“In Lou Of”- Top 30 3rd Baseman in Fantasy-2015 Edition
Some readers may notice that there are certain players not on this list even though they are eligible at 3rd base. This is because they are on one of my previous lists at another position. I chose to do it this way so that I could provide you with as many names and as much information as possible. This is the last of my player rankings, please enjoy.
He’s been one of the best players at the position for years and 2015 will be no different. His protection in the lineup is Prince Fielder, a player who he did not have for most of 2014 due to injuries. Globe Life Park (formerly The Ballpark in Arlington) is kind to hitters and Beltre’s numbers will reflect that. 25 HR, 90 RBI, 90 R and a .300 BA are all attainable.
2. Josh Donaldson– Toronto Blue Jays
Donaldson had the best season of his career in 2014. Personally, I was shocked when Oakland traded him to Toronto but it may be exactly what the Blue Jays needed as they were not getting the production they needed in years past from the hot corner. Going from a pitcher friendly ball park in Oakland to the hitter friendly Rogers Centre in Toronto will only increase his HR total. He is in one of the best lineups in baseball which certainly helps his overall value as well.
3. Evan Longoria– Tampa Bay Rays
The longest tenured Rays player has seen a multitude of All-Star caliber players leave Tampa via trade and free agency over the last 3-5 seasons. The only manager and only GM that ever took the Rays to the playoffs are both also gone, so you could say that the organization is in turmoil. Longoria is a natural-born leader and will be relied upon more than ever in 2015 to put up superstar numbers. When healthy, he’s one of the best. For the sake of Rays fans and those who draft him, let’s hope he stays off the DL in 2015.
4. David Wright– New York Mets
His overall numbers have been down since the Mets left Shea Stadium for Citi Field, however, the entire Mets team has been pretty dreadful since then as well, both of which are factors in Wright not being the player he once was. They’ve added offense over the last couple seasons which should help him regain his form. His BA was down in 2014, yet I expect him to hit over .300 again and contribute across the board in fantasy.
5. Josh Harrison– Pittsburgh Pirates
The former utility man had a breakout 2014 which certainly impacted the Pirates decision to move Pedro Alvarez over to 1st base. He was second in the NL in BA last year, sandwiched between two former MVP’s: Justin Morneau and fellow Pirate Andrew McCutchen. I expect a .300 BA, 15 HR, 85 R, 75 RBI and 20 SB for Harrison in 2015.
6. Matt Carpenter– St. Louis Cardinals
Carpenter’s numbers were down in 2014 after a terrific 2013 season. Still, he put up above average numbers at the position. If he comes remotely close to putting up his 2013 numbers in 2015, he may be in my top 5 next year. The biggest improvement I’d like to see from Carpenter would be in the HR department. The corner infield positions traditionally have power hitters playing there, however, Carpenter has also played a number of games at 2nd base and profiles more as a traditional middle infielder.
7. Manny Machado– Baltimore Orioles
One of the best young talents in baseball, Machado has been plagued by two knee injuries over the last 18 months. He reminds me of a young Alex Rodriguez and all signs point to a career year in 2015 for Machado. He hit 14 HR in a full season in 2013 and hit 12 last year in just 82 games. I expect a .280 BA, 25 HR, 100 R, 80 RBI. It is also worth mentioning that he lead the American League in doubles in 2013.
8. Pablo Sandoval- Boston Red Sox
He showed up overweight to spring training, certainly not what the Sox wanted when they signed him. Anyone who follows baseball knows that he wasn’t just signed for what he can do during the season, and the Panda is as clutch as they come, one of the better playoff performers we have seen in years. He’s a switch hitter and should benefit from playing in more hitter friendly parks this year as well. Expect good production, just don’t reach too early for him.
9. Todd Frazier– Cincinnati Reds
Prior to the 2013 season, I predicted Frazier to be one of my breakout stars. I was a year too early and, although his 2013 numbers were solid, his 2014 numbers were exceptional. He hit 29 HR, scored 88 and drove in 80. I have him lower on the list then some may expect, but I encourage you to look at his career numbers though. In even-numbered years, he has better seasons than he does in odd-numbered years. That may seem like an odd way to examine players but I’ve found it very effective over the years.
10. Aramis Ramirez– Milwaukee Brewers
He is still a very productive player even as he has aged. He is no longer a player you can rely upon to lead your team at the CI position, however, he should fall later in drafts and will still provide you with well above average production. He may be a bargain pick for you.
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11. Kyle Seager– Seattle Mariners
Some will say that he is too low on this list considering he mashed 25 HR last season and drove in over 90 R. He is a great player no doubt, I just would like to see him put up similar numbers again in 2015 before I move him up into the top 10.
12. Nolan Arenado– Colorado Rockies
Another talented young hitter in Colorado who benefits from playing 81 games at Coors Field. He had a very solid rookie season in 2013 and followed it up with a better sophomore season. He improved in every major offensive category and I expect the same for 2015. The Rockies may lack pitching but they are very good offensively and Arenado will be in the middle of it all.
13. Yasmany Tomas– Arizona Diamondbacks
Although he is an unknown to most people in North America, Tomas is projected to be a very solid Cuban defector like many before him. What makes him so interesting and valuable is that he can play both OF and 3B. The D-Backs appear to be set to have him play 3B, where he will be much more impactful if he does indeed hit as well as the experts predict.
14. Brett Lawrie– Oakland Athletics
The move to Oakland may be a good change of scenery for Lawrie. I believe playing in Toronto was a lot of pressure for the young Canadian kid. He plays with a lot of fire and it has led to injury problems. If he can stay on the field he should be very productive. His eligibility at both 2nd and 3rd base only adds to his value.
15. Chase Headley– New York Yankees
His trade to the Yankees helped his value immensely last season and, in his first full year with the team in 2015, I expect a resurgence. His BA may not be higher than .265, but I expect more than 20 HR, 80 R and 80 RBI. He has the potential to upgrade on those numbers and, as a Yankees fan, I think he will.
16. Nick Castellanos– Detroit Tigers
The former first round pick in 2010 was a pretty solid rookie in 2014, posting 11 HR to go with 66 RBI, 50 R and a .260 BA. Although those numbers don’t jump off the page at you, he got better as the season went along and I believe he is poised for a very productive 2015 season. You can use his average stats to your advantage when many people pass on him for a more proven commodity.
17. Mike Moustakas– Kansas City Royals
He was drafted 2nd overall in 2007 and immediately had lofty expectations and a ton of pressure on him to perform. He hasn’t lived up to the hype, even with his 20 HR and 73 RBI in 2012. He had his coming-out party during the Royals epic playoff run last year, and I think he is going to break out and do big things. He may be around very late, in fact, he may not even get drafted in some leagues based on last year’s numbers during the regular season. If you can get this guy late, please do it, you will thank me later.
18. Lonnie Chisenhall– Cleveland Indians
He is the third straight player on this list who was drafted in the first round. Although 2014 was his fourth MLB season, it was also his first season as a full-time player. He hit an impressive .280 BA, .343 OBP, 13 HR, 59 RBI and 62 R. I think Indians fans would like to see him hit 20 HR which would naturally improve his RBI and run total, making him an above average option. I think he is capable of great things, only time will tell.
19. Trevor Plouffe– Minnesota Twins
He’s certainly not a household name and should fly under the radar in drafts. In 2012, he hit 24 HR which is by far his best HR total through his first five MLB seasons. Last season, he hit only 14 HR but hit for a career high in BA while driving in 80 runs and scoring 69. The Twins can mash the ball and I expect Plouffe to be a solid contributor for them.
20. David Freese– Los Angeles Angels
His number have been dropping since 2012 and he doesn’t offer much production in any category. His value comes from being in a good lineup and because we don’t have to speculate on what his numbers will look like at the end of the year. Look for 10-12 HR, 60 RBI, 60 R, .265 BA.
21. Casey McGehee– San Francisco Giants
He has pretty big shoes to fill as the new 3rd baseman in San Fran. His power numbers continue to drop even though last season he improved across the board in every other offensive category. It’s possible that 2014 gave him a new lease on life but I’m going to say it was more of a fluke. I’d stay away from him until he can prove that he can be productive day in and day out.
22. Will Middlebrooks– San Diego Padres
Middlebrooks is one of the many additions the Padres made this year to their offense. He fell out of favor in Boston rather quickly after suffering injuries and striking out more than once per game on average over the last 2 seasons. With the exception of last season, he has shown very good power for a young player, something that the Padres hope will return in 2015. The potential is there for this guy, however, he remains a big question mark.
23. Chris Johnson– Atlanta Braves
The numbers were down last year for Johnson after two very solid seasons in 2012 and 2013. I expect a bounce back year for him, however, I’m not sure he has much fantasy value with a pretty weak team in Atlanta. I’d certainly take him as a last resort, yet I’d be shocked if there weren’t better options available.
24. Luis Valbuena– Houston Astors
2014 was by far the best season of his MLB career. He was traded from the Cubs to the Astros this offseason because he is believed to be an upgrade over Matt Dominguez. Although that’s probably true, his only real value is his position eligibility at 2B, SS and 3B. He did hit 16 HR last season but don’t expect it again.
25. Martin Prado– Miami Marlins
His value as a 3rd baseman is limited due to his lack of power. He’s more of a contact hitter who has significantly more value as a 2nd baseman where he is also eligible. He will be the every day 3rd baseman in Miami this season which should help him considering that in years past he has always moved around from position to position. He hits left handed pitching very well and should be a great bench player on your team.
26. Connor Gillespie– Chicago White Sox
I think he has limited abilities even with his 13 HR in 2013 and .282 BA last season. If he proves me wrong and is able to hit for both a high BA and 13-16 HR, I would encourage you to take a flier on him, especially when you consider the offensive additions the White Sox made this offseason.
27. Juan Uribe– Los Angeles Dodgers
Uribe hit for a career high .311 BA in 103 games last season. The Dodgers are one of the best teams in baseball so Uribe will certainly benefit from that. If he can regain some of the power he possessed earlier in his career (15-20 HR), then he will be much more valuable than 27th on this list.
28. Arismendy Alcantara– Chicago Cubs
Besides having a cool sounding name, the 23-year-old CF/3B has a high ceiling. He has yet to really impress in his short time in the MLB, however, he will improve with age so keep your eyes on him in spring training and throughout the early part of the season.
29. Alex “A-Roid” Rodriguez– New York Yankees
Well, he missed all of 2014 after being suspended for use of PED’s. He will have the opportunity to prove himself this spring and will see most of his AB’s at DH which should help him stay healthier. He is still one of the greatest hitters this game has ever seen (PED’s or not) so I would keep my eyes on him and definitely take a flier if he’s available in the last few rounds.
30. Cody Asche– Philadelphia Phillies
This guy really offers no value to anyone, he’s only on my list because he will be receiving every day at-bats barring some unforeseen event in spring training. Personally, I’d take a rain check on this guy.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed. If you have any baseball or fantasy baseball related questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Major League Fantasy Sports Radio Show: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday March 1st, 2015 from 7pm – 8:30pm EST for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio network. We will be taking live callers at 646.915.8596 during the show. Our topics will be minor league pitchers/hitters who will have an impact this season in the majors the first half of the show, and the 1st base position the second half of the show.
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