And we’ve reached our final top 20 recap for the infield, and, if you exclude the catchers, 3rd base is by far the shallowest position. 3rd base ain’t great, y’all! This is the first position where there’s guys at the tail end that I actively wouldn’t have wanted on my fantasy teams, and guys like Yoan Moncada, Bobby Dalbec, Alex Bregman, KeBryan Hayes and Alec Bohm all stunk, and didn’t even come within a sniff of the top 20 3rd basemen. To recap my recap before the recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. This is not for next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:
1. Jose Ramirez – Funny (not haha) that people acted like Jo-Jo-Ram was a product of Lindor being in Cleveland when Ramirez has now been top three at his position four of the last five years. Lindor didn’t make Jo-Ram; Jo-Ram made Lindor. Absolutely guarantee you he won’t be drafted like he’s a top 3rd baseman next year, and people will be like, “Sigh, I guess, whatever, ho-hum, shucks, I guess I have to, like, I suppose, draft Jose Ramirez? But I don’t wanna,” then they will cry for 45 minutes. The biggest difference between a top option at a position and the runner-up was Salvador Perez, but Jo-Ram is the runner-up to not having a closer runner-up. Roughly nine dollars in value separated him from Rafael Devers, who ain’t too bad himself! Preseason Rank #1, 2021 Projections: 91/29/101/.268/23 in 564 ABs, Final Numbers: 111/36/103/.266/27 in 552 ABs
2. Rafael Devers – Shame he doesn’t have great speed, because, while I do think he can have a Vlad Jr.-type year at some point, Devers won’t find it easy becoming the top hitter in baseball. A top 10 hitter? Think he’s already there and no one expects much. For whatever reason, Devers is looked at like he’s Jose Abreu or someone. Devers is 24 years old (for a few more days at least), a top hitter, and still getting better! Devers is a sneaky future Hall of Famer that no one talks about. He actually could go to a different team in a few years, and become a 40+ homer guy for another five years, because the Green Monster, while helping his average, is knocking down some of his power. He has to pull anything he wants to hit out, and, unlike a 13-year-old me, he doesn’t pull everything. Preseason Rank #3, 2021 Projections: 106/31/109/.284/8 in 602 ABs, Final Numbers: 101/38/113/.279/5 in 591 ABs
3. Manny Machado – His overall power numbers were down, but he was also pretty unlucky. Quite a few balls hit deep that should’ve been out, just wrong park or wrong spot in said park. For unstints, he should’ve hit five more homers if his home park was Petco, and, this is crazy part, his home park is Petco. In 2019, he hit 32 homers, and had fewer No Doubt homers. Finally, and I don’t know how to check this, but he must have the slowest Sprint Speed with that many steals ever. Sprint Speed is “hustle” in his case, excuse me, I meant to say “head case.” Preseason Rank #2, 2021 Projections: 97/34/104/.278/10 in 584 ABs, Final Numbers: 92/28/106/.278/12 in 564 ABs
4. Austin Riley – Around July/August, I begin to enjoy the ride. The ebbs, the flows, the baseball grind. It’s glorious. While ebbing and flowing and grinding like Urban Meyer, I lose track of what guys are doing. If someone asks me to look it up, I will, but I don’t think anyone asked if what Austin Riley was doing was “real.” So, I just looked now and, um, I thought he was breaking out. I thought. Hmm, so he’s striking out more and has a BABIP .88 points above previous season when he hit .239. That’s gonna be a yikes from me, dawg. I wrote an Austin Riley sleeper last year, he might jump right to a schmohawk. Preseason Rank #22, 2021 Projections: 84/31/96/.277/2 in 582 ABs, Final Numbers: 91/33/107/.303 in 590 ABs
5. Max Muncy – Already went over him in the recap of the top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball.
6. Nolan Arenado – He maintained the torso of his power, but his average did plummet in the move to The Louie by the River. In retrospect, it’s so obvious. A guy who has the speed of a tractor that is being pulled by a giant tortoise who hits everything in the air loses 70 points on BABIP when he leaves one of the best parks for BABIP? You don’t say! Not to freak anyone out but Torenado looks like he might have the career trajectory of Mostsuckass, who’s currently circling the drain. Preseason Rank #4, 2021 Projections: 88/32/106/.279/1 in 592 ABs, Final Numbers: 81/34/105/.255/2 in 593 ABs
7. Tommy Edman – Already went over him in the recap of the top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball.
8. Jonathan India – Already went over him in the recap of the top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball.
9. Justin Turner – Because I was just looking at Torenado and Mostsuckass, I was curious why Toomgis Turner wasn’t circling the drain like Mostusckass or about to get sucked up in the Torenado. Line drives, from what I gather. Turner doesn’t hit for only power, so he’s managed to be a 25/.270 vs. a 32/.245, because 32/.245 turns into 32/.225, then 17/.197 and, finally, “Wha’ happened?” And those changes come at varying levels of speed. Might start calling this the Metamorphosis of Mostsuckass. Preseason Rank #23, 2021 Projections: 71/23/80/.277/2 in 491 ABs, Final Numbers: 87/27/87/.278/3 in 533 ABs
10. Kris Bryant – Already went over him in the recap of the top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball.
11. Ryan McMahon – Already went over him in the recap of the top 20 1st basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball.
12. Eduardo Escobar – Already went over him in the recap of the top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball.
13. Kyle Seager – On the chart of Metamorphosis of Mostsuckass, Seager is at 32/.225 or one step beyond Torenado and one step until a fully blossomed Mostsuckass. Sounds like a future Met! Preseason Rank #32, 2021 Projections: 67/24/78/.231/5 in 581 ABs, Final Numbers: 73/35/101/.212/3 in 603 ABs
14. Luis Urias – Already went over him in the recap of the top 20 2nd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball.
15. Jean Segura – If it wasn’t clear, Bryant was the point where the 3rd basemen fell off to another tier. Not a terrible cliff-off-into-the-unknown-type fall-off, but a drop. Segura is interesting in that he’s almost entirely driven by counting stats. Take away his runs/ribbies, and he’s Jed Lowrie with a better average. Or I guess Alex Verdugo in the infield. Call him VerJedgo. Actually, don’t. That’s terrible. Preseason Rank #29, 2021 Projections: 72/15/77/.272/13 in 581 ABs, Final Numbers: 76/14/58/.290/9 in 514 ABs
16. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – His splits are comical and also confusing. How does one become less fast? Because in the 2nd half, he hit for an average that was ~.40 points higher and he stopped running. Israeli Diner Falafel went from sexy batter to cooked seemingly overnight, which might explain the stale oil taste. Preseason Rank #26, 2021 Projections: 78/8/61/.283/18 in 569 ABs, Final Numbers: 74/8/53/.271/20 in 635 ABs
17. Josh Donaldson – Starting to not like these backend 3rd basemen — and I do mean backend. Speaking of backend, Pujols was better than some of these guys at the age of 68 — Donaldson wasn’t that bad. Not great, don’t get me wrong. But take Donaldson for 457 ABs and waivers for 170 ABs and that’s not bad. Unlike the Israeli Diner Falafel for 635 ABs, which was so painful, unless at catcher, but this is not catcher. This is 3rd base. What? 2nd base. Preseason Rank #20, 2021 Projections: 62/22/74/.242/2 in 412 ABs, Final Numbers: 73/26/72/.247 in 457 ABs
18. Jeimer Candelario – To give you an idea of how shallow 3rd base is, Jeimer was the 27th best 1st baseman, so there’s nine more 1st basemen than 3rd basemen. Not great! Jeimer really wasn’t good, and shouldn’t be in the top 20 of anything, except the Top 20 Hitters Who Aren’t Very Good. Preseason Rank #27, 2021 Projections: 71/23/82/.263/3 in 553 ABs, Final Numbers: 75/16/67/.271 in 557 ABs
19. Matt Chapman – This guy’s stats fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Not quite as bad, er, as Bader, but for a guy like Chapman, who used to be the apple of my eye, he’s now flinging poop at the wall and hoping something sticks, and it stuck to his Statcast page. His xBA on fastballs and breaking pitches respectively is .209 and .183. You can throw this guy anything and get him out. Is he blinking for five seconds at a time when at the plate? It’s hard to imagine a guy with his eyes open hitting this bad. Preseason Rank #9, 2021 Projections: 91/36/93/.239/1 in 574 ABs, Final Numbers: 75/27/72/.210/3 in 529 ABs
20. DJ LeMahieu – Holy shizz, his season sucked. He has no business being in the top 20 of any position, let alone seeing 679 plate appearances! Jesus Sanchez burnt on a piece of toast, that is awful. No wonder the Yankees’ offense was sneaky bad. They had DJ putting on his greatest hits, DJ’s Got No Hits, Vol #1. Preseason Rank #5, 2021 Projections: 112/20/74/.312/6 in 604 ABs, Final Numbers: 84/10/57/.268/4 in 597 ABs