When this corona timeline is over, can I be the first to say, please continue to stay six feet from me. Yesterday, I watched the Cardinals win a game of small ball. No, it wasn’t a game from years ago. It was the Cardinals vs. my dog, Ted, in my backyard. Ted just barked at a small ball stuck in a tree for two hours and the Cardinals sat on a perch next to the ball. It was riveting. Don’t let any of those millennials tell you small ball is boring. Millennials ruined small ball! I didn’t simply type that last exclamation; I also screamed it out my window at a group of teenagers who were standing approximately 5 1/2 feet from each other. I’m reporting you! I’m still screaming. Any hoo! With this series, I will take a look around the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings to see if there’s any differences now that we might only play a 100-game season. Projections have been updated on all my positional rankings. This is using the top 20 3rd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball as our guide. Anyway, here’s thoughts on the top 20 3rd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball with the new Corona timeline:
7. Eugenio Suarez – I know it’s late, I know you’re weary, I know your plans, don’t include me, still here we are–Sorry, I was singing Kenny Rogers and hadn’t heard you come in. Grab a White Claw and shimmer down from my one half-step in the middle of the living room that has no real use and should be an incline or ramp. When we started the 2020 rankings back in January, we loved Eugenio. You mentioned how he seemed lucky; I countered with how I believed in his power. You conceded and we toasted our virus-free Chablis. Then, enter February, the cruelest month (if you’re a soul-less groundhog), and Suarez needed shoulder surgery and you backed off him, saying, “No, I can’t,” and you held your hand to your forehead like a Southern damsel in distress. I, more generous of spirit, wasn’t worried. Eugenio once healed from a broken finger in a week (not joking), and I said you should still draft Suarez. Well, now, I’ve been wearing a jheri curl wig for 26 days — Intern whispers in my ear, “We’re quarantining, not Quentin Tarantino’ing.” — Nevertheless, I still love Eugenio, and with the extra time for him to get to 100%, I am still glad I didn’t fade him in any drafts.
8. Yoan Moncada – Mentioned this the other day, but I think it’s worth repeating here. A player’s speed is going to come into play now more than in a 162-game season. If a guy who steals 15 bags over 162 games is fast but not always motivated to steal, he could steal 10 bags in a month, which in a 100-game season is insanely valuable. If a guy is a 15-steal guy but not fast and is more like a 2-steal a month guy, well, over the course of 100 games, that’s a lot less valuable. All this is to say, Moncada really isn’t a fast guy. His new 100-game projections are 51/17/58/.272/6, which is about 1.4 steals per month and sounds about right. By the by, point-four steals is when a guy steals 2nd but the pitch is fouled off and he needs to return to first.
9. Matt Chapman – His projections just look too pretty to not move him up. I moved him from my 11th best 3rd baseman to the 9th, up above Glad Vuerrero Juniper and Muncy. Might’ve been long overdue too. Chapman’s projections over 100 games: 59/23/64/.256/1 in 357 ABs. The one thing holding him back is his bating average, and in 100 games, that variance just got more, uh, varied. Think about this, in a 162-game season, the cream rises and to hit .350, it’s gonna take someone who is an elite hitter. To hit .350 in 100 games, might take some good BABIP luck over the course of two months. To say the same in a different way, for three months last year, Tim Anderson hit near .370. Anderson, in case you didn’t know, is no great batting average guy, but a high BABIP and an injury-shortened season, actually led to his AL batting title. Maybe Chapman hits .256 and is a little bit of a batting average drain, but he could hit 25 homers and .300 in only three months. Can’t say that about a lot of guys.
47. Evan Longoria – I’m not moving around a guy ranked 47th in the top 20. (New reader, “Did he say the 47th 3rd baseman in the top 20? Is this guy absolute crackers?” Yes, yes, I am.) But here’s an interesting note about the Giants, Mariners and any other team in a crazy awful pitchers’ park. We don’t know yet what the season has in store, but what if the Giants or Mariners play all their home games in Arizona at their spring training facility? Did you just feel the slightest bit of sweat bead on your brow and your eyes shifted a little? That’s because you realized you might’ve committed highway robbery. All those crazy-late Giants and Mariners hitters might’ve just got a huge boost in value without you doing anything. AT&T and Safeco (or whatever they’re called) vs. a stadium in 100-degree heat where the ball is jumping? For those who are waiting to draft, I’d take a flyer on a crazy-late Mariners or Giants hitters who might see a new, and extremely better stadium. (And, yes, the opposite might be true for Red Sox, Rockies or any hitters in favorable parks.)