Third base has been an incredibly difficult position to navigate in the first quarter of the season.  It’s as hard as trying to navigate kids’ newfangled cool expressions.

Note to everyone:  Slay is a funny joke.  It’s great to drop a “Yass Queen.”  Just don’t call someone zesty.  They are liable to call you a Bozo.

I went and grabbed the NFBC ADP for third base, then compared the top 19 ADP preseason to the Fantrax and Razzball player rater.  Results are in this fancy table directly below.

Third Base NFBC Draft Results

 Preseason Rank Name NFBC ADP Current Rank (FanTrax) Razzball Player Rater
1  Jose Ramirez 3.44 180 97
2  Bobby Witt Jr. 10.19 53 50
3  Manny Machado 13.69 286 240
4  Austin Riley 20.6 209 152
5  Rafael Devers 20.96 63 23
6  Nolan Arenado 33.34 101 54
7  Alex Bregman 72.57 294 273
8  Gunnar Henderson 88.92 478 466
9  Max Muncy 128.22 70 17
10  Jose Miranda 153.87 Minors
11  Matt Chapman 154.17 196 77
12  Eugenio Suarez 156.75 317 285
13  Ke’Bryan Hayes 172.92 348 318
14  Alec Bohm 173.89 170 92
15  Jordan Walker 177.04 Minors
16  Brandon Drury 185.68 288 210
17  Ryan McMahon 201.68 312 281
18  Josh Rojas 210.17 394 271
19  Josh Jung 219.84 139 74

Undrafted:  Yandy Diaz (11), Patrick Wisdom (51), Taylor Walls (65), Isaac Paredes (67), J.D. Davis (149) Brian Anderson (164)

This is insane.  Third base has been a landmine.  The proper play apparently was to wait, don’t draft the higher rated guys, then get a lottery ticket late or play the waivers.

Need an example?  Look no further than the Razzball Writer’s League.  Yes, I capitalized the title, it’s that good.  While not as highly rated as the Sperts League, it’s for sure a great group of fantasy players.  My hypothesis is that overdrafting third baseballers has helped tank some teams.

First place is occupied by Butters.  By 15 points at the time of this writing.  His drafted starter at third was Jordan Walker.  Razzball’s favorite AAA player!  Of course, he drafted Yandy Diaz at 268, and picked up Josh Jung at pick 213, so he was covered in that spot.  My theory prevails.  He was served well to wait.

Second place is Truss, who drafted Jose Ramirez at five overall.  He’s now buried in the FanTrax ranks at 180 (97 on Razzball player rater).  That doesn’t serve my hypothesis well.  Then I looked at the roto numbers;  he’s in second because of pitching, not hitting.   My hypothesis lives on.  Ramirez hasn’t helped him in his hitting as much as a better hitter at pick 5 would have.

Third place is Los Pinguinos, and his glorious late draft of Ke’Bryan Hayes at pick 178.  Another team based on pitching, but he played third place sorta well if you agree with me that Hayes can return more value than he has so far.

Fourth place is me, your favorite Educator.  I splurged on Rafael Devers, but I thought that he was a good pick at 19 regardless of positioning.  He’s right on according to the Razzball player rater.

Now let’s embarrass some Razzball scribes who are nearer to the bottom.

10th place is MattScar, who drafted Austin Riley at 17.  Riley’s been a killer so far with his 150+ ranking.  He’ll bounce back, but that second round draft price has been an anchor for his owners.  Riley’s Scarred this team into tenth place at this point.

11th place is Darksheep.  Guess who he took at 22?  Bobby Witt!  I warned you guys about his downside, I swear I did.  My only regret is that I didn’t put him further down the ranks.  He’s been so bad that even Max Muncy can’t rescue the Darksheep from bleating.

And in last place is the Lineup Builder, who built his lineup including Nolan Arenado AND Alex Bregman.  Arenado’s shown some signs of late, Bregman has not and I’m sure it has nothing to do with trash cans.  I’m not trying to be a grouch I promise.  These two have combined returned a value over 300 places below their ADP.

My hypothesis stands.  I’ve done this for years in multiple sports.  Drafting players higher than they deserve due to positional scarcity is something I try to not do in the early rounds.  Based on the three last place teams, all who drafted third basemen too high, this holds water.  The top teams also support my thinking (except for Jordan Walker who all Razzball writers were contractually obligated to love and worship).  There’s always someone at the end of the draft to take as a flyer or breakouts from the waiver wire.

Note on all statistics:  They were accurate Monday night.  If they change they change, but my general point remains the same.

Some Third Base Notes

Gunnar Henderson continues to struggle despite a good plate approach.  Shallow leagues can probably move on, deeper leagues/dynasty may need to hold because he does have a high level of talent.  The results will come someday.

Manny Machado and Austin Riley:  I’d still trade for these guys if an owner is frustrated, but I’m not expecting second round value out of them for the rest of the year.  I’m thinking they can do what Nolan Arenado was projected to do ROS.

Don’t go crazy on Patrick Wisdom.  He’s really not good at anything but hitting home runs.  The Cubs recently called up a certain best hitter in the minor leagues to get regular at bats.  I think Wisdom won’t receive playing time like he has so far once Christopher Morel gets acclimated.

Leaving Jose Miranda out of my top 20 3B was one of my smarter moves this preseason, as he’s now back in AAA.

Did you know Eugenio Suarez is only 5-11, and 213 pounds?  That’s literally me, the Educator’s, height and weight.  I’m not built like an MLB power hitter.  So Suarez isn’t a physical specimen (shut up, I’m working on it) and has to sell out for power to the detriment of his contact.  Quality over quantity, I guess.  This year, the power’s gone, and the contact is the same.  He’s for sure been a bust, and I don’t see it improving for the mildly disappointing Mariners.

Thanks again for reading, and hit me in the comments or on twitter at @theEducator23.  I’m trying to do some notes on each team, especially the corner IF, so let me know if that helps.