(Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)
We featured the Top 25 Catchers, Top 30 First Basemen, Top 30 Second Basemen, and Top 30 Shortstops in dynasty leagues so far this week — today, day five of our positional dynasty rankings round out the basepath at third base.
Tier One: Praise Be!
3. Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Indians, 25)
Tier Two: We Are Kings
Tier Three: Young Dumb and Broke
Tier Four: Three Outcomes
12. Miguel Sano (Minnesota Twins, 24)
Tier Five: Palatable Flavor
Tier Six: A Mixed Bag
17. Eugenio Suarez (Cincinnati Reds, 26)
21. Nolan Jones (P) (Cleveland Indians, 19)
22. Eduardo Nunez (Boston Red Sox, 30)
Tier Seven: You Do You
Way Too Deep Prospects
I would argue that Nolan Jones could be on this list, but I am too into him and actually do have him on in my farm system, so you’ll get these three. I’m looking at from afar, Jose Peroza (New York Mets, 17), Shervyen Newton (New York Yankees, 18), and Jose Villa (New York Yankees, 19).
- If Jose Ramirez repeats or comes close to last year’s power numbers, I will probably have him ahead of Kris Bryant. In a game where power is on the rise and steals are on the decline – losing out on a few home runs to gain 10+ steals is a worthy trade-off (this with the implication that Bryant returns to his 2016 power level and Ramirez regresses a bit in power).
- For similar reasons, I nearly ranked Alex Bregman ahead of Manny Machado. Bregman had the 17th highest contact rate last year and only improved as the season progressed — his floor is incredibly high. Bregman will be near the top of the lineup all season, improving his countable numbers from last season. I ultimately kept Machado ranked higher because I believe he will return to his 2017’s batting average was at least in part bad luck and come 2019 he’ll sign with a competitive team that will drive his value even higher (and may even allow him to steal bases again). That said, Machado may be a shortstop with his new team and will not be on this list next year.
- The death of Josh Donaldson’s career is has been greatly exaggerated after getting injured for the first time in his career (then hitting 30 home runs after June 1). At 32 Donaldson is in the prime of his career and is in a contract season. If I could make a decade “bold prediction,” Donaldson will be the next David Ortiz in that he will play until 40 while still putting up cosmic numbers. While guys like Rafael Devers and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are nipping at his heels — I would still lock in Donaldson and not look back.
- Here are some fun statistics for Miguel Sano — for players with at least 450 plate appearances in 2017, Sano ranked third to last in contact percentage (62%, only above Joey Gallo and Keon Broxton), fourth to last in strikeout percentage (35.8%, only above Keon Broxton, Chris Davis, and Joey Gallo), and had the second highest batting average on balls in play only behind Avisail Garcia. This is a recipe for disaster or at least expectations moving forward. Sano was on pace for 40 home runs, but pacing for a Joey Gallo-like average.
- Joey Gallo is above Miguel Sano because while although Sano has the potential to hit the same number of home runs (albeit maybe with a better average?) he hasn’t and Gallo has. The two are so highly ranked at 3B less because I would roster them, than because of the current lack of production at 3B.
- Nolan Jones is bullishly ranked here, I plan to do a write up on him during the season. Other than Vlaimir Guerrero Jr. and Nick Senzel (who I think moves to shortstop), there is not another third baseman with more upside.
- I don’t want to quit on Maikel Franco. He has improved his contact rate each year (to a still not great 79.2%), walking more, and striking out less. A career low batting average on balls in play may be to blame, looking deeper shows that while he may making more contact — it isn’t great contact (only 30% hard contact). Still buying into him, especially at a $1 price tag.
- I honorarily want to put Adrian Beltre on this list. At 39 his dynasty value is only for teams in contention this year (as any other year moving forward is a crapshoot). He is a player I want to play forever, but realize that his days are numbered.