Greetings readers, I want to start today by thanking and wishing good luck to all of the participants who drafted with me in my RCL Sunday night.  I was kept on my toes throughout the draft, as everyone was clearly prepared and ready to apply all they’ve learned at Razzball and in life to conquer what was (lovingly, I’m sure) referred to in our chat as the “Take Down Laura Holt League.”  To those of you who have RCL drafts upcoming and are new to the format, you’ll soon learn what the rest of us have discovered: dollar for dollar (yes, I know most of the leagues are free) it’s about the most fun and challenging format (no) money can buy.

Now, to the business at hand:  it’s time to continue our way around the diamond to the hot corner, where we’ll take a look at some late-round third basemen that may be of particular interest to those of us in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.  This week, we’ll keep a true deep-league vibe going by looking only at guys who are currently outside the top 20 third basemen being selected, according to current NFBC ADP.

Josh Donaldson.  Let’s start with a guy I drafted in Sunday’s RCL, shall we?  Did I have Josh Donaldson targeted?  Uh, no… and now that I’m thinking about it, maybe drafting a guy who I just mentioned is ranked outside the top 20 third baseman as my starter at that position in a 12-team mixed league will lead to disaster (but the nice thing about the RCL leagues is that there’s always a ripe waiver wire to turn to should such disaster strike!)  Anyway, I wouldn’t go all in on him without a backup plan — and even if he manages to stay healthy that average could get ugly — but I don’t mind taking one chance on Donaldson as a guy who we know has legit power and can hit the kinds of homers that could go out of any stadium at any time, juiced ball or no.

Brian Anderson.  Let’s drop down to a guy whose ADP is #232, a player who may not have much upside but who may be about as safe a pick as there is at that point in a draft to at least provide a steady stream of relatively quality at bats and the counting stats to go with them.  He’s a guy with a boring name and boring fantasy numbers, but sometimes the boring choice is the right choice.  Anderson won’t hurt you in average and is likely to provide solid support in runs, RBI, and homers.  Also, the Marlins as a team are at least a little interesting now in my opinion, if that helps.

Eduardo Escobar.  I haven’t drafted Escobar yet and really haven’t been tempted to, but that doesn’t mean I won’t consider him if I need 3B help around the 300th pick of a draft (his current ADP is #291).  Most figured his amazing 2019 when he hit 35 home runs with 118 RBI was an aberration, and his awful 2020 (.212 with 4 homers and 1 steal in 56 games — yikes, it was even worse than I remembered) would add further evidence that it indeed was.  But if the D-Backs as a team can significantly improve on last year’s hitting, and they can hardly do much worse on that front, and Escobar can get in a groove and settle somewhere in between the high of 2019 and the low of 2020, he could if nothing else be a serviceable corner infielder in deeper leagues.

Carter Kieboom.  It’s understandable that Kieboom is being left on the fantasy scrap heap this year with a completely off-the-radar ADP of #483.  He disappointed many in 2020 after his stock rose during spring training (or maybe it was summer camp, who can remember anything that happened between March and July of last year correctly) upon being named the Nationals’ starting third baseman.  That starting gig never really materialized, and when Kieboom did play he was horrible.  Weirdly, he’s once again in the position of looking like he might get a chance at significant playing time this year.  The bad (and perhaps realistic) news?  Even if he does, it might not pay off into any kind of fantasy goodness given how low we now know his floor is and the fact that none of his recent metrics show that a big breakout is imminent.  The better news?  He’s still just 23, the talent he showed in the minor leagues probably didn’t just disappear, and he’s cheap-to-free if you’re interested in a post hype prospect lottery ticket.

Maikel Franco.  I was big on Franco as a super deep league flier last year as someone who would benefit in a huge way with a change of scenery out of Philadelphia, and he basically delivered, with a .278 average and 8 homers while playing in all 60 games for the Royals.  That wasn’t enough to get him a deal from another team before the first week of March, as most teams are likely wary, in the same way most of us fantasy owners are, that Franco just isn’t going to ever get on base enough or take his skills to a high enough level to make him an impact player.  Word on the street is that his market has finally picked up though, and if he hasn’t signed by the time you read this he may shortly thereafter, so where he lands will certainly affect any remaining fantasy interest in him.  With a current ADP of almost 500, though, he’s certainly worth a look in the deepest leagues in case he manages to do more or less what he did last year over a full season in 2021.

Yandy Diaz.  Sigh, I’ve always had a soft spot for Diaz, and I’m sure he’ll at least find his way on to an AL-only team of mine again this year.  Every day at bats may not be in his future between A) his health, and B) the fact that the one thing we will always know about how playing time will work for the Rays, is that we will never know how playing time will work for the Rays, including when we are in the middle of watching a Rays game.  I think it’s worth noting, however, that Diaz was on his way to a solid power season in 2019 before being derailed by injury, hitting 14 homers in 79 games.  Last year, he had only 2 homers in 114 at bats, but hit a robust .307 over that span with a delicious .428 OBP.  And, he passes my eye test; he just looks like a physically strong, mentally confident hitter every time I watch one of his at bats. Despite the fact that he’s never done much to reward my fantasy faith in him, with an ADP of #516 it doesn’t hurt much to give him one more try.

 

 
  1. Harley Earl says:
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    Hey Laura,

    Nice piece! Always enjoy your stuff. Was wondering, any interest in Austin Riley (ATL) as a late 3B target? His ADP is 237. Seems like a nice bet that late in that lineup. Hope you agree!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Thanks Harley! I do agree… haven’t drafted him; I almost wrote him up but didn’t b/c he’s kind of been off. my radar I guess (which is exactly the kind of guys we should all be looking at that late!) and I hadn’t really had a chance to look at him more closely. The more I do though I like what I see at that price; he could provide some nice power stats and could really be a bargain if he can manage to get on base more and earn/keep a regular spot in that lineup.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Prolly foolish of me to help you, but one guy I’d look at deep at 3B is Isaac Paredes

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Thanks, good call, and never foolish to help a friend! (Especially one who’s not in any AL-only leagues with you ; )

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        That was a prime consideration, tbh

  3. Member Berries says:
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    queue the Jaws theme

    Really interesting draft on Sunday. I enjoyed seeing your approach as it was different.

    Quick notes:
    I went in saying I thought Bauer was SP1 (because he’s the best cheater) but I didnt have the stones to take him over Bieber. It hurt when you took him – you see him throwing with one eye closed (or open) in the spring ? he’s a wild man but as a dodger fan, happy he’s wearing the dodger blue and providing his sticky stuff to that staff

    that draft was insane in the do not draft pitchers at all stance. I was confused. I dont regret Bieber in the second but HAD I KNOWN I would have approached it differently. Mock drafts had me paranoid in how quickly SP dried up.

    hadnt done a RCL in a bit – forgot how much talent is out there after the draft – so many options in the waive wire . I thought it was 30 rounds (like mocks) so i almost forgot to draft a 5th OF – jo adell it is, for now…

    Karinchak struggles got you concerned at all?
    Did you take FPeralta for the Ks, potential closer should Hader get traded, or as a starter? All of the above?

    At 3B – I like the news that Kieboom got lasik and always liked his bat. Still very young and I may like him best from this list

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Hey Berries, yeah, my team is certainly unlike any other I’ll have this year! Took a lot of guys who I wouldn’t normally draft, but it was a combination of adjusting to the flow of the draft and the format, which really is its own animal as you know. As you mentioned it’s a huge adjustment for me too in terms of the number of good players left after the draft; so hard to get used to seeing that much available on waivers especially when you’re used to deep leagues and/or huge bench drafts like a draft and hold or best ball type. I’m not worried about Karinchak b/c in this format I’d rather go for the potential upside (of both Ks and saves), and if it doesn’t work out, almost everyone is replaceable given the available player pool. I just drafted Bauer in RazzSlam also, which is pretty funny since I never thought I’d have him on even one team this year. Again, love the upside even if if I’m not expecting a repeat of last year, and even a second round pick disaster isn’t always a team-killer in the RCLs… last year I drafted Verlander in the 2nd round about 36 hrs. before he went down for the year. Forgot to mention the lasik on Kieboom, good point — just nothing to lose giving him a try this year IMO!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Oh, and re. Peralta — just really looking for Ks at that point… will be interesting to see if he finds his way into the rotation this year and if so how he does, but if he stays in Milwaukee and is used like he was last year then RCL is one of the formats I think he could be relatively useful.

    • Racehorse says:
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      “that draft was insane in the do not draft pitchers at all stance.”

      Yeah, exactly !

      I kept waiting for all those top shelf starting pitchers to come off the board, so I could calmly scrutinize the position players, but everyone kept taking all the super-star position players round-after-round …. or at least it SEEMED that way.

      Finally taking Kenta Meada as my SP1 in the 8th round kinda felt like a relief ~

      • Laura Holt

        Laura Holt says:
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        I love Maeda this year, I think/hope he’ll be a legit fantasy #1 — insane deal at that point!

  4. JKJ

    JKJ says:
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    Always love your deep cuts! Feeling rather good about Escobar this season. Dude changed his diet and shed 20 lbs over the offseason. Should destroy that ADP value.

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Hey JKJ, thanks! I have to decide whether to keep Escobar for like $14 in one of my NL-only keeper leagues… he was one of my slam dunks going into 2020 at that price (tons of inflation as it’s a keep-as-many-as-you-want league), but we didn’t play out the season and just froze everyone so now I have to make the decision for 2021 and it’s a lot tougher. Though I hadn’t read the Best Shape Of His Life Club news – I probably shouldn’t pay it too much attention but that actually might move him up by draft sheet a bit!

  5. Son

    Son says:
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    Always a good read!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Thanks Son!!

  6. Racehorse says:
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    I’m in this league …

    I double-tapped 3B in the draft with Arenado & Rendon because I was late for my 1st round draft pick due to coming out of a Sunday afternoon/early evening food coma …

    I was all discombobulated, but then gathered myself and went back-to-back with the aforementioned super studs at the hot corner.

    Totally agree on Donaldson plus having a Plan B … great player, but ouchy body (and personality, I hear).

    I’m a big Franco guy, he was helpful last year, albeit in a short season … if he signs with the Rockies, they’ll be (or should be) a stampede to the waiver wire in all leagues everywhere (trampled underfoot?)

    Baseball is the best thing since oxygen!

  7. Racehorse says:
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    “To those of you who have RCL drafts upcoming and are new to the format, you’ll soon learn what the rest of us have discovered: dollar for dollar

    (yes, I know most of the leagues are free)

    it’s about the most fun and challenging format (no) money can buy.”
    _______________

    Well said, Laura!

    I’m coming … for the POWER & GLORY!

    Or maybe it’s for the beer & nachos …

    Best time of the year — time to get after it!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Agreed on all fronts (well, wine and French fries for me but same idea ;), especially comparing baseball to oxygen… I’ve actually always said that every January and February I kind of feel like I’m being deprived of my full oxygen supply while waiting for baseball season to ramp up. I think you’ll enjoy having 3B/CI locked up so nicely; we’ll see how long Donaldson even stays on my roster… I may dump him for a one-day fill-in the first time he needs a day off, which I’m putting the over/under on at around April 3rd :)

      • Racehorse says:
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        Wine and French fries sounds great!

        But I also hear that no-wine-and- no-anything-liquid & French fries is still pretty darn good!

        The Power and the Glory ~

        ;-)

  8. The sportsguy says:
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    10 team AL 5×5 (K plus net runs (runs minus HR)

    Better value for this year?

    Bundy $3 or Voit $11

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Gotta go with Voit there; that’s a great value anyway and I really think those of us in AL-only leagues are going to be in for a rude awakening at how few and far between stud hitters are this year.

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