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.
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.
|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.
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.