RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Third Base

Now we’re talking. You can keep my interest all the way down to the high twenties on this list of third basemen. I love Chris Johnson‘s line drive game as much now as I used to distrust it. Todd Frazier grips it and rips it, but has power. Anthony Rendon is on the cusp. Matt Dominguez finished strong. Nolan Arenado makes contact and has power. Cody Asche even has something going in his favor — a little bit of everything.

I don’t even have many questions about the top six or seven. Sure, Josh Donaldson broke out, but most of his rates are right in line with his minor league numbers. Ryan Zimmerman has the health thing and the throwing thing, but otherwise, he’s good when he’s in.

Third base: worth the expense.

Rankings based on 5×5 roto, 12 teams, single-catcher with Middle Infield and Corner Infield spots, 13 hitters and 9 pitchers. Each ranker had their own mix of projections and intuition.

RG Name Jeff Zach Mike Eno
1 Miguel Cabrera 1 1 1 1
2 Edwin Encarnacion 2 2 3 2
3 Adrian Beltre 3 3 4 3
4 David Wright 4 5 2 6
5 Evan Longoria 5 4 5 4
6 Josh Donaldson 7 7 6 5
7 Ryan Zimmerman 11 8 7 13
8 Brett Lawrie 8 9 15 8
9 Pablo Sandoval 6 6 18 10
10 Pedro Alvarez 9 10 10 12
11 Matt Carpenter 16 14 11 7
12 Martin Prado 12 15 12 9
13 Kyle Seager 13 12 13 11
14 Jedd Gyorko 10 13 9 17
15 Aramis Ramirez 14 11 8 21
16 Chase Headley 15 17 14 14
17 Nolan Arenado 18 18 19 15
18 Manny Machado 20 16 20 16
19 Will Middlebrooks 17 21 17 23
20 Todd Frazier 19 19 16 24
21 Chris Johnson 21 26 21 18
22 Anthony Rendon 24 20 24 20
23 Matt Dominguez 22 30 22 19
24 David Freese 23 23 23 25
25 Mike Moustakas 26 22 27 27
26 Cody Asche 30 28 26 22
27 Trevor Plouffe 28 25 29 26
28 Kelly Johnson 27 24 25 38
29 Jose Iglesias 24 30 32 29
30 Lonnie Chisenhall 34 27 28 31
31 Juan Francisco 29 33 31 30
32 Matt Davidson 35 29 34 28
33 DJ LeMahieu 31 34 30 32
34 Juan Uribe 33 31 33 34
35 Alberto Callaspo 36 35 35 33
36 Danny Valencia 40 40 36 36
37 Marcus Semien 40 40 38 35
38 Luis Valbuena 40 40 37 39

Ranked by one analyst: Wilmer Flores, Ed Lucas, Conor Gillaspie and Donnie Murphy.




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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

35 Responses to “RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Third Base”

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  1. WormFace says:

    Why no love for Alvarez? I have him ranked 7th/8th with Zimmerman. If he gets a tad lucky with AVG then he should be on par with Donaldson.

    And why so much love for Lawrie and Sandoval? Neither of these guys have done anything recently.

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  2. JT says:

    Eno, you were a lot lower on Zimmerman here: why?

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      That’s the value my projection spit out. Maybe my projection is a little pessimistic. After he hit .285 and .275 the last two years, maybe the .276 in my projection is light. Otherwise, I have him missing time (559 PA) and hitting 23 homers. Perhaps I should up the playting time and batting average. Moving him to .281 and 600 PA makes him basically even with Carpenter.

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  3. stuck in a slump says:

    I’m curious about Eno’s love for the hit tool here. I can’t figure out why else he loves Carpenter and Prado so much to rank them top 10 when no one else did.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Batting average around the league is down to .250 is the only explanation I have. My projections for Prado and Carp do not feel generous, you can see them here:

      Matt Carpenter 96 76 12 4 0.296
      Martin Prado 89 67 14 7 0.289

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      • stuck in a slump says:

        That’s pretty close to what I would have had them at myself, I just don’t see how that’s going to be more valuable than what Zimmerman will bring. When I rank 3B I either look for power or a decent amount of speed. Neither of which is brought by Carpenter or Prado.

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  4. Mike says:

    I had thought with the Fielder trade that Cabrera was moving back to 1st base.

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  5. CW says:

    Nick Castellanos?

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  6. Jeff Zimmerman says:

    I was just looking at the rankings. I have Carp right vs. 3B, but his overall value would be higher than some ahead of him because he is eligible at 2B.

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  7. surly says:

    xander boegarts would slot in where?

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  8. pedro alvarez is the guy that drives me nuts. it’s easy to say that he’s an average vampire for a roto team and along with his low runs scored, he’s not worthy of a top 10 3B pick .. heck, i’ve said that, but he remains intriguing. he hit 15 home runs off of breaking pitches last year, and less we forget, he had 24 home runs by the all-star break. with him primarily batting 4th this year maybe we can get a solid increase in RBI opportunities and runs scored for El Toro, and if his power sticks or better yet increases, he can be a big time contributor.

    of course his floor is very low, which makes him risky. but if you’re going for a “home run” pick, i’d rank alvarez 6 or 7.

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  9. canucklesndwch says:

    Eno – where would you feel comfortable placing Sano on this list?

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  10. Z S says:

    Any thoughts on Mike’s relatively low ranking of Sandoval (18)? He’s coming up on a contract year, and he actually seems to be in much better shape this year, with instagram proof!

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    • RotoworldModsAreNazis says:

      People still believe in the “contract year” and “best shape of his life” bullcrap???

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        There is actually evidence that PA totals are higher in contract years. Dayn Perry wrote about it in Baseball Between the Numbers.

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      • Z S says:

        Ha, I understand your skepticism, but in this case he actually does seem to be in much better shape, and it seems like multiple parties have indicated that he’s taking his weight much more seriously this offseason.

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    • Yeah, the playing time thing is keeping my projection down. Will do some reading and consider whether to up his plate appearance projection.

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  11. dirck says:

    I have been playing fantasy baseball for about 30 years and i don’t recall 3B ever being this deep in quality .

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    • Brad Johnson says:

      Yea, the better than average but not quite good tier is very fat. You could stretch it to say it includes picks 7 through 28 although obviously there’s quite a bit of difference between Zim and KJ.

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  12. Ashman says:

    E5 played 3B only 10 games last year so won’t be eligible in many if not most leagues

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  13. pobothecat says:

    Links to previous roto-consensus rankings?

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  14. Pizzabox says:

    How far off is Machado from being an elite 3B option? Any chance he goes 20/10 this season?

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  15. Ruki Motomiya says:

    Question: Why is Kyle Seager so low? I’m interested in the logic behind putting him behind some people. Most noticably, I’m interested in why he is under Pablo Sandoval: Seager’s HR totals since he has been in the bigs, unless you count the decently long 2011 cup of coffee, have been higher than Pablo’s in 3 of 4 years. That year was 23 HR, which is 1 more than Seager, but Sandoval has massively lower SB possibility and Seager has had higher RBI/Runs too. (Yes, Sandoval hit 25 HR in 2009, but I felt that being 5 years ago made it really weak for projecting him forward. And it’s still comparable to Seager). Sandoval basically just has an AVG advantage and even then it’s small.

    Prado has lower HR potential than Seager and RBI/Runs are about the same, Prado has higher AVG but Seager seems more likely to get large amounts of steals. Yes, he had 17 steals in 2012, but he’s only ever had 5 at most in other years. Gyorko was basically Seager without steals and worse run/RBI potential (And Seager had a higher AVG). I bring up Gyorko since two people ranked him above Seager. I would also definitely take Seager over Lawrie (Higher HRs, higher Run/RBI potential, about equal steals and AVG).

    Am I just too high on Seager, though I don’t think I am because I basically project him to be like his previous years, or what?

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