Submerge yourself into a garbage dump; take a deep breath…Ah, that’s the smell of the top 20 3rd basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball. Don’t turn your nose up! Don’t turn away from the stench! This is the reality about, uh, fantasy. You have to embrace the stank of the 3rd basemen. Enjoy! Here’s Steamer’s 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Subscriptions are up and running, and you can already get Rudy’s Draft War Room. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball:
NOTE: All 2022 fantasy baseball projections are based on a 162-game season, and will be until we hear definitively there will be less games, due to the CBA. Also, I’m going on the assumption the NL is getting the DH.
NOTE II: All my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.
NOTE III: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.
4. Manny Machado – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until here. I call this tier, “Third base gets the Gas Face.” As fantastic as the shortstops were, the 3rd basemen are that bad. It’s a whiplash from great to meh. There’s some chances for bounce backs, which I’ll get to when it’s time, but, holy moley, guacamole in the holes of the Whack-a-Mole, things aren’t great at this position. Never seen so many guys who need a bounce back. There’s some guys who need a bounce back who never, uh, bounced. Hello, Alec Bohm. Unlike a lot of other ‘perts, I will tell you to punt shallow positions and 3rd base is no different. If you can get a guy from one of the top four, then by all means. Do you, baby, do you. Unlike catchers, I’m not telling you to ignore the top options at 3rd base. But if you’re reaching for, say, Arenado, you have to wonder how different he is than, say, Justin Turner or Eduardo Escobar. You know I love a good Torenado as much as Dorothy, but, well, we’ll get to him. As for Machado, well, there’s one 3rd baseman after the top 20 to draft, huh? Now let’s laugh together until we’re dragged away to an asylum. C’mon! It’ll be fun! Speaking of Fun, Machado and him are gonna play nice or is Machado gonna get traded to Texas to play with the $550 million-dollar Rangers or what? So, last year Machado went 28/12/.278 and that was with neutral luck. His Launch Angle and peripherals are incredibly consistent. Hits the ball in the right place in the right park and might get into 35 dongs, like a horny cocker spaniel. 2022 Projections: 94/32/109/.283/10 in 559 ABs
5. Austin Riley – This is a new tier. This tier goes until Bryant. I call this tier, “Eff off, 3rd basemen.” This position is such a mess. For more, see the tier before or the tier after or the tier after after or–well, the tier after after after isn’t terrible, I guess. As for Riley, already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball.
8. Nolan Arenado – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Rendon. I call this tier, “Hey, for real, where are the good 3rd basemen?” Third base is one of the ugliest positions I can remember in a long time, outside of catchers. 3rd base is a car crash that I don’t even want to rubberneck. As for Arenado, is the line from last year 34/2/.255, C.J. Cron or Nolan Arenado? Answer honestly. Search your full heart for the answer. Use your full eyes. Can’t lose. So, we have a problem. We don’t want to get out on a guy before he’s done producing. Think we did that with fellow Cards’ cornerman, Au Shizz, but oh shizz, Arenado did not take kindly to going to one of the worst hitter parks. His xBA was .248 and his wOBA was .336. His last three wOBAs in Coors were .395, .391 and .392. His xSLG was .420, super meh. His exit velo of 89 MPH, super meh. His xwOBA of .312 is so super meh. He’s sandwiched between Chas McCormick and Phillip Evans for xwOBA. I’m laughing to avoid crying. Is this some kind of sick joke that is flying over my head in a whirlwind Torenado? Because I don’t get it, and I won’t be getting Arenado either. 2022 Projections: 76/32/89/.252/1 in 580 ABs
9. Alex Bregman – I’m punting all these guys. I hate them all. So wildly overrated. Bregman had 400 plate appearances last year and went 12/1/.270. Please, someone let me in on the joke. I don’t get it! Is there a joke here?! Is it the trash can thing? That’s stale. I’m done with that story. Okay, speaking of trash, Bregman’s HardHit% is garbage. Might be his 72.8% contact on balls outside the zone. You connect on garbage pitches and you make garbage contact. Pretty straightforward. I’m like Shruggy the Emoji looking at Bregman and shrugging. Sometimes things are what they seem. 2022 Projections: 92/23/102/.267/1 in 561 ABs
10. Anthony Rendon – Okay, combine the last two tiers and, eff off for real. This is pathetic. Anthony Rendon? He retired two years ago, didn’t he? He’s getting paid $35 million per year until 2026 on average? Angels are a low-key terrible front office, huh? “Hello, please connect me to Arte Moreno. Who am I? Someone who will save him $350 million. Yes, I just want to tell him to not sign Josh Donaldson next year to a 6-year, $350 million contract because it sure seems like he will.” So, maybe Rendon can return after playing 110 games combined over the past two years. Maybe in those 110 games he hit 15 homers. Actually no “maybe” on that last one. He really did that. What is so funny?! I don’t get it! Is this a practical joke that only the 3rd basemen know? Why do they suck so bad?! 2022 Projections: 73/26/84/.254 in 504 ABs
11. Matt Chapman – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Jeimer. This tier is called, “Put on your drafting pants and start drafting.” So, if you didn’t grab a 3rd baseman early on, I could see grabbing one in this tier (or just about at any point after this, except the Mostsuckass range, let’s not get carried away with ourselves). I don’t exactly expect Lochy the Loch Ness Monster to rise from the Loch Ness Lake and exclaim, “Well done, prematurely balding man! You’ve got yourself a great 3rd baseman now,” if you grab a guy from this tier. They’re fine, but at least you’re late enough where your investment is less obnoxiously awful as paying full price for someone like Bregman or other guys above. Also, you’ll find a few sleepers in this tier. So that’s yumsters. As for Chapman, oh, he’s terrible too. This is more about price. I’m not some crazy, “Chapman’s about to make a huge bounce back” guy. I think he could get lucky and hit .240, and he has easy 35+ homer power, so that’s something. That something might not be realistic though, so he’s ranked down here. It’s truly concerning that he looks more like a .200 hitter, than .240. He might’ve went from an all-or-nothing hitter to a nothing-or-nothing hitter. UPDATE: Traded to Toronto. Where Vlad Jr. has great contact, Chapman lacks. The ying to Cake Batter’s yang. I will call him, Bake Catter. 2022 Projections: 72/31/86/.214/2 in 523 ABs
12. Ke’Bryan Hayes – When you’re looking at a position, and you’re like, “Aw sooky,” rubbing your hands together, “Here’s where it gets good!” And the guy just had a 6/9/.257 season, it’s not great. This is 100% about what Hayes could do, not at all about what he’s done. Big ol’ shot in the dark. He has solid pitch recognition, and connects on the right pitches. His 43.5% Swing% makes me think he might not be aggressive enough. Be aggressive! Be! Be! Be aggressive! *cheerleader kicks and throws out hip* Best case scenario might be 15/20/.310/.390, but I’m not done hoping for more power to develop. Develop! Develop! *cheerleader kick* Yup! Still my hip! 2022 Projections: 84/12/51/.282/17 in 589 ABs
13. Yoan Moncada –
“Yeah, it sucks.”
“You couldn’t get it higher.”
“Did you try to rub a rabbit’s foot?”
“Of course! While standing under a birdcage because I heard birdshit was good luck.”
That’s Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson discussing Yoan’s inability to get a .400 BABIP again, and having to “settle” for a .350 BABIP last year, as he hit .263. Truly worried for the year he “only” has a .315 BABIP. Oh, wait, I don’t need to wonder any longer, Yoan had a .315 BABIP one year and produced a .225 average. Honestly, most of Yoan’s misgivings are fine by me if he gets a 25/10 line, but last year’s 14/3 line? Well, I did say I only liked these guys if they were this affordable. 2022 Projections: 71/17/81/.267/4 in 536 ABs
16. Jeimer Candelario – Already gave you my Jeimer Candelario sleeper. It was written while reenacting Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World in my bathtub. 2022 Projections: 82/25/93/.278/1 in 553 ABs
17. Justin Turner – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Dalbec. This tier is called, “Mumford and Sons.” That band sucks. They’re really not good. Are they still together? Man, they suck. Any hoo! They have a few good songs, and might put out another good song. That’s this tier. I could see another good year from these guys, but they’re old and are they together still? As for Turner, 3rd basemen is such a wretched mess, which sounds like lyrics from a Mumford and Sons song, that I’m actively thinking about how it might not be so bad to draft Toomgis–excuse me, Justin Turner. The brain rotates slowly, thinking, “Well, 25+ HRs, .275 and counting stats isn’t that bad,” then, “Stop scrolling up to his birthdate to figure out his age. He’s great! If he were president, he’d be young!” 2022 Projections: 73/24/75/.257/2 in 481 ABs
20. Josh Donaldson – What’s the age of consent in fantasy baseball, and by that I mean, “Me consenting to rostering a player on my fantasy team.” 35 years old? 37? 39? Age is just a number like Chi Ali told you. Chi Ali also didn’t understand age of consent laws, don’t google it, just trust me that it makes sense. That would make a good t-shirt, “Don’t google it, just trust me that it makes sense.” Any hoo! What can I tell you about Josh Donaldson that you don’t know? Donaldson (and Turner) could turn into Moustakas, which means they could age out of usefulness. Or we could get one more solid Donaldson (or Turner) season. It’s a bad sign when a guy has a falling strikeout rate and a falling average. It usually inidicates the contact is getting worse and the wheels have all but come off. See other aging sluggers for more examples. *cough* Pujols *cough* Hey, it’s like I’m at the proctologist. UPDATE: Traded to the Yankees. Donaldson will be helped by Yankee Stadium, anyone would be, but I’m not sure 36-year-old calves get better under the hot lights of Broadway. Do they? I’m seriously asking. 2022 Projections: 72/26/77/.244 in 402 ABs
25. Gio Urshela – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Bohm. This tier is called, “Going back into someone’s ripped-apart stomach, then peeking back out.” In the movie, Alien, the alien rips through a stomach and does a song and dance number. I might be combining my knowledge of Alien with Spaceballs. Well, instead of a song and dance number, imagine the alien goes back inside the stomach, then comes back out to check things out. That’s you with this tier. You’re going full hog, you grab one, then want to reverse course, then decide, “Meh, why not?” As for Gio, already went over him in the top 20 shortstops for 2022 fantasy baseball.
28. Josh Jung – Already gave you my Josh Jung fantasy. It was written while saying, “Cool story, bro.” 2022 Projections: 56/21/65/.272/2 in 487 ABs UPDATE: Josh Jung was sick of hearing the “baseball news update crickets” during the lockout, so he tore his left shoulder. 28. Evan Longoria – Every single Giants player’s 2022 ranking goes like this, “There’s no way he can do that again, right?” Then I pause to search for the answer in my mirrored reflection. Finally, I turn away from the mirror and think, “I can’t believe I could stare at myself for a full minute,” not realizing it was actually closer to forty minutes. Just gobsmacked by handsomeness. Remember last year when we found out some teams randomly put in humidors to cut down on offense. Could it be every team did that except the Giants? It is more than a little odd that every team’s hitting was down except for the team in the worst hitters’ park that had a lineup filled with 30-year-old nobodies. 30-year-oldbodies? With all that said, Longo still sucked last year. Yikes, my man. If you were to have me guess a player’s previous year line, I’m usually pretty close, maybe plus or minus three homers, three steals and .010 on average. Longo? I would’ve missed by ten homers. His line was 13/1/.261. If he would’ve retired in 2016, there would’ve been people who said we just lost one of the greatest. In retrospect, it seems like he did retire in 2016. UPDATE: Finger surgery. 2022 Projections: 61/19/68/.248/1 in 445 ABs
29. Cavan Biggio – You think Craig Biggio plays poker with Dante Bichette and Vlad Sr. and is like, “I think I’m gonna raise.” And Dante and Vlad Sr. are like, “Hopefully you have better luck raising at cards than kids who can play baseball.” Craig should’ve spent less time throwing pitches at Cavan’s elbow guard, and let him practice his swing. His previous season’s xBA was .207, so he’s kinda Matt Chapman with 15-homer power. Oh, and he’s got 40-grade speed. So, why is the Alien peeking back out of the ripped-out stomach? Meh, good lineup and maybe Biggio matures into something more than what seems to be here. By the by, this is deep in this position. These guys likely won’t be drafted in a 12-team league. You’re prolly around pick 300. Don’t hold me to that because I haven’t done my top 500 yet, but give or take, homey. 2022 Projections: 51/15/47/.239/8 in 403 ABs
30. Alec Bohm – Isolated Power (ISO) measures raw power, taking into account only extra-base hits. Someone goes 1-for-5 with a double, that’s an ISO of .200. Works out to slugging minus average. League average ISO last year was .167. Alec Bohm’s ISO was .095. And that made me laugh for longer than I want to admit. Oh, there were a few worse, but, trust me, they’re not easy to find. They’re guys with Elvis Andrus-esque power. Bohm’s SLG was .342, that would’ve been 4th worst in the league, if he qualified. Or 4th best if you’re Kevin Newman’s agent. 2022 Projections: 62/10/56/.258/5 in 512 ABs
31. Hunter Dozier – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Yandy. I call this tier, “Already went over him in the…” As for Dozier, already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball.
43. Brian Anderson – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the end of the list. I call this tier, “Thank God for Michael Nesmith’s mother.” Ya know Michael Nesmith from The Monkees? He died recently. RIP. Well, his mom, also dead, invented the correction fluid, Liquid Paper, thankfully, because I think all the guys in this tier could end up removed from the rankings completely. As for Anderson, listen, he sucks, but he also might not have a job. Joey Wendle, Miguel Rojas and Jon Berti might just replace him. 2022 Projections: 41/15/44/.252/3 in 361 ABs
44. Jose Miranda – Already gave you my Jose Miranda fantasy. It was written on the back of bull named Fu Manchu. UPDATE: Hearing from sources that Gio will play shortstop, which moves Jo-Po to 2B; Arraez to DH; Kirilloff to outfield and, would you look at that, Jose Miranda has an everyday job! You have the right to not remain silent about your enthusiasm for Miranda. Makes sense the Twins go this way too, after investing so much in Sex in the Twin Cities shirts with Miranda’s face. UPDATE II: With Correa signing, Miranda is back to being told to remain silent. 2022 Projections: 39/10/33/.284/2 in 241 ABs
46. Carter Kieboom – He might not have the flashiest of stats, but Kieboom has the flashiest of names. BANG FLASH KIEBOOM! Does that count for anything? *holds finger to earpiece* Hearing that it does not count for anything. That is too bad. 2022 Projections: 40/14/46/.217/1 in 386 ABs
49. J.D. Davis – Kinda feel like all the Mets’ offseason moves made us as a society no longer need Dom Smith and J.D. Davis, and that might be true, but if you’re in a deep league, and looking for potential at-bats, well, can I interest you in a Carter Kieboom? What, that doesn’t make your dynamite go Kieboom? Okay, then try Jonathan Davis Davis. 2022 Projections: 31/8/37/.254/1 in 289 ABs
50. Santiago Espinal – Looked at his Statcast because I needed a good laugh. What’s the German word for looking at a player’s Statcast page to enjoy how awful it is? Statcastenfreude. UPDATE: Chapman trade adioses Espinal. 2022 Projections: 41/5/34/.276/9 in 312 ABs
50. Kelvin Gutierrez – Really tried my best to rank and project every starting position player for every team, but the O’s and Pirates made this shizz so hard, in the non-sexual way. 2022 Projections: 41/7/48/.237/2 in 371 ABs