Chad’s 2024 Tiered Ottoneu Rankings: Third Base

As we move into draft season, I will be updating these rankings occasionally, when there is news to justify changes. The original rankings will stay at the bottom of the article to maintain my player notes. The original catcher rankings were posted 1/26 and the most recent update is 2/27.

Changelog:

2/26 – Moved Curtis Mead, Eugenio Suarez, Elehuris Montero, Brady House, and Anthony Rendyon each down a tier, based on a playing time, MLB proximity, and projections. Moved Cam Collier up a tier based on upside. Added Brock Wilken, as he now meets criteria for being ranked.

Tiered 3B Rankings for FanGraphs Points Scoring (2/26)
Rank Name Position Eligibility Tier
1 Austin Riley 3B $36-$44
2 Rafael Devers 3B $36-$44
3 José Ramírez 3B $36-$44
4 Manny Machado 3B $21-$27
5 Alex Bregman 3B $21-$27
6 Royce Lewis 3B $15-$20
7 Nolan Arenado 3B $15-$20
8 Max Muncy 3B $10-$14
9 Josh Jung 3B $10-$14
10 Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B $10-$14
11 Jake Burger 3B $6-$9
12 Wilmer Flores 1B/3B $6-$9
13 Jeimer Candelario 1B/3B $6-$9
14 Coby Mayo 1B/3B $3-$5
15 Alec Bohm 1B/3B $3-$5
16 Curtis Mead 3B $1-$2
17 Eugenio Suarez 3B $1-$2
18 Brett Baty 3B $1-$2
19 Matt Chapman 3B $1-$2
20 Elehuris Montero 1B/3B $0-$1
21 Ivan Melendez 1B/3B $0-$1
22 J.D. Davis 1B/3B $0-$1
23 Brady House 3B $0-$1
24 Tyler Black 3B $0-$1
25 Anthony Rendon 3B $0-$1
26 Yoan Moncada 3B $0-$1
27 Jose Miranda 3B $0-$1
28 Brock Wilken 3B $0-$1
29 Mark Vientos 1B/3B $0-$1
30 Cam Collier 3B $0-$1
31 Eguy Rosario 3B $0
32 Josh Donaldson 3B $0
33 Mike Moustakas 1B/3B $0

 

Updated Rankings:

After the behemoth that was middle infield yesterday, today we get a light list at 3B. Third stays light in part because it is so far up the spectrum of production. For a long time, I had 3B as clearly worse than OF or even, to the point that if a player was 3B/OF I would either rank them at 3B or on both lists. But this year, OF looks meaningfully less impressive than 3B, so those 3B/OF players are on the OF list. That does not mean, by the way, that 3B is impressive or deep.

January Rankings and Notes:

In fact, the act of making this list has me double-checking that I have keeper-worthy 3B on all of my rosters, because looking at the rankings, I see 11 guys I am excited to start (1-11 below). There are a couple of others (Jeimer Candelario and Alec Bohm) who I can accept as starters and hope to get some value from, but I am not excited about it. The thing about 11 is that it is not enough to go around. And if a team has two of these guys, with one penciled in at util, that only makes things worse.

And I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “Chad, you just told me that you put the 3B/OF guys at OF. If you need a 12th starter, why not just move one over?” Totally fair! Here is the full list of 3B/OF eligible players on my 850+ long list of ranked players:

Who should I feel good about starting at 3B? Maybe Malloy gets there, but he is more valuable as an OF. In some of my leagues, I may be looking at MI/3B eligible players – Isaac Paredes, Spencer Steer, Gunnar Henderson, Nolan Gorman, etc. – as viable 3B options, despite the fact that MI is definitely weaker.

As an example, in the Keep or Kut Podcast Listener League (which is 4×4, not points, but faces a similar issue), I currently have a MI I really like – Steer, Andrés Giménez, Mookie Betts, Zack Gelof, Paredes – with Royce Lewis at 3B. I am happy with Lewis, but if (when?) he gets hurt, I am probably better off rolling with four of those five MI in the lineup than I am rushing out to find a backup 3B. Given my roster and needs in that league, I am probably going to live without a true backup 3B.

But what I don’t want to do is hit the auction, hoping to land my starting 3B, and discover that there are none available. And that is a real possibility.

For the methodology and notes on the rankings, please check out my intro column.

Tiered Third Base Rankings for FanGraphs Points Scoring
Rank Name Position Eligibility Tier Column Note
1 Austin Riley 3B $36-$44 Among 3B, he was the leading point scorer in 2022 and 2023. Among 3B qualified for the batting title, he was the leader in P/G in 2023 after being 2nd in 2022. He won’t be ranked first in many places, but he has been unquestionably the best 3B in Ottoneu Points formats two years running and the other two contenders are older than him.
2 Rafael Devers 3B $36-$44 He projects the best at this position but over the last two years, he has been second (behind Riley) and third among this tier of three at the top.
3 José Ramírez 3B $36-$44 In what looks like a down year for him, he improved his plate discipline and exit velocity, posted an increased xwOBA and was still the second most valuable 3B in Ottoneu.
4 Manny Machado 3B $21-$27 Yes, we are skipping over a tier. Machado is the best bet to fill that tier – and, in fact, to join the top tier – but his 2023 gives me enough pause that I can’t push all the way to 30 in a first year league.
5 Alex Bregman 3B $21-$27 There were some trade rumblings and if he gets moved, he drops a bit, as his plate discipline will play anywhere but his power will not.
6 Royce Lewis 3B $15-$20 I really want to say I would pay over $20 for him, as I think he is an over $20 talent, but I just can’t ignore that he played only 118 games over the last two seasons and 0 game over the the two before that.
7 Nolan Arenado 3B $15-$20 There has been slow but noticable skill decline and 2022 looks more and more like a last hurrah. He might belong at the top of the next tier, but there is some value in his high floor and the (maybe slim) possibility of a rebound.
8 Max Muncy 3B $10-$14 He can still punish a baseball.
9 Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B $10-$14 Pull and elevate. Pull and elevate. Pull and elevate. We’ve been waiting for years to see it, last year he started doing it.
10 Josh Jung 3B $10-$14 In the Ottoneu Slack mock drafts, he is going around $12, and based on this ranking, I am obviosuly fine with that, but know that you are paying for further development – he is more like an $8 guy; he could be more like a $20 guy.
11 Jake Burger 3B $6-$9 Despite the surface stats, he definitely took a step back after the move to Miami. EV, Barrel% HH%, BB% all down, but he also cut way back on the strikeouts.
12 Wilmer Flores 1B/3B $6-$9 It feels like there’s a big drop off right around here, even though we are within a tier. I feel good about starting anyone above here, but the rest of this tier and below gets iffy.
13 Jeimer Candelario 1B/3B $6-$9 I want to be excited about the new park, but I am not sure he is well-suited to take advantage and I worry that the smaller outfield will hurt him.
14 Coby Mayo 1B/3B $3-$5 I am not sure how he fits in with the Orioles, given all the talent, but I think the bat will make him a fantasy star at some point.
15 Alec Bohm 1B/3B $3-$5 Ok, I am also kind of okay starting Bohm. He’s not exciting, he’s not going to carry you, but the floor is high and the production is solid.
16 Curtis Mead 3B $3-$5 The scouting reports suggest real power, but I haven’t seen it and his (admittedly limited) Statcast data doesn’t suggest it is coming.
17 Eugenio Suárez 3B $3-$5 The significant drop in his HR/FB rate doesn’t match the small-ish drop in his quality of contact. But it’s worth noting that, per Statcast, the HR park factor for RH bats in Arizona is much worse than the one in Seattle.
18 Anthony Rendon 3B $1-$2 I keep wanting to believe that he’ll hit if he is healthy but his last 625 PA (2021-23), he has a .312 wOBA and 13 HR.
19 Brett Baty 3B $1-$2 He still hits the ball really, really hard.
20 Brady House 3B $1-$2 Moving to the high minors saw his K-rate jump. Watch that this year, because if he shows he can adjust to better pitching, that power is super enticing.
21 Elehuris Montero 1B/3B $1-$2 He’s really good at Coors.
22 Matt Chapman 3B $1-$2 He hasn’t been above replacement level since 2020, but just having regular PA (and I assume he will have regular PA) means he can help you fill games played, and that has some value.
23 J.D. Davis 1B/3B $0-$1 On a points per PA basis, he actually isn’t bad. On a P/G basis he is really bad, because he PH a decent amount. The problem is that even on a per game started basis he doesn’t look very good, because he gets PH for too often, too.
24 Tyler Black 3B $0-$1 A good hit tool with a ton of SB to add value and not-terrible power. Once he is up (or rumored to be up soon), he’ll be very much on my radar.
25 Yoán Moncada 3B $0-$1 His 2023 was an awful lot like his 2020-2022 overall, and that was worth 4.22 P/G.
26 Jose Miranda 3B $0-$1 Struggling as an MLB sophomore isn’t great, but it happens. The collapse in AAA is very concerning.
27 Mark Vientos 1B/3B $0-$1 I am not sure I think he’ll ever translate to MLB, but with Mauricio hurt, he has a decent shot at the job and if he gets the job, maybe he can make it work.
28 Ivan Melendez 1B/3B $0-$1 I’d be more intrigued if I thought he was going to stick at 3B, but it sounds like that is not in the cards. But the power is exciting.
29 Cam Collier 3B $0 I like everything I see in the stats but he is so far away and there is so much talent ahead of him.
30 Eguy Rosario 3B $0 I assumed he wouldn’t play but Roster Resource has Machado at DH and Matthew Batten at 3B and Roasrio on the bench. So maybe he will be the starter? Man, that team is kind of a mess, huh?
31 Josh Donaldson 3B $0 I honestly almost crossed him off cause I assumed he was retired, but I guess not?
32 Mike Moustakas 1B/3B $0 See above.





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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D-Wizmember
1 month ago

Yeesh, I’ve been debating whether I was okay with starting Ke’Bryan Hayes in two leagues, but this list suggests I should be borderline thrilled to be in that situation! 3B is way rougher than I expected.

Also, thanks so much for these lists – they’re a huge help and I greatly appreciate both the tiers/rankings as well as the short notes on every player!

rustydudemember
1 month ago
Reply to  D-Wiz

I would kill to have a 3B as good as Hayes on any of my 3 teams.