Chad Young’s 2023 Ottoneu 3B Rankings

There are two things that jumped out at me looking at 3B. First is that there are 6 really good, exciting bats at the top, and then a big tier drop. Second is that I run out of starters I really trust before I get to 12. I’ll be pretty focused on getting one of those top six via trade or auction this offseason.

Other Position Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | OF
Our regular reminders:
  1. Tiers > Ranks. The specific order of the rankings is less helpful and less meaningful than the tiers. Miguel Vargas is #10 and Anthony Rendon #11, but Rendon is closer to Eugenio Suárez for me than he is to Vargas. I am always open to discuss my rankings – and I will change them based on convincing feedback – but moving guys around within the tiers just doesn’t matter much. If you want to argue, tell me who is in the wrong tier entirely.
  2. Format Matters. These are for Ottoneu FanGraphs points format, but can be used fairly effectively for SABR Points (bats are slightly more valuable; for pitchers things vary more) and 4×4 (which values the same skills if not the same way).  Also note that, compared to roto leagues (4×4 or 5×5), points leagues have a steeper value curve, so the most expensive players are not quite so expensive in roto. The biggest difference, of course, is that 5×5 values SB highly and this format does not. For 5×5, there are a ton of other rankings out there, including right here on FanGraphs. Make sure to note that redraft rankings are not the same as keeper rankings, and Ottoneu will be more similar to keeper or dynasty. Finally, while it won’t be a full ranking, I’ll be sharing my top tens at each position for 5×5 keeper leagues as part of the Keep or Kut podcast.
  3. Projected P/G are the Basis but not the Ranking. On each table, you will see a projected P/G for each player. For this list, those are based on the Depth Charts projections as of 1/17. You’ll note, however, that I didn’t simply put the top projection first and then work down the list. A few things can cause me to break from the projections. Playing time and role, age and track record, future value and possible breakout potential are all factors that could cause me to move someone around. For example, Brett Baty has a better projection than a number of players a tier above him, while Jake Burger is one spot behind Yoán Moncada .  The former is because I see a lot more risk in Baty as an unproven rookie with unclear playing time. The latter is because Burger’s role limits his value relative to his overall projection.
  4. One Position at a Time. Players are ranked for just one position at a time, and will only be ranked at positions where I think they might be/should be used in fantasy. Any player who qualifies at catcher or middle infield will be left off this list, but I am including 3B/OF eligibles on both this list and the OF list. The reason is, as noted above, replacement level is similar enough at the two that you can use players at either one.
  5. N/A Means Not Enough Data. If the P/G column reads N/A that either means the projection doesn’t exist or the playing time was too small and I decided to ignore it.
  6. Tiers are Pre-Inflation. In practice, this means these tiers are most applicable to first-year leagues, but you can also adjust for inflation for your league. If you expect 20% inflation in your league, the top tier at 3B becomes $42-$54.




Ottoneu FanGraphs Points 3B Rankings
Tier Rank Player Eligibility DC Projected P/G Notes
$35-$45 1 José Ramírez 3B 6.03 His xwOBA looks non-elite, but he pulls the ball in the air so often (lead all of MLB with 95 PA ending in pulled flies) lets him max out his contact quality.
$35-$45 2 Austin Riley 3B 6.09 Similarly, all of his projections are lower than either of his last two years and I don’t see any reason to expect that.
$35-$45 3 Rafael Devers 3B 6.11 If you get “stuck” with the third of these three, whoever it is, that is just fine.
$35-$45 4 Manny Machado 3B 5.70 He was the top 3B in ’22 but we’ve seen him hit those heights before and then come back to earth, so a little caution is warranted.
$27-$34 5 Alex Bregman 3B 5.83 Rebounded in ’22 despite a lower HH%. How did he do it? More fly balls meant more barrels and more HR, plus he returned to BB%>K%.
$27-$34 6 Nolan Arenado 3B 5.64 Remember how I noted that Ramirez led all of MLB with 95 PA ending in pulled fly balls? Arenado was second with 92.
$14-$19 7 Yandy Díaz 1B/3B 5.52 Somewhere in the multiverse, a hitting coach finds a way to get him up to a 45% fly ball rate and he leaps even further up this list, but I don’t think we are in that timeline.
$14-$19 8 Ty France 1B/3B 5.27 Without a jump to ~25 HR, his value will be tied up in his LD%, which should be strong but can be very volatile.
$10-$13 9 Jose Miranda 1B/3B 5.24 Miranda has more upside than France or Diaz, but less of a track record.
$10-$13 10 Miguel Vargas 3B/OF 5.28 Vargas has more upside than Miranda, but less clarity on his role.
$6-$9 11 Anthony Rendon 3B 5.25 There was nothing to like in his 2022 season, but every projection system has him putting up a $10-$15 season and that’s not even assuming a return to anything like his peak.
$6-$9 12 Justin Turner 3B 5.10 I want to make a big bet on his second half surge, but honestly I can’t find any good reason to trust that it wasn’t just a BABIP-fueled fever dream.
$6-$9 13 Jordan Walker 3B/OF 4.85 Walker will get “every chance” to win an Opening Day job; historically I would say no chance, given he hasn’t faced AAA and won’t be 21 until May, but maybe the CBA ROY incentives gives him a little help?
$6-$9 14 Matt Chapman 3B 4.81 Chapman is an extreme pull hitter and an extreme fly ball hitter, and then new fence in Toronto looks like it will play to his advantage.
$6-$9 15 Eugenio Suárez 3B 4.47 K-rate has risen every year since 2017 and his swinging strike rate has almost done the same, and that isn’t a great trend.
$3-$5 16 Josh Jung 3B 4.59 Striking out 38.2% of the time is really bad, but his minor league track record is much better than that and I like the idea of betting on improvement.
$3-$5 17 Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B 4.70 Hitting more fly balls isn’t enough. Only 16 out of 132 players with 500+ PA had a lower wOBA than Hayes; out of 167 players with 110+ fly balls, only 19 had a lower wOBA on those fly balls. He needs to hit more useful fly balls.
$3-$5 18 Alec Bohm 1B/3B 4.76 The situation for Bohm is similar to Hayes.
$3-$5 19 J.D. Davis 1B/3B 4.78 He’s regularly hit, but hasn’t regularly played, but maybe this is the year he gets a chance to show he can do both?
$3-$5 20 Brett Baty 3B 5.11 The debut wasn’t great, but it was pretty brief and the .332 xwOBA wasn’t bad at all.
$1-$2 21 Gio Urshela 3B 4.40 Moving from Minnesota to Anaheim is a surprisingly big park upgrade for a RH bat.
$1-$2 22 Matt Vierling 3B/OF 4.65 There’s an intriguing bat here and reports from Detroit suggest he could play a bunch of positions.
$1-$2 23 Christian Encarnacion-Strand 3B NA Go to his player page. Drool at the raw power. Gawk at the game power. Pretend there is no grade for hit tool.
$1-$2 24 Josh Donaldson 3B 4.48 His chase and contact rates went very far the wrong directions in 2022, but he also had a .366 wOBA over more than 1300 PA the prior three seasons.
$1-$2 25 Elehuris Montero 1B/3B 5.50 The minor league track record is intriguing but it looks like he will be the small side of a platoon – which is useful but of course limited volume.
$1-$2 26 Yoán Moncada 3B 4.64 Is the up-and-down just BABIP? It kinda looks like it is just BABIP.
$1-$2 27 Jake Burger 3B 4.66 I like the bat a bit; I have no idea where he gets PA, though.
$1-$2 28 David Villar 1B/3B 4.86 Absolutely crushed LHP and should have that half a platoon somewhere on the IF.
$1-$2 29 Evan Longoria 3B 4.50 He is escaping Oracle Park, the second worst park for RH HR in all of the baseballing land! Unfortunately, Chase is the fourth worst.
$1-$2 30 Eduardo Escobar 3B 4.25 Do you want the guy who has the job? Or the guy who is going to have the job before long?
$0 31 Brian Anderson 3B/OF 4.28 I was excited to note that being a platoon role will just help you maximize what you get from Anderson, but his career numbers don’t really back that up.
$0 32 Bobby Dalbec 1B/3B 4.68 He hits the ball hard when he makes contact, which is not that often.
$0 33 Patrick Wisdom 1B/3B/OF 4.33 He hits the ball hard when he makes contact, which is not that often.
$0 34 Jeimer Candelario 3B 4.48 I like him getting out of Detroit, I just wish he landed with an org that I had more confidence in.
$0 35 Mike Brosseau 3B 3.98 There are worse desperation options, but as the small side of a platoon, he doesn’t take up many games for you.
$0 36 Hunter Dozier 1B/3B/OF 4.15 The Royals benching Dozier will force me to bench Dozier and I can’t thank them enough for breaking me of this habit.
$0 37 Mark Vientos 1B/3B 1.30 I’d like him to get traded because he is interesting, but Baty is more interesting.
$0 38 Emmanuel Rivera 3B 4.49 Broke out in AAA with KC but HR/FB rate was a big part of that and Omaha is pretty homer-friendly.
$0 39 Jace Peterson 3B/OF 4.19 He isn’t particularly likely to be good, but he might be near the top of the A’s lineup and maybe he can accumulate some volume-based value that way?
$0 40 Edwin Ríos 3B 4.37 The hype has died down on Rios, but if he ended up somewhere he could play regularly, I would probably move him up to just inside the top 30.
$0 41 Brad Miller 3B/OF 4.21 Given the money they spent, the Rangers presumably plan to contend, but doing so with Brad Miller at DH is going to be a challenge.
$0 42 Jake Alu 3B 4.89 Seeing his projections was the first time I heard his name, so maybe I am selling him short?
$0 43 Mike Moustakas 1B/3B 4.02 I almost just left him off – I think he is done and he doesn’t have a job – but he’s still rostered in almost 15% of leagues!
$0 44 Nate Eaton 3B/OF 4.07 MiLB numbers in 2022 looked good but when he came up he showed absolultely no ability to hit the ball hard.

A long-time fantasy baseball veteran and one of the creators of ottoneu, Chad Young's writes for RotoGraphs and PitcherList, and can be heard on the ottobot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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6 days ago

No Gunnar?

6 days ago
Reply to  Chad Young

Doesnt qualify in my league