Welcome to the first integrated ranking list of the 2019 season. From here on out, we will be combining total points and six category profiles to generate one system of rankings. So, the 18 top third basemen will be ranked according to both total points and six category universes. For those wondering, we consider walks to be the sixth category. We are projecting performance based on projected playing time. We base that on past health and their current situation with their club.
Total points are based on a formula we are using for our own purposes. Every platform has their own, so you should do your own research based on the platform of choice. The idea is to give players credit (and remove credit) depending on positive and negative events. Since each event is weighted accordingly then you don’t have the problem of players getting too much credit for excelling at one particular skill. We broke down the top 24 third basemen and then cherrypicked the top 18. Rankings in each category correspond to their ranking amongst those 24 players.
Total Points= TB + Runs + RBI + BB + SB + HBP – SO – CS- GIDP
Nolan Arenado—Colorado Rockies
Points: 1558 (1st)
PPG: 3.28 (1st)
Projection: .300/34 HR/94 Runs/109 RBI/2 SB/59 BB (2nd)
Arenado is a perfect example of why I prefer total points. He ranks second in six category leagues primarily because he doesn’t steal bases. Who cares? He drives in runs in bunches and likely will outproduce the numbers above because it is based on a 600 plate appearance projection. He flies by that mark every season and approaches 700 on a regular basis.
Jose Ramirez—Cleveland Indians
Points: 1502 (2nd)
PPG: 3.26 (2nd)
Projection: .300/24 HR/92 Runs/81 RBI/22 SB/62 BB (1st)
Ramirez is also eligible at second and might end up there. It is debatable as to whether he is better than Jose Altuve outright, but his versatility makes him special. His six category ranking is based on those steals, but he has also gotten better three years in a row across the board. The Indians are thinner these days, so it is hard to project more improvement.
Kris Bryant—Chicago Cubs
Points: 1182 (4th)
PPG: 2.90 (5th)
Projection: .288/27 HR/96 Runs/75 RBI/6 SB/69 BB (3rd)
Bryant is also eligible at multiple positions. The Cubs were rumored to have shopped Bryant at the beginning of the offseason. He won the MVP in 2016, but in some ways that seems like an eternity ago. Bryant’s fortunes have followed the Cubs since then. He is still really good, but the magic of that season hasn’t returned.
Anthony Rendon—Washington Nationals
Points: 1283 (3rd)
PPG: 2.92 (4th)
Projection: .292/22 HR/84 Runs/90 RBI/7 SB/66 BB (4th)
Don’t sleep on Rendon or the Nationals. Yes, they are losing Bryce Harper, but they are arguably deeper than most of the clubs in the NL East. Rendon might be the next stud to leave town and while there is nothing that he does that wows you; he just puts up good numbers across the board.
Alex Bregman—Houston Astros
Points: 1048 (8th)
PPG: 2.90 (5th)
Projection: .282/22 HR/87 Runs/81 RBI/11 SB/64 BB (5th)
Bregman is also eligible at shortstop and I’m sure he would rank slightly higher there than he does here. I also understand the desire to assume improvement from him yet again. These projections are based on 600 plate appearances and he’s likely to get more than that, so there is some push there, but it is just as likely that he takes a little step back before he becomes an annual star.
Josh Donaldson—Atlanta Braves
Points: 978 (11th)
PPG: 3.06 (3rd)
Projection: .273/28 HR/77 Runs/71 RBI/4 SB/76 BB (6th)
Poll an Atlanta Braves fan and they may settle for these numbers from Donaldson even though they are over only 500 plate appearances. Health has been the only thing that has stopped him. If you want to be bullish on him you can do the math and figure it over 600 plate appearances, but I’m not that optimistic.
Eugenio Suarez—Cincinnati Reds
Points: 991 (9th)
PPG: 2.16 (16th)
Projection: .265/26 HR/78 Runs/82 RBI/5 SB/64 BB (7th)
Part of the fun of fantasy sports is projecting players like Suarez. He has seemingly taken a step forward in each full season of his career. Does he continue improving or does he eventually find his level? These are the unanswerable questions of life. Real growth (and not the batted ball luck kind) is difficult to bet on.
Matt Carpenter—St. Louis Cardinals
Points: 1160 (5th)
PPG: 2.70 (8th)
Projection: .256/26 HR/91 Runs/70 RBI/2 SB/94 BB (8th)
It’s fun living in the moment of the season. For a brief time in July and August there was talk of Carpenter winning the MVP award. Those thoughts died as he returned to his profile of being really good, but not necessarily great. You always do better betting on what a player is over 162 games rather than any individual three or four week period. Even with Goldschmidt in tow, Carpenter still is what he is.
Joey Gallo—Texas Rangers
Points: 578 (17th)
PPG: 1.86 (19th)
Projection: .203/42 HR/88 Runs/89 RBI/7 SB/80 BB (9th)
There are so many layers to all of this. First, you have the total points let down that comes exclusively because of all of those strikeouts. Do we really care that much in standard leagues? Well, we do have that horrible batting average. We also have a very healthy home run and walk rate. So, you take the good with the bad, hold your nose, and hope for the best.
Miguel Andujar—New York Yankees
Points: 413 (20th)
PPG: 2.68 (9th)
Projection: .300/26 HR/81 Runs/94 RBI/3 SB/25 BB (10th)
Oh, the joys of playing in Yankee Stadium. You put up numbers that should win you the Rookie of the Year Award and then they talk of dealing you because of the shiny new toy on the free agent market. About 20 teams would gladly trade their third baseman for this guy. He deserves better than this.
Justin Turner—Los Angeles Dodgers
Points: 1081 (6th)
PPG: .282 (7th)
Projection: .300/19 HR/67 Runs/67 RBI/4 SB/48 BB (11th)
The projections are based on 500 plate appearances based on his injury history and the presence of David Freese. Turner is better than that and probably deserves to play every day. He probably will do enough to get to 600 plate appearances and if so you can adjust the projection accordingly.
Kyle Seager—Seattle Mariners
Points: 1064 (7th)
PPG: 2.28 (12th)
Projection: .250/24 HR/68 Runs/81 RBI/2 SB/51 BB (12th)
Imagine a world where Seager is barely a fantasy regular. Imagine that same world where he has been put on the trade block in real baseball and no real team wants him. That is how deep third base is as a position these days. Last year was a down season for Seager, so he will need to rebound to rekindle his value.
Jake Lamb—Arizona Diamondbacks
Points: 821 (14th)
PPG: 2.31 (11th)
Projection: .244/22 HR/70 Runs/77 RBI/4 SB/60 BB (13th)
Lamb gets to try his hand at first base which means he has multiple position flexibility. His numbers don’t look great, but they are based on 500 PA. If he stays healthy he is good for 25 home runs and 90 RBI. Imagine that on your bench.
Travis Shaw—Milwaukee Brewers
Points: 988 (10th)
PPG: 2.24 (13th)
Projection: .253/23 HR/64 Runs/75 RBI/6 SB/53 BB (14th)
He will be eligible at second base in some formats and depending on what the Brewers do this offseason he might spend some more time there. Second base is another deep fantasy position, so he might be a fringe regular there as well. If you are fringe regular in two spots then you are an outstanding bench piece.
Matt Chapman—Oakland Athletics
Points: 501 (19th)
PPG: 2.19 (14th)
Projection: .263/24 HR/89 Runs/69 RBI/1 SB/57 BB (15th)
Again, we find ourselves wondering if we should bank on what could be or bank on what has been. Unfortunately, fielding runs are not a fantasy thing yet. In real baseball, Chapman is easily a top ten third baseman. Real baseball and fantasy baseball don’t always intersect. I suspect he is better than this, but by how much?
Todd Frazier—New York Mets
Points: 892 (13th)
PPG: 2.12 (17th)
Projections: .218/25 HR/63 Runs/68 RBI/8 SB/57 BB (16th)
Frazier is a flawed player, but you can’t have an all-star at every spot. So, the question you ask yourself as a fantasy GM or a real one is whether he gives you enough good to justify the bad. If the Mets stay healthy there should be enough around him to give him some good run producing opportunities. That’s good enough for a bench slot.
Mike Moustakas—Free Agent
Points: 808 (15th)
PPG: 2.47 (10th)
Projections: .260/27 HR/57 Runs/71 RBI/1 SB/34 BB (17th)
Moose is the embodiment of average and represents perfectly the problems with being an average player in today’s game. If you are a playoff contender, there is a pretty good chance you have a better player than Moose manning third base. If you aren’t a contender then he probably is better than what you have, but how much do you want to invest in an average player when an average player isn’t going to vault you into playoff contention?
Evan Longoria—Tampa Bay Rays
Points: 961 (12th)
PPG: 2.18 (15th)
Projections: .261/22 HR/62 Runs/72 RBI/3 SB/33 BB (18th)
Remember when Longoria hit the walk off homer to vault the Rays into the postseason? It almost single-handedly motivated MLB to make the wild card a 163rdgame play in. He was on the short list for the MVP award then. Now, he is a shell of his former self. I suppose it wouldn’t be terrible to have him on the bench, but I might choose someone with a little more upside.