffect

  5. Bob says:
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    Who should I keep (need to pick 4). 12 Team 5×5 league. Fairly deep (5 OF, plus MI/CI, 1 Util).
    Chris Carter in the 17th
    Leonys Martin in the 25th
    Sonny Gray in the 25th
    AJ Pollock in the 22nd
    Khris Davis in the 13th

    Need to pick 4 of 5.

    • Chiefroy says:
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      @Bob:

      Chris Carter in the 17th
      Leonys Martin in the 25th
      Sonny Gray in the 25th
      AJ Pollock in the 22nd

    • TheHukillEffect

      TheHukillEffect says:
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      @Bob:Have to agree with Chiefroy, I’d let Khris go back.

      Travis
      Twitter: TheHukillEffect

      • Bob says:
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        @TheHukillEffect:

        Thanks, his ADP is all over the place.

  6. Tom says:
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    Great stuff! Do you know of a web site that can give me ADP of a OBP league?

    • TheHukillEffect

      TheHukillEffect says:
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      @Tom: Unfortunately I don’t. I use FantasyPros to get ADP and I haven’t seen an option with them or elsewhere to break out ADP for OBP leagues. I usually see players go around where they do in standard leagues with a few exceptions that everyone knows are better in OBP. If I find out I will come back and let you know though.

      Travis
      Twitter: TheHukillEffect

      • Adult Onset Dia Bit Us says:
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        @TheHukillEffect: market needs to catch up with this stuff.

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