The top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball ends the infield rankings for 2018. I say, Amed to that! Rosario, specifically. With the end of the infield rankings, we can get a bigger picture, uh, picture on depth of each position. I call this segment of the program, The Fantastically Flexible File on Marwin Gonzalez. Or The Marvelous Mr. Marwin, if Jeff Bezos is reading. Since Marwin’s got more eligibility than a guy who lives in his mom’s basement and has a cat named Kylo, let’s look at where he is in each ranking. For the top 20 1st baseman for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 30th, for the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 22nd, for the top 20 shortstops for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 20th, and here he’s 24th. Clearly, the infield positions from deepest to shallowest are: 1B, 3B, 2B, and SS. Marwin, you illuminating mother! Any hoo! My projections are noted for every player and all positions are at the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. By the hoo, Rudy has all his 2018 rankings up on the Preseason Player Rater. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:
6. Anthony Rendon – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until here. I call this tier, “Pot committed, which is not to say I’m stoned.” I really tried to get Rendon into the top 20 overall. I kicked and pushed like Lupe Fiasco. His peripherals are gorge, and I’m engorged. He dropped his Ks by 5%, upped his walk rate by 4%, dropped his ground balls, upped his fly balls with the 18th best Medium and Hard Contact, and swung at the 6th lowest number of pitches outside the zone. He’s about to have a career year in the middle of one of the best lineups in baseball. I know he’s not a sexy name like Ohtani, I get it, but he’s essentially Kris Bryant, Freeman and Rizzo twenty spots later. I’m thinking about calling him my preseason NL MVP and I’m all in on Rendon. *dealer motions to my clenched fist* No, I’m all in; I don’t have chips in this hand. I have a shark tooth necklace I ripped off Rougned Odor’s neck after going all in on him last year. *makes a dopey face and a thumbs up* Also, I go over Rendon in the video. 2018 Projections: 92/31/108/.298/9 in 544 ABs
7. Alex Bregman – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Turner. I call this tier, “Touching wet paint.” When you touch wet paint, there’s that moment before you pick up your hand, when you know your hand will have paint on it, but you haven’t seen the paint yet on your hand. If you never lift your hand, you’ll never see the wet paint. That’s this tier. There’s gonna be long stretches when you’re going to want to lift your hand off them, but if you hold tight they will do what they’re capable of. As for Bregman, went over him in the top 20 shortstops for 2018 fantasy baseball.
9. Josh Donaldson – It’s unlikely I own Donaldson anywhere this year. I was expecting to be even further down on him, in a non-sexual way, but this is plenty down. He’s going on average before four guys ahead of him. If a 32-year-old excites you, what about Kemp? How about Zimmerman? Justin Turner? Your mom’s work friend? Okay, maybe all they have in common is their age, but a guy that missed half a season with an injury at that age scares the bejesus out of me. By the way, sausage pronounced backwards is Jesus, coincidence? Anecdotes aside, his Ks went up, his BABIP fell, which makes sense because his line drives fell dramatically, and his gams aren’t moving like they used to. The only thing that is positive with Donaldson is he managed to hit a ton of homers in the 2nd half, but I wouldn’t count on that again. 2018 Projections: 78/29/87/.266/3 in 524 ABs
10. Justin Turner – If you can’t guess, Donaldson and Turner could’ve been a separate tier of guys I just don’t want to draft. Of course, never say never, except when saying ‘never say never,’ then you’re saying never twice, and I’ve now said never five times (six). So, the negation of the negation times three is a triple-double negative. I don’t know what that means, but Turner is being drafted too high for a 20/5 guy whose fantasy value is contingent on a high average. 2018 Projections: 81/23/91/.301/5 in 508 ABs
11. Travis Shaw – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Seager. I call this tier, “Josh, get down here.” By the tier name I mean, I struggled not putting Donaldson below all of these guys. Instead, I plan on not drafting Donaldson (or Turner), and just drafting one of these guys. Due to where I’m going to be ranking these guys overall, I have a feeling I’m going to be drafting a 3B and a corner man in this tier (assuming I don’t get a top six guy). As for Shaw, and actually a comment on all hitters last year, did anyone have a lower HR/FB% last year than their career norm? Shaw had a huge HR/FB uptick, but you can’t find a player who didn’t. Even Alcides Escobar hit more homers last year. Shaw’s fly balls were down, however, so if he gets those fly balls back, it will offset a downtick in HR/FB%. Miller Park isn’t a place I’d bank on less homers either. Unless it’s Barney Miller Park and homers meant Abe Vigoda trying to get laid. So do I like Shaw? Pshaw, are you paying attention? 2018 Projections: 77/30/91/.267/8 in 515 ABs
12. Mike Moustakas – And just as I say that about HR/FB% in Shaw’s blurb, I look at Moistasskiss and his HR/FB% dropped last year after hitting a career-high in homers. This was thanks to a higher fly ball rate, which takes me back to my Shaw point. Did Abe Vigoda ever get laid? Wait, not that point, the point about fly balls. If a guy hits more fly balls, he doesn’t need to hit as many out. Okay, PETA’s gonna throw paint at me if I keep beating this dead horse. Moistasskiss’ stats do tell me there’s gonna be some regression, but as long as the bottom doesn’t drop out, he should be okay. UPDATE: Here’s my Mike Moustakas fantasy for when he re-signed with the Royals. 2018 Projections: 78/30/90/.264 in 531 ABs
14. Rafael Devers – It’s time for the prorater! It’s time for the prorater! It’s time for the prorater! *dancing with my glowstick next to an Asian man wearing ski goggles* If Devers played 150 games last year, he would’ve went 78/19/70/.284/7, which is almost exactly Devers’ projections from Steamer in 130 games for this year. This feels conservative with a hint of realistic. As my mentor once said to me, there’s no place for realism in fantasy. My mentor was the Asian man with the ski goggles, he called himself Mr. My-ah-goo, to avoid trademark lawsuits. Devers could easily beat those numbers, and those numbers sound like Bogaerts’ best case scenario projections for power and speed. 2018 Projections: 70/24/81/.281/8 in 520 ABs
15. Jake Lamb – Two years in a row when he’s put up nearly identical stats, and has done it in a nearly identical way, by taking July 15 thru the end of the season off. Pardon the gender specificity, but, man, if he puts it together one of these 2nd halfs, he’ll be a 40 HR, .290 guy. From 1st half to 2nd half, he goes from Lamborghini to Lamb. 2018 Projections: 84/31/97/.251/3 in 531 ABs
17. Kyle Seager – I go over Seager in the above video. 2018 Projections: 75/28/92/.266/3 in 582 ABs
18. Adrian Beltre – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Maikel. I call this tier, “Plato’s Cave.” 3rd is deep, not as in philosophical, but this tier is filled with guys who have a track record of being productive. Not saying I’d love owning guys in these tier as my 3rd baseman, but I’m not kicking them out of bed, in a bed that has bedsheets labeled, “Corner man.” Even if they, uh, sheet the sheets, you can find someone else. As for Beltre, if you would’ve told someone ten years ago, Beltre would age better than Pujols, would anyone have believed you? Not even your mom? That’s sad. 2018 Projections: 83/24/91/.280/1 in 549 ABs
19. Evan Longoria – Here’s what I said this offseason, “The Giants went out and traded for the 32-year-old Evan Longoria, who has rapidly been declining for years. He should feel at home with the Giants since he is used to being in places that collect old people. On the bright side, Longoria plays a lot, staying on the field. On the dim side, you kinda wish he’d take more days off.” And that’s me quoting me! 2018 Projections: 86/22/94/.271/2 in 608 ABs
20. Eugenio Suarez – Last year, he went 26/4/.260, after a 21/11/.248 season the year before. So, he could be a 32/7/.275 guy in the making, but his perfs — that’s what the kids call them — don’t tell me he’s headed that way. Getting more of a 20/5 vibe from him. Crazy how a 26/4 guy could become a 32/10 or a 20/5 guy, huh? So, not crazy as in crazy interesting, or crazy like Margot Kidder. 2018 Projections: 83/21/90/.262/5 in 552 ABs
21. Maikel Franco – I’m not giving up the hope of Maikel breaking out into a perennial All-Star, but I’m also not predicting it until I see it. If he was capable of 5-10 steals, it would be one thing, but he has to hit 30 HRs and .275 to even approach the breaking out point, and he’s nowhere near there yet. On a side note, from Beltre until Scooter are literally all the same fantasy value to varying degrees, which makes my use of literally completely incorrect. Since Carpenter is in there, let’s say it’s Jesus and his disciples. Or a backwards sausage, for those following along. Then again, a sausage looks the same frontwards and backwards. What does it all mean?! 2018 Projections: 71/27/82/.251 in 560 ABs
22. Eduardo Nunez – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Scooter. I call this tier, “Been here, ranked these guys elsewhere.” As for Nunez, went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.
26. Ryon Healy – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Harrison. I call this tier, “Could be value or could be *sound of cartoon character falling off cliff*” Tier name is self-explanatory, these guys will be surprising value, or dropped quickfast. As for Healy, went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.
30. Matt Chapman – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Crawford. I call this tier, “Stop puffing out your chest.” I could see people drafting a guy from this tier with this running through their mind, “Wow, I can’t believe I got him so late? I wonder if other people realize what a great bargain this was. Hey, why did someone just say, ‘What a terrible pick?’ They weren’t talking to me were they? Why are the walls closing in? I need air!” Then you look around realizing you said all of that aloud. As for Chapman, check out the video. 2018 Projections: 61/26/72/.232/2 in 481 ABs
31. Todd Frazier – He’s only one year removed from a 40-homer season! Dot dot dot. And he hasn’t hit over .225 in two seasons and he’s now hitting 378 foot fly outs instead of 395 foot home runs. Yay… *raspberries lips*…nay. UPDATE: Signed with the Mets. Serious question, if the Yankees are a big market team, why do the Mets seem like they’re playing with house money and the house is in Topeka, Kansas and the house is two minutes from being demolished by a tornado? 2018 Projections: 63/24/73/.220/5 in 453 ABs
35. Jedd Gyorko – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Spangenberg. I call this tier, “How many bench spots you got?” These guys are either in a platoon, or starting the year in the minors. As for Gyorko, went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.
39. Cory Spangenberg – Is it just me or can you not look at this guy’s name and think of the girl from Bosom Buddies and/or sister in Back to the Future? Wendie Jo? No? Okay. Must be showing my age. *applies Just for Men to mustache* 2018 Projections: 52/15/49/.232/10 in 421 ABs
40. Brian Anderson – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Prado. I call this tier, “Do you have an at-bats category?” These guys should have a starting job, and *raspberries lips* As for Anderson, he made the top 10 3rd basemen prospects from Prospector Ralph. There, PR said, “After two and half years of moderate power and production, Anderson tapped into his raw power in 2017, riding it to a late season callup. I see the Marlins top hitting prospect as a high floor player that could produce solid fantasy seasons in deeper leagues of 16 teams plus. Long term I’d expect a line of .270, 20 HR, 75 RBI at peak, with maybe a little more batting average upside than power. Should be a factor in Miami in 2018. Also, Grey is dumb.” Hey, c’mon! With the way Pasta Diving Jeter is selling off pieces, Anderson might not only be playing 3rd for the Marlins, he might have to cover the entire left side of the field. He looks like a 15-homer, .250 guy to me, but maybe there’s some upside. 2018 Projections: 54/15/67/.255/1 in 513 ABs
42. Jeimer Candelario – He turns the “Candy Man can” phrase on its head, because I’m not sure what he can do. 2018 Projections: 56/13/65/.259/1 in 504 ABs
46. Martin Prado – Serious question: do you need a clubhouse presence when you plan on losing 110 games? 2018 Projections: 54/8/56/.262 in 502 ABs
47. Matt Duffy – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the end of the list. I call this tier, “Tombstone pizza, hold the crust, sauce and cheese.” If you have a field of Tombstone pizzas without the pizza, what do you have? A field of Tombstones, aka a cemetery. Welcome to the end of the 3rd base rankings! As for Duffy, he’s entering his prime. In that he’s divisible by one and himself. 2018 Projections: 54/7/61/.251/9 in 467 ABs
48. Miguel Andujar – Raise your hand if you really think the Yankees are going to have Andujar play 3rd base for them all year. Since I am omniscient, I can report back to you our informal hand-raising poll numbers show no one thinks Andujar will be the Yanks’ 3rd baseman all year. And, no, I didn’t count Bob, who raised both his hands. UPDATE: Looks like Bob was right to raise both his hands, as the Yanks traded for Drury. Gonna leave Andujar here, but he might not be up until June. 2018 Projections: 46/10/52/.273/3 in 356 ABs