Top Third Base Prospects

There are some exciting names in this list, with a lot of potential for big shifts in rankings, both up and down. For up, see Maikel Franco. For down, see Kaleb Cowart (though I still believe in him). I excluded Luis Jimenez, who still qualifies as a rookie but is extremely close to the AB limit. I also removed guys like Stephen Piscotty, Rosell Herrera, and Daniel Robertson because they spent 2013 playing other positions. Personally, I’m wary of having so many 2013 draftees high on the list, but they were drafted early and touted beforehand for a reason, and they’re better options than guys you’ve been waiting on for a few years, like Zack Cox. With that said, let’s get to the rankings.

1. Miguel Sano, MIN BA may not be good in the short term, but power is his ticket; K% a bit scary at AA (29%) but clearly still a stud hitting prospect.

2. Maikel Franco, PHI Huge 2013 has him on the radar now; finally a hitter with good K%, so poor BB% is acceptable.

3. Kris Bryant, CHC Arguably best bat in 2013 draft is nearly ready; I just hope the Cubs don’t rush him and let him have a year at the high minors.

4. Kaleb Cowart, ANA Touted before 2013, was 20 at AA; a strong year repeating AA is possible.

5. Colin Moran, MIA Nice BA and K/BB in debut; MIA could use big leaguers quickly, and he’s close to ready, but HR expectations shouldn’t be too high yet.

6. Garin Cecchini, BOS A Chone Figgins type 3B, with BA and SB instead of HR; likely more valuable in MLB than in fantasy.

7. Matt Davidson, ARI As with many names on the list, K% is high, but should have all-around game for fantasy purposes.

8. DJ Peterson, SEA Like Bryant, a solid college bat out of 2013 draft that could be MLB ready sometime in 2014.

9. Joey Gallo, TEX Insane power with insane strikeouts (37%). Bad contact rate forces me to take a wide berth.

10. Mike Olt, CHC If you buy into his vision being the problem (and it being corrected), then there could be sleeper value here.

11. Christian Villanueva, CHC Shaping up to be a serviceable, but not stellar, MLB regular.

12. Stefen Romero, SEA He’s probably MLB-ready, but he’s not going to break out in fantasy.

13. Richie Shaffer, TB Didn’t break out at A+ ball, but still a good long-term investment.

14. Matt Skole, WASInjuries wiped away 2013, but that could make him a sleeper; just don’t expect a surge in 2014 after he had TJS and wrist surgery.

15. Miles Head, OAKBattled injuries and took a step back; rebound potential is there if you can be patient.

16. Rio Ruiz, HOU Hit .260 with 12 HR, 12 SB at A ball, and only 19. Potential regular 3B here.

17. Alex Santana, LAD Spent 4 years at RK ball, but was only 19 in 2013; still years away, but greatly cut K% so could still be a solid regular.

18. Cheslor Cuthbert, KC At age 20 did well at A+, struggled at AA, but still potential for league average production.

19. Zack Cox, MIA There’s still a little hope for this formerly touted prospect, but only as a MLB regular.

20. Carson Kelly, STL BA-first hitter with good K/BB but not much power.

Check out all of our prospect rankings

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Kevin Jebens

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Fantasy baseball player since 2000; winning leagues ranging from 12-team H2H to 18-team experts 5x5. Has written for various baseball blogs, including the 2013 Bleed Cubbie Blue Annual.

8 thoughts on “Top Third Base Prospects”

  1. Good list Kevin. I’d almost wager that we see more regular 3B from the SS prospect list I’m working on then this 3B list. Some of these guys will end up at 1st likely, while others may not have the ability to perform at highest level. A tough list to make. If I could pick 5 to be successful at 3B: Sano, Bryant, Cecchini, Cowart, Moran.

    1. Thanks, Paul. I am glad to see someone else who hasn’t given up on Cowart. Cecchini will be a better MLB player than fantasy, in my opinion; I don’t like SB-first players at the corners. Franco could move to 1B, but his bat is legit wherever he plays, which is why I’m so high on him.

    1. Drury is quite young, which is one of the reasons he didn’t make my list here. I’m happy to see he bounced back from an abysmal 2012, and he’s made great strides in improving his BB% from 2011-2013. If he holds his own at high-A (and maybe AA) in 2014, I’ll start buying into him for the future, but he doesn’t seem to be a player who’s going to leap quickly up the minors ladder and be helping you out in 2015. If you’re in a deep league with a lot of minors slots, then he’s worth picking up, but I wouldn’t trade specifically for him.

      1. Thank you for the reply on both Drury in this section and Williamson in the Top Outfield section. I was not sure if I sure take a chance for these two players, or pick up two other players with more advanced experience in AA or higher.
        We have a top 5 MiLB list in our dynasty, and are expanding it to a top 10 this year. I will definately keep my eye on these two throughout the “14 season. Thank you for the information.

  2. Thanks oceans39. I agree with Kevin on Drury. I’ll be watching him in 2014 too. I don’t think he’s going to be a huge impact bat, but he could turn into a good regular. I do think he’s better than what he’s shown so far.

  3. Baseball, alas, is given to institutional thinking (and institutional blindness) as much as any collection of grown men and women this side of the Pentagon. So many baseball insiders were livid with the Royals for shocking the baseball world and picking Hunter Dozier as high as they did — calling it an over-reach — they’re dying for the kid to flop. Reading your list of 3B propspects it seems like you’ve perhaps drunk their Kool Aid. The idea that you’ve excluded Dozier from your list while including people like Cheslor Cuthbert is more than simply silly, it’s downright wrong — which is something my spidey sense tells me you’re going to be looking when anyone reads this list at some point next summer.

    (And, yes, while Dozier was drafted as a SS, all signs point to him being moved to 3B and playing there exclusively going forward.)

    1. As you say, MC, he was drafted as a SS. He did play more at 3B though, and when these rankings are updated closer to start of 2014 season, Dozier will likely be prominent on the list. Only two 2013 picks made my list, though, because they’re often far away from the majors.

      One slight knock against Dozier’s great numbers in his short 2013 time is that he was old relative to the league he’s playing in. The ideal level for a 21-year-old to be playing at is Double-A. He was 21 and playing against a lot of teenagers at RK and low-A levels. Moran and Bryant are a year younger, and it’s less of an issue. (Frazier had a pretty close OPS to Dozier in 2013 Rk ball, and he’s 2 years younger.) That being said, since 2013 was Dozier’s first year, he was most likely to start at the low levels. However, I’ve seen other prospects climb higher than A-ball in their first year if they’re coming from college.

      Dozier is on my watch list. Come spring, look for him to land possibly in the lower half of the rankings. Lots of prospects are a gamble, and even from year to year their prospective values can change. If you feel Dozier’s a sure thing and a great value, by all means pounce on him.

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