Rapin's Rankings - Third Base: The Debut of Vladimir Guerrero Jr

Each year, some positions appear to be shallow in fantasy depth, while others seem absolutely stacked with talent. I see third base as being part of the latter this year, as it appears that you should be able to get a starting caliber third bagger deep into most fantasy drafts in 2019.

There were some major health issues at third last season that led to some shaky production. Kris Bryant dealt with a shoulder issue, Justin Turner recovered from a fractured wrist, and Josh Donaldson struggled mightily as he battled both shoulder and calf injuries. If healthy, we could see several top names have bounce back seasons.

In terms of an overall strategy in drafting a third baseman this year, I am all for waiting and attacking my Tier 3. That's not to say if I'm at the right place in the middle to late first round and have a guy like Nolan Arenado available, that I won't take him. However, I'm not going to reach for a top tier third baseman when I can get really good quality in middle rounds in my third tier. With first base being relatively shallow this year, I would also target a third baseman at filling your corner infield spot if needed.

Let me know your thoughts and give me a follow on Twitter @fantasygeek37

Tier 1

1. Jose Ramirez, Indians
2. Nolan Arenado, Rockies
3. Alex Bregman, Astros
4. Javier Baez, Cubs
5. Kris Bryant, Cubs


I would be excited too if I just signed the contract that Nolan Arenado did so that he could remain with the Rockies.

  • Last season, Jose Ramirez struggled in the second half hitting the breaking ball. He hit .302 in the first half of the year, but it fell to .218 in the second. He will need to make adjustments if he wants to return to the .300 hitter he was the previous two seasons.
  • If you value consistency, look no further than Nolan Arenado. Over the last four years, he's hit in between .287 and .309 each season, put up 37 to 42 home runs, scored 97 plus runs and had at least 110 runs batted in. He's about as safe as they come at the position. 
  • Alex Bregman had surgery to remove loose bodies in his throwing elbow this offseason. He should be ready to go for the regular season, but it's something to monitor in Spring Training.
  • Kris Bryant also dealt with an injury last season as he hurt his shoulder on a slide in June. He only hit two home runs over his last 30 games, but looks to be back to 100%. Look for a bounce back from Bryant in 2019.

Tier 2

6. Anthony Rendon, Nationals
7. Eugenio Suarez, Reds
8. Vlad Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
9. Miguel Andujar, Yankees


If you don't know who Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is yet, you will soon...

  • Anthony Rendon led all qualified third baseman in batting average (.308) and was fourth in on base percentage (.374) in 2018. 
  • Despite missing 19 games, Eugenio Suarez finished third among qualified third baseman in RBIs with 104.
  • Blue Jays General Manager, Ross Atkins has stated that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will begin the season at Triple-A Buffalo. He may be called up at the end of April, or it could be sometime in May or June, but draft Guerrero accordingly.
  • If you play in an on base percentage league, you may want to drop Miguel Andujar down a spot or two. He finished 20th among qualified third baseman in walk rate, walking only 4.1% of the time.

Tier 3

10. Travis Shaw, Brewers
11. Justin Turner, Dodgers
12. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
13. Josh Donaldson, Braves
14. Matt Chapman, Athletics
15. Wil Myers, Padres
16. Mike Moustakas, Brewers
17. Max Muncy, Dodgers
18, Jurickson Profar, Athletics
19. Raphael Devers, Red Sox


Can Josh Donaldson bounce back this season? If healthy, I see no reason why he can't.

  • Justin Turner dealt with a wrist fracture in the first half of 2018 and his batting average was .258 over 47 games. He surged in the second half as he batted a whopping .356 over the last 55 games of the season.
  • It was a rough year for Josh Donaldson has he dealt with shoulder and calf issues at the beginning of the year. However, once he was moved to the Indians, a healthier Donaldson hit .280 with three home runs over his last 16 games with Cleveland. He was also third in walk rate in 2018, walking 14.2% of the time.
  • Mike Moustakas was recently signed by the Brewers and reportedly will be playing second base with Travis Shaw moving back to third. Take this into account as "Moose Tacos" should gain second base/middle infield eligibility relatively quickly this season.

Tier 4

20. Eduardo Escobar, Diamondbacks
21. Yuli Gurriel, Astros
22. Adrubal Cabrera, Rangers
23. Miguel Sano, Twins
24. Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks
25. Maikel Franco, Phillies
26. Kyle Seager, Mariners (this one's for Ryan)

  • Eduardo Escobar finished second at the position in doubles as he reached second 48 times in 2018.
  • Among third baseman with at least 200 plate appearances, Miguel Sano finished dead last in K rate, striking out 38.5% of the time.
  • With the departure of Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb will be moving to first base for the Diamondbacks.
  • Kyle Seager has played in at least 154 games or more games in seven straight seasons.

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