Third base has become a deep fantasy position in recent years, seeing high-end prospects like Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado turn into stars that fantasy players want as a first round pick.
Similar to second base, third base will see a lot of former shortstop prospects that got moved off the position because they were either blocked by a better fielding shortstop, or didn’t field well enough at short to stick.
With all of this added depth to the position it might seem like the standards need to be raised. While they have been raised a little, third baseman are now becoming equal, and sometimes better, options than the first baseman that seemed to be locks for the corner infield spot for a long time.
If you have any questions on any players feel free to ask about them in the comment section below or on Twitter Follow @TheSportsGuy40
Note: Just because a player isn’t mentioned doesn’t mean I like or dislike them; I just feel like their current value falls in line with what it should be, or the guys I chose were more underrated or overrated than the ones I left off.
If you are looking for the top-20 prospect third base rankings click here. We will continue to have prospect rankings on Friday’s and my values the following week.
Jaimer Candelario: I wouldn’t expect him to ever make it with the Cubs in a real role, so if you were banking on that – it isn’t happening. He will be one of the guys they look to move before the deadline if I had any guess.
It isn’t that he won’t be a major league player; there just isn’t one tool that would be of interest for fantasy. Average power, a nothing special average, and no steals to speak of. Candelario might be one of the types of players that is on most waiver wires (outside deep leagues) that people might add for a hot streak then dump when it is over.
The real appeal will have to come with the runs and RBIs. Maybe he can find the right spot in a batting order that can help him there. I would try to move him if I owned him.
Miguel Andujar: Andujar kind of reminds me of a slightly better Candelario if everything works out. Andujar is a few years further away, but has shown some more ability to hit for power and average.
He should be able to get into some more power, but right now it isn’t showing. If he taps into it maybe he ends up like Austin Riley where he hits 25 homers with a .260 or so average. The major difference is Riley has had a power outburst already and Andujar set a career high last season with 12.
I have seen some tout him as a borderline top-100 prospect, but I cant go nearly that far.
Matt Chapman: I don’t know if too many scouts will overrate Chapman, but I wouldn’t be surprised if your league mates are, so I felt the need to include him here. His 36 homers were among the best in the minors last season, but it came with one of the highest strikeout totals as well.
With someone like Chapman you have to ask yourself if Chris Carter type seasons are valuable in your leagues (.230 and 40 homers) because that is what Chapman is looking like if he makes it.
Austin Riley: Though May 27 Riley was hitting .229/.280/.367 with just three homers and an ugly 34 percent strikeout rate. A lot of the preseason hype trains were derailed, and outside of deep leagues people might have started jumping ship to find someone off to a hot start.
Riley figured something out, though, and hit .292/.346/.535 the rest of the way with 17 homers. He was able to get the strikeout rate to a more manageable 23.5 percent over that stretch.
As with many power prospects, his ability to keep the strikeouts in check will be important for him. I think at some point he could be a 30 homer threat at third, maybe even more.
There wont be any steals coming from Riley at any point other than maybe a random lucky one or two.
In the end he could be a .260 hitter with 30 homers, and by the time he reaches the majors, in a good Atlanta lineup. The floor will probably be not making it at all because he couldn’t figure out the strikeouts. But assuming he makes it, the floor would be something like .250 with 20 homers. Still perfectly fine, but not elite. With his average not being a big asset he is going to need 30 to be valuable.
Riley will be just 19 on opening day this year and will probably start the season in high-A with a chance to reach AA as a 19-year-old if he continues where he left off last season. So he has a long way to go which can be both good and bad. He has a lot of room to fail still, but he also has three, or so, more years of growth.
Bobby Dalbec: A fourth round pick from last year, Dalbec hit seven homers in just 34 games last year with a .386/.427/.674 line. Depending on what scouts you want to believe. he either has plus or double plus power. In college he hit 24 home runs in 613 games.
He doesn’t have the best hit tool, but with someone as far down lists as Dalbec you just need a good enough hit tool that can utilize his raw power.
He is obviously blocked everywhere in Boston and there is a chance he becomes a Dave Dombrowski casualty at the trade deadline, and that could speed up his timeline to the majors to possibly make it next season.
J.D. Davis: Davis has been a bit of a favorite of mine for a couple years now. He is a typical power prospect that strikes out a lot.
The 2016 season was the first time it really hurt his average; he only hit .268 compared to .289 and .293 in the past.
I believe Davis can keep up the power numbers he has shown, plus add a few more when he gets to play a full MLB season, and fingers crossed the average stays around .270-.280.
You can probably get him for pennies on the dollar right now after the “down” season where he hit 23 homers with a .268/.334/.485 slash.
If you have any questions or players at a position I haven’t gotten to yet also leave them in the comment section below and I can do some digging and maybe they will be included when I get to that position.