I look out my window and see piles of snow, covered in a strange sheet of ice, and yet, I can smell it in the air – baseball. I’ll be here covering the rest of season rankings for third base this year. In order to get to the ROS part of the rankings, we have to establish our starting point. I’m not here to give you hOt TaEks just to generate outrage and clicks. My purpose is to help you win your league this year. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out and we’ll get these trophies together. Without further chatter, let’s get to my initial rankings.

 

Rank Name Position Team
1 José Ramirez 3B Indians
2 Manny Machado 3B Padres
3 Anthony Rendon 3B Angels
4 D.J. LeMahieu 1B/2B/3B Yankees
5 Nolan Arenado 3B Cardinals
6 Alex Bregman 3B Astros
7 Rafael Devers 3B Red Sox
8 Eugenio Suárez 3B Reds
9 Cavan Biggio 2B/3B/OF Blue Jays
10 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B Dodgers
11 Yoán Moncada 3B White Sox
12 Alec Bohm 3B Phillies
13 Matt Chapman 3B Athletics
14 Kris Bryant 3B/OF Cubs
15 Gio Urshela 3B Yankees
16 Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B Pirates
17 Josh Donaldson 3B Twins
18 Tommy Edman 3B/SS/OF Cardinals
19 Justin Turner 3B Dodgers
20 Austin Riley 3B Braves
21 J.D. Davis 3B Mets
22 Andrés Giménez 3B/2B/SS Indians
23 Jean Segura 3B/2B Phillies
24 Eduardo Escobar 3B Diamondbacks
25 Brian Anderson 3B Marlins

 

I had some issues figuring out in what order to rank Rendon, LeMahieu, Arenado, Devers, and Bregman. Even though they’re in the same tier, I didn’t find myself REALLY excited about any of them. Personally, I don’t know why everyone is super down on Anthony Rendon. Yes, the barrel rate ticked down slightly but the plate discipline was elite. I’m still excited for Rendon in LA. Moving down slightly, Nolan Arenado carries the biggest question mark of them all. We have a full sample size of his stats in and out of Coors but what does that mean in St. Louis? There’s definitely something to be said about the difference in pitch mix that he saw in Colorado but does that mean he can’t succeed in a new home? D.J. LeMahieu has so far proven that statement to not be true.

Since all of the trashcan jokes have already been made, I’ll get to Bregman’s issues – the disappearing barrel rate. Starting in 2018, we’ve seen Bregman’s barrel rate drop from 7.6% (55th percentile) to 4.8% (17th percentile) to 3.9% (13th percentile). The plate discipline is elite but that dip is very concerning. When it comes to Rafael Devers, there’s little to question about his talent. However, his offseason appetite and workout regimen are often compared to pre-trade “thicc” James Harden. Unlike Rendon, Devers’ plate discipline went into the trough last year, spiking a career-worst in O-Swing rate and zone contact rate. In fact, his 75.6% zone contact rate ranked 132 out of 142 qualified batters.

I love Eugenio Suárez. He’s my bae and has been for some time, BUT the new approach is a little concerning. He’s been swinging out of his shoes for two years now, selling out for homers. The good news is the homers have been there. The bad news is he’s going to live and die by his HR/FB rate because the line drive rate has tanked while his fly-ball rate has spiked.

I had a very difficult time with where to place Yoán Moncada on this list. Moncada struggled with his conditioning following his bout with COVID, so I’d expect the stolen bases to bounce back to his previous 10ish range. Lord knows those stolen bases are gold in this day and age. Matt Chapman is returning from season-ending hip surgery and struggled mightily in the shortened season. Chapman’s strikeout rate reached heights-previously-unknown and was supported by his poor plate discipline. I’m willing to buy back in the leash will be short to start dropping him down this list if the plate discipline remains at its 2020 levels.

If you haven’t noticed by now, plate discipline ranks pretty high on my “what’s going on with this player” list. However, when I dive into the discipline numbers for Kris Bryant, nothing jumps out. The issues show up in the quality of his batted balls. Over the last two years, Bryant has seen his line drive rate fall significantly while simultaneously seeing an increase in infield flyballs. At his current ADP of 130 in NFBC he is “persona non grata” for me.

Speaking of plate discipline, you have to be pleasantly surprised with Ke’Bryan Hayes in his first taste of the majors. Hayes was always known as an elite defender coming up in the minors, so to post a 9.5% walk rate over 95 plate appearances certainly caught my eye. His glove will keep him in the lineup, so Hayes should see plenty of playing time. While I currently have Josh Donaldson directly behind Hayes, I wish there was a special list for “while they’re healthy” because Donaldson would be up towards the top. I love Donaldson as a corner infielder but be prepared to snag a replacement for him once he hits the IL.

If you’re looking for positional eligibility and a handful of steals, Tommy Edman may be just the guy you’re looking for. Although, at this point, I’d be looking to take a flier on Andrés Giménez over Edman who should see plenty of plate appearances and has the speed to steal upwards of 25 bases. I could see Giménez shooting up this list if he gets a green light in Cleveland.

While Mets fans have to be excited about all the fun additions, I’m not sure what it means for J.D. Davis’s plate appearances. The Mets have also been linked to Kris Bryant and Jackie Bradley, Jr. If the playing time is there, Davis is another player that I could see shooting up this list.

The closest player that didn’t make the cut was Kyle Seager and there are deeper guys I have my eye on like Yandy Diaz, Luis Urias, and Carter Kieboom. I’ll be back every other week to update the ROS rankings and talk about the biggest movers. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below and we’ll keep the conversation going!

 

 
  1. LenFuego says:
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    I am pretty mystified by all the love Cavan Biggio is getting all over the fantasy world. I mean, sure, he doesn’t figure to hurt you in either speed or power, but at about 20 HRs and 15 SBs, he doesn’t really figure to help you all that much over replacement level there either, and all with a projected average in the .235-.240 range. If he falls short of that by 10 or 20 points, he could easily lose playing time on a talented team that wants to win.

    You have him ranked ninth here, but feel so strongly about him that he was one of the few who did not even get mentioned in the comments. Help me out — what about Biggio am I missing that I do not have him in my own top 20 at third base?

    • LenFuego says:
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      I do see, BTW, that he walks a ton, so I do get the love for OBP leagues and that certainly helps for points leagues, and it will also serve to protect his playing time with a lower average. But still, I am not convinced about him in traditional 5×5.

      • Richardo

        Richardo says:
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        I think you might be undervaluing the SBs a lot. In 2019, 15 steals would’ve placed him T22 in the league and only 1 3B have more than 15 steals – Jose Ramirez. I don’t disagree that he puts you a little behind in power, but steals matter too and if you come out of the first couple of rounds lacking speed, I like Biggio.

        There’s a lot to be said about the power-speed balance along with the plate discipline. While I understand he has yet to hit for a high average, I’m of the opinion that by knowing the strike zone and drawing walks, he’s set himself up with a solid base to build upon when it comes to the AVG.

  2. Mike L says:
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    I’m starting to think taking a good 3b in the first few rounds is important because after Devers you can put a bunch of names in a hat. If Torkelson got called up tomorrow (no way in hell) he’d probably be just outside the top 10 assuming he qualifies for 3rd.

    • Richardo

      Richardo says:
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      I agree with you here. Once I got down to Hayes and Donaldson, I was like, “Do I HAVE to keep ranking these guys??

      And then I’m reading that Gimenez might start off in the minors too, it’s just getting worse.

  3. 183414 says:
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    Moncada and Chapman ranked too low. Moncada was sick all of last year. What was Suarez’ excuse. I’ll take Moncada over Biggio all day long. Chapman will hit home runs like Suarez and still be the best defensive 3d baseman in the A.L.
    Agree with you on Gimenez. He’s on the Indians and not the Phillies. Was a good trade for the Indians if they weren’t going to resign Lindor.

    • Richardo

      Richardo says:
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      I’m an idiot. I shuffled those last couple of names around, mainly to bump Gimenez up and forgot to adjust the Teams column! Thanks for noticing that.

      I don’t disagree with either take on Chapman or Moncada. I’ll most likely update this list closer to the start of the season and if we get good news on both, I’ll probably move them up. But as of when I wrote this, Chapman hadn’t even started swinging a bat yet. I’m not projecting a full rebound or for him to hit a new career high in homers without seeing him look healthy.

  4. Richardo

    Richardo says:
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    I just noticed when I bumped Gimenez up the list, I forgot to adjusted the Teams of he and the 3 below his.
    Gimenez is on the Indians, Segura the Phillies, Escobar the D-Backs, and Anderson the Marlins!

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