Finding Value At Third Base

The faces at third base have lost a rather big one, literally and figuratively, in a guy named Miggy. Miguel Cabrera was the consensus #1 or #2 overall pick in 2014 no doubt because of his awesomeness but also because his third base eligibility made him, well, awesomer as Marshawn Lynch might say. Out is Miggy, but in is Carlos Santana and…Chris Davis? Who knew. Regardless, even in the wackiest of formats, you’re likely going to need yourself a third baseman, and since everyone loves a bargain, I’m going to toss a few names out there for you to target.

You could draft Adrian Beltre or Evan Longoria or Josh Donaldson. But it’s going to cost you, and relative to their overall contributions, you might be better using that second or third rounder on other needs. Heck, even wunderkind Anthony Rendon is leaving the board early in the 5th round in mock drafts — but he’s likely going to have more value as a second baseman. This isn’t to say if these guys slip you shouldn’t gobble them up — but there are some contributors much further down the list which might prove to be a relative steal.

I hate to do the old Player A versus Player B, but now I’m going to present Player A versus Player B. Stay with me. Steamer projections for two players who have no relation to my knowledge:

HR R RBI SB AVG
Player A 30 71 79 3 0.242
Player B 26 65 75 6 0.242

Player A is getting drafted right around 5th overall on Mock Draft Central, which seems like absolute madness (and I doubt that lasts) and Player B is getting drafted around the 11th round. The former is Chris Davis, the latter is Pedro Alvarez. Now, granted, Alvarez has some warts but, ahem, so does Chris Davis (and the A in Player A doesn’t stand for Adderall, for all of you wondering). Yeah, Chris Davis once hit 53 home runs but Brady Anderson once hit 50 and I don’t know what point I’m trying to make, I’m just still in shock that Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs 20 years ago. I digress.

To the larger point, Pedro Alvarez seems like a nifty little pick if he slips this far in your draft. If you’re willing to give up something in batting average, he’s highly likely to be among the top 3 in home runs at his position and is no slouch in runs and RBI. He’ll also likely qualify at first base within the first month or so, which could come in handy.

So I won’t torture you again with Player A and Player B comparisons, so instead I’ll just give you “Bob” and “Jim”:

HR R RBI SB AVG
Bob 16 66 65 9 0.275
Jim 20 73 82 3 0.282

Bob moonlights as a guy named David Wright and he’s falling off the board around the fourth round and Jim is an alias for Nolan Arenado who is being selected right around the 13th round. You be the judge on that one, because it couldn’t be much easier.

A few other players that I’ll be keeping an eye on at third base include Pablo Sandoval, Aramis Ramirez, and Manny Machado. Sandoval is going around Arenado territory while the latter two are getting drafted in the late teen rounds. All three of them should contribute nicely in home runs, runs, and RBI while Sandoval will likely hit for a plus average. And while they might not hit the 24 home runs that Adrian Beltre is projected for, nor the 26 home runs that Josh Donaldson is projected for — would it surprise you if all three hit 20 a piece?

Of course, this is not a wedding ceremony to ADP. You can like ADP, but more as a good looking cousin, not a partner.

ADP is going to change over time and even when it’s fairly locked in, you can’t rely on the fact that your opponent isn’t going to zig when you decide to zag. However, even this early, it tends to illustrate under valued players which is likely to hold over in some incarnation when we’re at when it counts on draft day. And for my money, I’m probably going in other directions rounds 1-10 and looking to pull some value at the hot corner shortly thereafter.





Michael was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Seattle area but had nothing to do with the Heathcliff Slocumb trade although Boston fans are welcome to thank him. You can find him on twitter at @michaelcbarr.

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Scoko
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Scoko

Any thoughts on Ryan Zimmerman as a late round flyer, if he retains 3b eligibility?

Bill
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Bill

ewwww

Stuck in a Slump
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Stuck in a Slump

If he’s healthy he could be one of the top fantasy 3B. Not sure why that’s so ‘ewwwwww’

Scoko
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Scoko

Move to 1b may go a long way for his health.