Archive for Third Base

No Joshing, Donaldson is Legit

After a breakout 2013 where Josh Donaldson hit .301/.384/.499 in 158 games, there was no shortage of vocal skeptics. The third baseman posted that strong triple slash in part due to his .333 BABIP, a rate unlikely to continue given his skillset and 6-foot, 220-pound catcher-esque frame. His MLB body of work prior to 2013 was a brief stint in 2010 strictly as a catcher and 2012 as part catcher, part third baseman. Combining for a total of 328 plate appearances, Donaldson posted a sub-.85 wRC+. Whether or not Donaldson could be taken as a serious fantasy third baseman was still up in the air. Read the rest of this entry »

Aramis Ramirez and Father Time

Aramis Ramirez doesn’t age. At least, he didn’t show signs of being mortal until last season. While some numbers were down, Ramirez’s overall stat line wasn’t all that bad. He hit for a solid average, and still managed 15 home runs. In most fantasy leagues, that will play at third. For years now, analysts have predicted Ramirez’s collapse, causing his value to plummet in most leagues. And while playing next season at age-37 isn’t something to be ignored, it’s hard to argue with the track record.

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Is There Any Hope For Mike Moustakas?

Remember when Mike Moustakas tore it up during this year’s spring training? He batted .429, which ranked third among all spring trainers, reached based at a .522 clip, good for second place, and slugged .768, ranking him fifth. Combined, he finished third in OPS. Not surprisingly, that performance led fantasy owners to dream of what could be and fueled lots of sleeper talk.

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Todd Frazier, Hitting The Ball Harder

The most amazing thing about Todd Frazier‘s breakout season is how little his basic statistical profile changed. He was still the same old Todd Frazier, but better this time. Good enough to be the second-best third baseman in 5×5 fantasy baseball in 2014.

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Anthony Rendon: Breakout Bargain Bonanza

Anthony Rendon turned in an excellent 2014 season en route to a $26 valuation. His 111 runs were third best in the league, and his 21 home runs, 83 RBI, 17 stolen bases, and .287 average were all above average. He was the most valuable third baseman and third best second baseman. That flexibility only compounded his value. He cost just $3 on average according to FantasyPros, with a high of $12. Any way you slice it, he was a steal.

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Manny Machado, Marked Down?

If it doesn’t seem all that long ago that Manny Machado was the darling of prospect hounds and fantasy dreamers, well, that’s because it hasn’t been; the 2010 first round draft pick made his debut just two seasons ago, broke out as an all-star last year and was barely drinking age on opening day back in April.
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Evan Longoria: A Bust and Not a Bust

How could a player be a bust, but at the same time not be a bust? Well let’s find out. Because that’s exactly how Evan Longoria‘s 2014 performance could be described. Depending on which statistics you choose to focus on, and of course whether or not you’re a fantasy player (and since you’re reading this in late October, you’re most definitely a fantasy player), your perception of Longoria’s season could differ wildly.

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How Much Can Nick Castellanos Improve?

Were you to look at the dashboard stats on the player page of Nick Castellanos, you might be very concerned about his batting average next year. He hit just .259 despite a robust .326 BABIP because he struck out too much (24.2% K%). Because BABIP is less within the control of the player than strikeout rate is, it’s fair to be concerned that Castellanos’ BABIP could fall and his batting average along with it unless accompanied by a surprising drop in strikeout rate. But BABIP isn’t completely out of a hitter’s control, and Castellanos might have more control over his. Read the rest of this entry »

Reviewing 2014 Pod’s Picks: 3rd Base

It’s third base week here at beautiful RotoGraphs headquarters, so let’s move along to recapping my preseason Pod’s Picks at the position. As a reminder, I compared my preseason rankings with the consensus of the other three RotoGraphs rankings and discussed those whose rankings differed most. Refresh your memory by reading up on my initial thoughts.

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End of Season Rankings: Third Basemen

The 2014 fantasy baseball season has come to a close, so it is time to look back at the season past and determine which players were the most valuable at each position. Moving around the infield, we’re on to the hot corner this week.

The players were ranked based on their 2014 production, using the evaluation system explained and updated on this site some time ago. The valuations are built for $260 budgets and standard 5×5 roto fantasy leagues, where only one catcher is started. Players are listed only at their primary positions from 2014.

One important thing to note is the premium (or lack thereof) placed on the position a player occupies in your lineup. For example, while a first baseman may be able to accumulate superior overall numbers, the availability of such production lower in the rankings severely dampers the amount the player was worth. These rankings are meant to reflect a player’s value should he have occupied this spot in your lineup for the entire year. A player who missed time due to injury but put up great numbers during his time on the field would be worth less.

This year, I’ve added in RotoGraphs’ preseason consensus rankings so you can see what we thought of each player coming into the year. This ranking can be found in the “Pre” column. “EOS” of course stands for End Of Season, and the rest should be self explanatory.

With all this in mind, here are your rankings. Read the rest of this entry »