Not gonna lie… I spent far too long deciding if third base or short stop came after second base in terms of rolling out this preseason series. Then I looked at the short stops, threw up in my mouth a little bit, and moved on to third base instead. Ahhh, much better.

In 2016, third base is quite an intriguing position. There are very clear tiers, some big-time names, and then those players that make your penis soft. Similar to second basemen, the hot corner averaged a .061 spread for qualified hitters. And while we keep that figure in mind, I will give you my thoughts on the risers, fallers, targets, and sleepers at third base for the 2016 season…

(Keep in mind, the format is 12-team 5×5 OBP)

 

The Risers:

PLAYER TEAM AB R HR RBI SB BB AVG OBP Spread
Kris Bryant CHC 559 87 26 99 13 77 0.275 0.369 0.094
Matt Carpenter STL 574 101 28 84 4 81 0.272 0.365 0.093
Luis Valbuena HOU 434 62 25 56 1 50 0.224 0.310 0.086
Mark Reynolds STL 382 35 13 48 2 44 0.230 0.315 0.085
Justin Turner LAD 385 55 16 60 5 36 0.294 0.370 0.076
Josh Donaldson TOR 620 122 41 123 6 73 0.297 0.371 0.074
Manny Machado BAL 633 102 35 86 20 70 0.286 0.359 0.073
Jung Ho Kang PIT 421 60 15 58 5 28 0.287 0.355 0.068
Jake Lamb ARI 350 38 6 34 3 36 0.263 0.331 0.068
Juan Uribe ATL/LAD/NYM 360 40 14 43 2 34 0.253 0.320 0.067
David Freese LAA 424 53 14 56 1 31 0.257 0.323 0.066
Chase Headley NYY 580 74 11 62 0 51 0.259 0.324 0.065
Mike Moustakas KC 549 73 22 82 1 43 0.284 0.348 0.064
Maikel Franco PHI 304 45 14 50 1 26 0.280 0.343 0.063
Trevor Plouffe MIN 573 74 22 86 2 50 0.244 0.307 0.063

Matt Carpenter (5th Round, OBP Value= 4th)

Matt Carpenter is kind of like the Caitlyn Jenner of fantasy baseball. Much like Jenner in 2015, Carpenter made people confused on who he really was. And even through his slight identity problem, everyone seems to be on board with him in 2016!

At age 28, Carpenter went from eight homers in 2014, to 28 homers in 2015. He also maintained a huge Run total (101) and a huge Spread (.093) even with the increase in Ks. And even if his power regresses back to around 20 dingers (as it should), Carpenter is a lock to get a shit load of plate appearances and is a beast in the OBP format. Don’t be afraid to jump on him in the fourth round regardless if you get a hard time from your buddies.

 

The Fallers:

PLAYER TEAM AB R HR RBI SB BB AVG OBP Spread
Nolan Arenado COL 616 97 42 130 2 34 0.287 0.323 0.036
Brett Lawrie OAK 562 64 16 60 5 28 0.260 0.299 0.039
Matt Duffy SF 573 77 12 77 12 30 0.295 0.334 0.039
Josh Harrison PIT 418 57 4 28 10 19 0.287 0.327 0.040
Pablo Sandoval BOS 470 43 10 47 0 25 0.245 0.292 0.047
Adrian Beltre TEX 567 83 18 83 1 41 0.287 0.334 0.047
Nick Castellanos DET 549 42 15 73 0 39 0.255 0.303 0.048
Lonnie Chisenhall CLE 333 38 7 44 4 23 0.246 0.294 0.048
Yangervis Solarte SD 526 63 14 63 1 34 0.270 0.320 0.050
Martin Prado MIA 500 52 9 63 1 37 0.288 0.338 0.050
Aramis Ramirez MIL/PIT 475 43 17 75 1 31 0.246 0.297 0.051
Todd Frazier CIN 619 82 35 89 13 44 0.255 0.309 0.054
Danny Valencia OAK/TOR 345 59 18 66 2 29 0.290 0.345 0.055
Evan Longoria TB 604 74 21 73 3 51 0.270 0.328 0.058
Yunel Escobar WSH 535 75 9 56 2 45 0.314 0.375 0.061

Nolan Arenado (1st Round, OBP Value= 2nd)

Something about those dreamy eyes, tan skin, and great defense has people mesmerized by Nolan Arenado in 2016. He is a fan favorite and one of the top “man crushes” for bros this year. Hell, Arenado is currently batting .629 in spring to top it off (that’s right….629)! And somehow, some asshole (me) is going to spin this in a negative way. How on earth…? Well I apologize in advance for dropping a turd in your cereal.

Do you know what Arenado’s OBP is in spring this year? It’s .632. In fact…just three days ago, his OBP was lower than his AVG! So I am not here to prove to you why Arenado isn’t going to absolutely crush the ball in 2016- but why even if he does- his value decreases significantly in OBP formats.

In 2015, Arenado hit .287, scored 92 runs, hit 42 bombs, and had 130 RBIs….and finished #30 on the Player Rater in OBP formats. Think about that for a minute. In order for Arenado to finish in even the top 20 players in 2016, he will have to increase his batting average to around .320 or improve on his R/HR/RBI totals rather significantly. Hitting in a worse lineup and showing zero signs of improving his BB rates (his BB% actually dropped from 5.4% to 5.1% in 2015), I am betting against that. Move his pretty-boy value from a late first to a late second rounder or just take Donaldson or Machado instead.

 

The Target: Jung Ho Kang (14th Round, OBP Value= 11th)

All Asian jokes aside, Jung Ho Kang moved over from South Korea to Pittsburgh and acted like he never left home. In fact, Kang had a blistering OBP at PNC Park of .388, solidifying him as a target in OBP leagues for 2016.

In his first full season in the MLB, Kang paced a 162-game stat line of: 19 HRs, 75 RBIs, and a .355 OBP. In his second half alone- before his season was cut short- he slashed a .364 OBP and hit 11 bombs to show off his power upside that we were all waiting for. And although his brutal injury may scare some off, it might be all that was needed to land him at great value during your draft. With his return set for mid-April, you should be able to get Kang with an 11th round pick in OBP leagues, which is well worth the slight gamble. Toss him on your DL, and enjoy some good things to come as well as the multi-position eligibility.

 

The Sleeper: Justin Turner (18th Round, OBP Value= 15th)

It isn’t hard to tell that the top tier of third basemen is where all of the sex is at. I mean look at those names! Machado. Donaldson. Arenado. Bryant. But what about the late rounders? Where has all the sex gone?! (Hmm…I feel like I have asked my wife that question before…).

I am here to let you know that although not nearly as sexy, there are some big time value picks in the later rounds for third basemen. And one most notably is Mr. Justin Turner. With a .076 spread in 2015, Justin Turner finished number 5 in terms of spread for all qualified third basemen (right above Josh Donaldson). In fact, last year Turner put up some stupid stats in his 439 plate appearances:

2015: 439 PA 55 R, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 5 SB, .370 OBP

Extrapolated to 600 PA: 75 R, 22 HR, 82 RBI, 7 SB, .370 OBP

Pretty good eh? One positive on Turner, is that his high OBP doesn’t seem to be a fluke- as his OBP was .404 in 2014. Even better, nobody is giving this man the love he deserves! Sure playing time might be a question, but in the 15th round a lot of people have the same concerns. If Turner does reach 500+ PAs this year- watch out! He is slated in the middle of the order for the Dodgers and also slated to be a freaking steal in the middle of the rounds. DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT!

 
  1. FKA Ralph says:
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    I don’t see Kyle Seager listed here. Is the format change just a wash for him?

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @FKA Ralph: You got it. He is at a spread of .062 which is right in line with AVG but closer to the risers.

  2. Alan says:
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    Since you all love Franco.

    Who would you rather have in 7×7 obp slg? only 10 hitter slots (yahoo)?

    Franco, Rendon, Ortiz. Would be the 57th pick in the draft if that matters.

    11 teams. We keep 5 per year as first five rounds

    Already have Sale, Carrasco, Noah, Upton, Sano (3B elig)

    Thanks

    • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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      @Alan: in yahoo you can likely get franco and ortiz, if you get one of them at 57th.

  3. Hodysseus

    Hodysseus says:
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    Hmm I would actually lean Ortiz here. Seems like you already have some good keepers and Ortiz value rises in OBP quite a bit.

    • CMUTimmah says:
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      @Hodysseus: Franco – As I think he would bump Sano or Upton next year to keep….

      • Hodysseus

        Hodysseus says:
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        @CMUTimmah: I hope you are right as I have Franco on my team. I just think Ortiz might be a safe play considering even if Franco mashes, his upside is hardly better than 5th round value next year just cuz of the team he is on.

  4. Scooter G says:
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    Running into a problem with who to take in the second round of ten team h2h obp draft because of players like arenado losing value in obp. In mocks I have been taking Rizzo at pick 7 but oftentimes I am left with the following choices at pick 14 arenado, miggy, abreu, votto, bautista, Dee gordon, marte

    Would you go arenado here, take a utility 1b this early, Joey bats, or a surprise option I’m not seeing?

    Thanks so much

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Scooter G: I had a similar situation as you. Like the Rizzo pick at 7 a lot and would rank those players in 5×5 obp league like so:

      Miggy- I expect a classic Miggy year with a .400+ OBP and big numbers across board.
      Arenado- Above Votto just because others value him highly.
      Votto- He honestly should be 1 or 2 but his name aint sexy and sometimes that matters.
      Bautista- Old as hell but a freaking stud in OBP formats.

      Abreu- Safe but unspectacular. However last good 1B before a dropoff
      Dee- See 2B article I wrote.
      Marte- Not too high on him as I feel Cain can give similar output 3 rounds later.

      Other people to consider:
      McCutchen
      Chris Davis

  5. billy beeeen says:
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    My concern: Who to keep when these players seem “at value”.

    Those “at value” seem to be…Altuve $29, Goldschmidt $38, Odor $11, Lindor $9, Wainright $7, D. Salazar $10. Values seem to be…Harvey $10, Jose Fernandez $10, B.Harper $29 and Sano $18. . We may keep 8. We have $300 for keepers and auction. Our league is 11 team league, Mixed OBA league. Pitching categories: K-Whip-K/BB-QS-SVHLDS. Each owner gets 34 players:C(2)-1b-2b-3b-ss-MI-CI-OF(5)-Util(3)-Pitchers(10)-Bench(8).

    I finish in top 3 each year. Good in auction. If I keep too many expensive players, I limit myself at auction. If I let expensive players go, they may go for a much higher price due to inflation since other owners have cheaper keepers.

    Your thoughts? Get the producers and scrounge around at the auction or throw most back and use dollars in auction? Who do you like of above? Seems to me that there are a lot of attractive 2B this year.

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @billy beeeen: Keep Harper, Jose Fer for sure. I also like Lindor for $9 and Sano for $18 because Sano’s value increase in OBP. Throw in the rest. I agree I like a lot of 2B this year.

      • Bully beeen says:
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        @Hodysseus: did Harvey scare you off b/c of today’s result?

        • Hodysseus

          Hodysseus says:
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          @Bully beeen: Nope. He is good value too, I just don’t know if you should keep 2 SPs. And I am one of the few that definitely prefers Jose Fer to Harvey.

  6. Wacha wacha says:
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    Could you please explain how you can tell which players rise and fall in an obp format? I’m not always quick to understand statistics.

    Steamer has Miggy leading the league in average and finishing with the 6th best obp. How can he gain value in an obp format? (Referring to the 1b risers post)

    Thank you!

    • Chicken Dinner says:
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      @Wacha wacha: He gains value due to that fact that he walks. Batting for a high average doesn’t guarantee good OBP.

      Dee Gordon BA/ .333 OBP/ .359 DIF/ +.26

      Miguel Cabrera BA/ .338 OBP/ .440 DIF/ +.102

      • Wacha wacha says:
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        @Chicken Dinner:

        I can see that. It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that Miggy can hit for the best avg in the league but be better in an obp format than avg format.

        • Chicken Dinner says:
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          @Wacha wacha: He gets a bump because people who don’t draw walks get a down grade.

          In a regular league these guys are the same. OBP league Donaldson has more value.

          HR RBI AVG OBP
          Donaldson: 41 123 .297 .371

          Arenado: 42 130 .287 .323

          • Hodysseus

            Hodysseus says:
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            @Chicken Dinner: Chicken Dinner you can write my next series for me :)

  7. OJ Simpson says:
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    Best posts on this damn website. I drafted and am currently ss less because they all are terrible. Who would you recomend for a ss stop pick up in an obp league .
    My current team is
    Perez (big reach)
    Freeman/duda
    Odor 22nd round keeper
    Ss empty
    Sano/franco 22nd round keepers
    Heyward
    mccutch
    Blackmon
    Deshields/buxton bn

    Sale
    Shields
    Ross (eh)
    Chen
    Kennedy
    Nola

    Storen
    Cishek
    Rondon

    NA arcia

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @OJ Simpson: Who are top SS avail? Brad Miller out there?

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @OJ Simpson: By the way, I appreciate your positive feedback. I am glad you continue to read each of my posts man!

      • OJ Simpson says:
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        @Hodysseus:
        Yeah man, your posts are extremely helpful

        Yes brad miller is on the wire.
        Marwin gonzalez
        Ceaser hernandez
        Brock holt
        Ketel marte
        Brad miller
        Peralta
        Aybar
        Suarez all available as well.

        • Hodysseus

          Hodysseus says:
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          @OJ Simpson: Pick up Marte and or Miller. I like Marte a lot if you lack speed

  8. Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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    how would it even be possible to have a lower OBP than AVG? isn’t OBP just times on base divided by PA? and average is just times on base divided by PA (first subtracting hit by pitches/BB’s from PA)

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Crapshoot Kershaw: Sac Flys are the thing that can cause this to happen. That and having zero walks or HBP. Very hard to do!

  9. Otto Von Bismark says:
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    Thanks Hod! Love how Carpenter, Kang, and Turner all have multi-positional eligibility too.

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Otto Von Bismark: Thanks Otto- I am a man for the people- the people of OBP!

      And absolutely. To be honest, Kang is probably a better fit at SS and is more valuable there to a team. Maybe should have included him in my SS write up.

  10. The Wombat says:
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    KB to rule them all, long live Otis

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