(Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)
2018 End of the Season Positional Dynasty Rankings
The season may have ended, but dynasty baseball never stops.
|Top 25 Catchers||Top 60 Outfielders|
|Top 30 First Basemen||Top 90 Outfielders|
|Top 30 Second Basemen||Top 30 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Shortstops||Top 60 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Third Basemen||Top 90 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Outfielders||Top 50 Relief Pitchers|
The Top 30 Third Basemen
- Jose Ramirez is likely to stick at third base barring Cleveland retaining another third baseman moving forward. Ramirez one of the best players in the game and was one of two players that went 30/30 in 2018.
- Manny Machado could be one rank higher and well may in the preseason rankings depending on where he signs. Nolan Arenado is also a good bet for close to 40 home runs, 100+ runs & RBIs, and a .290 batting average. Arenado’s consistency year-to-year was the difference maker in this ranking, but Machado’s 10-ish stolen bases per year could justify a higher ranking for Machado.
- Vlad Guerrero Jr. is the hardest to place because his ceiling could be higher than Nolan Arenado’s, but has only played in 30 games above Triple-A. Draft as you feel comfortable.
- Miguel Andujar is the favorite to win AL ROY after mashing 27 home runs while batting .297. Andujar got better as the season progressed lowering his strikeout rate and raising his OPS to .910 in the second half. Andujar has a refined approach that will keep him in the heart of New York’s lineup at least until 2023.
- Wil Myers is in a weird spot as San Diego could play him in several different positions – in 2018 he spent most of his abbreviated season between third base and the outfield. San Diego has quite a few talented outfielders and we believe Myers’ future lies at third base.
- Nick Senzel may end up back at shortstop after Eugenio Suarez‘ continued breakout in 2018, with Jose Peraza moving to the outfield. Senzel himself could wind up in the outfield. Until Senzel’s future clears up, we will keep him at third, where we had him in the preseason.
- Rafael Devers had a rough follow-up to his standout rookie year, batting .240 and 21 home runs in 121 games. An August injury sidelined most of his second-half further depressing his season. Devers turned 22 in October and has time to figure out his poor pitch selection (37% O-Swing rate). In a full season, he could settle into 30 HR and a .275 average if he is able to make improvements.
- Josh Donaldson has not played a full season since 2016 a season where he hit 37 home runs with a .284 batting average. Injuries sidelined his 2018 season, a healthy offseason should do wonders for Donaldson and while he may be over the hill at 32 years old, has the potential to put another few elite seasons. His #13 rank builds in the risk that he will not be able to reproduce his previous success.
- In many ways, Travis Shaw managed to improve his game from his 2017 breakout season, chasing the ball less and walking more. His value tanked due in part to poor luck (.312 BABIP in 2017 to .242 in 2018) driving down his batting average and countable stats. Shaw still managed 30+ home runs and a dash of steals (which are likely to go up if his batting average ticks back up). Shaw is one of the best buy-low targets in dynasty leagues.
- Matt Chapman made changes in 2018 that should give him more stability in the future, at the cost of some power. Chapman slashed his strikeout rate by 5% (down to 23%) by making better contact (O-Contact up 7%, Z-Contact up 5%). Oakland had the fourth most runs in 2018 and Chapman should benefit if Oakland keeps him near the top of the order as the team did in August and September.
- Despite a decline in production, Mike Moustakas still hit 28 home runs and a career-high 98 RBIs. Notably, Moustakas’ ISO and SLG rolled back to pre-2017 levels and his batting average the lowest sine 2014. Moustakas is a bit of a dice roll as to which Moustakas is real – while we are inclined to say 2017 was an aberration, Moustakas could have significant value with regard to which team signs him this offseason.
- 2019 is the final year of arbitration for Nolan Arenado. If Colorado is unable to re-sign him, Colton Welker is poised to take over at third base by 2020. Welker hits the ball consistently and has an ever-improving ability to hit for power, coupling in Coors, Welker could be poised for a massive increase in value as he ascends the minor leagues.
- Maikel Franco makes consistent contact, but its terrible contact with 28% soft contact and 27% hard contact. Franco is a frustrating player to own, a .260-.270 average should be about his career numbers moving forward with about 20 home runs – good, not great.
- If Justin Turner ends up back with the Los Angeles Dodgers, his value would see an uptick, but on few other teams would Turner’s long-term value be as sustainable despite Turner’s ability to walk and hit the ball consistently. Turner will turn 34 in a few days and although he may be good for a close to .300 batting average, a drop in power is coming sooner than later drastically limiting his fantasy value, especially as a third baseman where power is a necessity. At another position, Turner’s value would see a rise.
- In 2018, Nolan Jones walked a whopping 89 times in 519 plate appearances (17% walk rate) while batting .283. Strikeouts remain an issue for Jones (25% rate) who after 2018 is looking like a three outcome player, but has a long way to go before reaching the Majors. Jones has begun to tap into his power and could end up a middle order bat for Cleveland if he can cut down on his strikeouts.
- Miguel Sano’s only reason for remaining on this list is his age and ceiling. Sano’s floor is and has been one of the lowest in the MLB thanks in part to a sky-high 36% career strikeout rate. Sano’s contact only devolved in 2018, striking out at a 38% rate. Sano is wildly talented and his home run ceiling is through the roof, but if he cannot hit the ball, he’ll continue to be irrelevant in both real life and in fantasy.
- Texas has quite a bit of positional flexibility and Jurickson Profar could end up getting more time at third base depending on what happens with Adrian Beltre. Profar has a premium speed sought after in third basemen, but after putting up his first fantasy relevant season has considerable risk in rostering.
- At 19 years old, Elehuris Montero found a power stroke in Single-A ball, hitting 15 home runs in 282 at-bats with a .300 batting average. Montero’s aggressive approach may see a drop in his batting average as he progresses, but having just turned 20 will have time to develop in the minors.
- We are much lower on Austin Riley than many. While he found success in 2018 and is further along that most of the prospects listed above, his profile screams regression. Across three levels of play, the bulk of which being Triple-A, Riley had a 28% strikeout rate and .384 BABIP. His OBP leveled off at .340, but we expect that to drop as his luck catches up with his batting average. Riley will likely be up in 2019, but he carries significant risk with his above-average power.