Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball 2014 Third Base Preview

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Position Previews C 1B 2B 3B SS OF SP RP

Third Base is one of the more shallow positions in all of fantasy baseball. Miguel Cabrera is clearly the top player in this category, being the AL MVP the last two seasons and will be one of the top two players drafted this season. After that there is three, maybe four more players you can really count on at this position (depending on what site you play on). Honestly though if you miss out on one of the top guys, I would just wait. The difference between the 5th and 12th third baseman in my rankings is not enough for me to reach for one. Especially if it means not drafting an overall better player just to fill a position. In fact this is one strategy I strongly believe in. About 85% of the time you need to draft the better player, than draft to fill a need. Obviously you can’t always do this, but if you start drafting strictly based on team need, then you are going to miss out on a lot of good players available.

Pablo Sandoval1. What do you do with the oft-injured Pablo Sandoval?
Kung Fu Panda has missed a total of 120 games over the last three seasons. He played 141 games last year, the most out of the last three seasons, but he actually struggled, posting his lowest HR/FB rate since 2010. He did deal with nagging injuries it seemed all season, so I believe that is why you saw his numbers dip, despite the increased number of games from the previous two seasons. However, there are rumors that he has lost significant weight this off-season. If that is true that he lost a bunch of weight, maybe he won’t get injured as often, and can finally put together another season like 2009; .330 avg, 25 home runs, 90 RBI and 79 runs. I however will not believe that or go near him until I see proof, since I believe his weight has been a big reason for his injuries.

2. Can Manny Machado bounce back after that gruesome-looking knee injury last year?
This is really anybody’s guess right now, but if I were forced to pick yes or no, I’d say yes. He is young, only 21 years old, and apparently already ahead of schedule in his recovery. So if there is anybody that can come back from that kind of injury, it is him. Because of the injury scare, you might be able to get him fairly late in drafts. You would be getting a player that in just his first full season hit .283, with 14 home runs, 71 RBI and scored 88 times. I think he only gets better too.


3. Brett Lawrie has shown flashes of greatness, can he put it together for a full season?
I really don’t know what to think about Lawrie. When he first entered the league in 2011, he hit ..293 with 9 home runs, 25 RBI, 26 runs and 7 stolen bases in just 43 games. That created quite a bit of excitement and he was drafted fairly high the next season. Since then he has failed to deliver. Some of it has been injury related, missing 92 total games the last two years. But when not injured he is just not getting it done. Overall because of those last two points combined you will not see me drafting him.

Player(s) on the Rise
nolan_arenado
Nolan Arenado
 (COL) – In his rookie season, Arenado was solid for the Rockies, but not great. He doesn’t have a lot of power, but he was good enough to be useful last season. In the Rockies lineup, and that ball park, he is somebody that you can get later in the draft and can give you sneaky good value.

Player(s) on the Decline
Josh Donaldson (OAK) – The power is legit, but the BABIP last season was a tad too high for my liking, .333, especially for a player who basically came out of nowhere to do what he did last season. If you want to draft him expecting 22-27 home runs and 90+ RBI then that is fine, I just can’t expect him to hit .301 again, thus the decline.

Pablo Sandoval
(SF) – See above

Player(s) on the Horizon
Cody Asche (PHI) – Asche was called up late last year and struggled for the most part, hitting .235 in 50 games for the Phillies. He will have to cut down on the strikeouts in order to have the batting average rise, since his BABIP was just fine at .287. If he can do that then expect a good 3B that you might even be able to get off the waiver wire in 12-team leagues.

Mike Olt (CHC) – Olt has been a top prospect for the Rangers for years, but was blocked due to Adrian Beltre manning third. Well good news for Olt, he was traded to the Cubs who don’t have anywhere close to the talent at third the Rangers did. Olt has a a great power swing, but does struggle with the batting average, due to a high strikeout rate. He’ll surely get a chance at some point this season for the Cubs and should be a popular pickup in all leagues when that happens.

Player(s) to Avoid
Chris-Johnson
Chris Johnson
 (ATL) – His BABIP was crazy high last season, sitting at .394,  which lead to a .321 average. That batting average drove up his value enough that he was useful in most leagues, despite only 12 home runs, 68 RBI and 54 runs. My problem is I doubt the average stays that high and with those low counting stats, he won’t be worth a draft pick.



Chase Headley (SD) – Don’t usually pat myself on the back, but I’m going to here. Last season in my 3B preview I said Headley would not reproduce the amazing 2012 season he had, mainly due to over half of his numbers coming in the last two months of the season. Even though I predicted a decline, he was even worse than I could have imagined, only hitting 13 home runs with 50 RBI. I could see some power increase this season, but not enough for me to want to deal with low batting average and high strikeout rate.

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About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the up-and-coming FantasySixPack.net website. He has been spreading his love and addiction of fantasy sports there and many other sites including SoCalledFantasyExperts.com, FantasyPros.com, and FanDuel.com. Joe has finished as the No. 5 Fantasy Football Draft Ranker on Fantasy Pros in 2014, while being the No. 1 QB ranker for in-season during 2016. He has also finished in the top-15 twice for Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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