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2019 Fantasy Baseball: NL Third Base Profiles and Projections

Welcome to the 2019 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit! We threw out the first pitch on New Year’s Day and we won’t close out the ninth until Opening Day. What follows are our NL Third Base Profiles and Projections for the 2019 fantasy baseball season. We like to think of our profiles as the fantasy mag you always flip through at the newsstand, only this magazine magically updates whenever fantasy-relevant news breaks. After you finish here we invite you check out all of our previous fantasy baseball player profiles.

If you’re like us you can’t wait until spring to get the 2019 fantasy baseball season started? Well, you don’t have to. Leagues are already forming at, so head on over and start or join a league today.

2019 NL Third Base Profiles

Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies

Nolan Arenado 2019 MLB Projections

How do you hit .297 with 38 HRs, 110 RBI, and 104 Runs and have a ‘quiet’ year? Somehow it seems like that’s what Arenado did in 2018. I’m gonna work hard to nitpick here. Arenado did have a career-high 18.1 K% (with a career-high 10.8 BB%). His 38.8 FB% was also the lowest he’s put up in any full season (it came with a career-high 20.7 HR/FB%). That’s it. That’s all I got in trying to critique Arenado. He’s a surefire Top-10 Fantasy pick in any format and no one is going to argue too hard if you grab him in the top 5. The ballpark gives Arenado as high a floor as any hitter in baseball. Draft with confidence. – Doug Anderson

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

Kris Bryant 2019 MLB Projections

For a young player Kris Bryant has always shown himself willing to adapt to help his team. It certainly appeared that in 2017 he focused on making more contact to help his team. The dip in power didn’t make fantasy owners happy, but he was still quite a player. In 2018 Bryant likely had no choice, but to adapt. An early-season shoulder injury required two separate trips to the DL and seemed to sap his power for the rest of the season. Bryant had career-lows in FB% (40.7%) and HR/FB% (11.2%). His 18.9 Soft% was a carrer worst, as was his 31.2 Hard%. To put it simply, Bryant was not swinging with any authority. Early drafters haven’t soured too much on him as he’s still being drafted at an average pick of 32.8 according to Fantrax ADP. That’s still a pretty heavy investment, but remember we’re talking about a player who was occasionally sneaking into the first round the last two season. We’ll keep monitoring his situation as Spring Training progresses, but if healthy a late-second early-third round pick could pay off nicely. – Doug Anderson

Johan Camargo, Atlanta Braves

Johan Camargo 2019 MLB Projections

After a strong end to the 2018 season in which Camargo hit .285 with 15 home runs, 61 RBI, and 50 runs from June 1st on, he’ll now be forced back to a backup-utility role after the Josh Donaldson signing. Though, it’s possible he outplays Dansby Swanson enough to win the shortstop job. That would be ideal as Camargo has more fantasy upside, but I don’t envision that happening, at least, not to start the 2019 season. For now, Camargo is off the mixed league radar and barely on the NL-Only radar. – Eric Cross

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Carpenter 2019 MLB Projections

Talk about flipping a switch! Through May 15 Carpenter was hitting .140 with three home runs. You see his full-season line above. So what happened? Carpenter had bought into the launch angle with a 50.8 FB% in 2017 and continued with a 46.9 mark in 2018. The 19.1 HR/FB% explains the power binge. Carpenter did this by pulling the ball a career-high 48.3 percent of the time and posting a preposterous 49.0 Hard%. That topped his previous high by 6.8%. The question now is whether he can maintain these gains. He might be able to, but paying for it is a mistake. Following Carpenter’s three-month (June thru August) power binge he hit one home run over his last 116 plate appearances. Carpenter is also 33, an age where we look more for a decline than matching a career season. Early drafters aren’t buying in on his 2018 season either. Carpenter is going off draft boards with an ADP of 64.83. He’s a fair buy at that point or even late in the fourth round. Just don’t get too frisky and reach any further. – Doug Anderson

Josh Donaldson, Atlanta Braves

Josh Donaldson 2019 MLB Projections

After five straight seasons receiving MVP votes, including winning the AL MVP in 2015, the 2018 season was basically a lost year for Donaldson. Between shoulder and calf issues, the former MVP was only able to play in 52 games and the results weren’t overly impressive when he did play. When a player battles injuries like this, I tend to take the numbers with a grain of salt, or several. With that being said, one can’t help but wonder if either of those lingers into 2019 and hampers him in any way. The shoulder injury is what I’m more concerned about as that has a way of squashing one’s power. He’ll be in one of the best lineups in the National league with guys like Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, and Freddie Freeman hitting around him. A healthy Donaldson is capable of putting up top-5 3B numbers and is being take on average as the 12th third baseman off the board. I’d be willing to roll the dice on him at his current ADP around pick 100. – Eric Cross

Eduardo Escobar, Arizona Diamondbacks

Eduardo Escobar 2019 MLB Projections

Eduardo Escobar; the usual story of a scrappy middle infielder who one day decided to hit home runs and then never stopped. Yeah, Escobar is definitely trying to follow the Eugenio Suarez career path and doing pretty well with it. At age 30 though, his current level of production is probably where it tops out at. This will likely be the last season Escpbar maintains middle infield eligibility and his pop doesn’t play quite so well at third base. The bump in power seems real though. Escobar’s FB% and HR/FB% over the last two seasons have been by far the best of his career. He’s also hitting the ball harder than ever with the two highest Hard Hit percentages of his career. I don’t see him breaking this ceiling, but he’s a nice quiet play at a middle infield slot in mixed leagues. – Doug Anderson

Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies

Maikel Franco 2019 MLB Projections

A few years ago, Franco was a highly thought of prospect. One that could hit for both power and average at the Major League level. While he’s had three straight 20 homer seasons, Franco hasn’t nearly produced to the extent people thought he could do. The truth is, Franco hits too many ground balls, doesn’t generate much hard contact, and is too pull happy. His 27.5% hard contact rate last season ranked 170th out of 183 hitters with at least 450 plate appearances. If you keep your expectations in check, Franco makes for a decent bench bat for your mixed league team or a borderline starter in NL-Only leagues. – Eric Cross

Todd Frazier, New York Mets

Todd Frazier 2019 MLB Projections

Everyone seems to like Todd Frazier, but nobody ever wants to own him in fantasy. Maybe the fact that he’s hitting a combined .218 over the last three years has something to do with that. At least when that paltry average came with 30-40 homers and 150-175 R+RBI, you could stomach it. Now that Frazier’s power is trending south for the winter, he’s too much of a liability to draft in mixed leagues. He’s always been overly pull happy, but his underlying stats still hint that he can return to the 30-homer plateau in 2019, albeit, with a likely sub-.230 average. He’s a fine NL-Only target in 2019, but I’m not looking to draft him in mixed leagues unless it’s a very deep league. – Eric Cross

David Freese, Los Angeles Dodgers

David Freese 2019 MLB Projections

David Freese is a perfectly useful player who typically hits for a decent average and pops double-digit homers. In that past that would have gotten him some play in mixed leagues. The home run onslaught accros Major League baseball has definitely changed that. The path to playing time also looks as difficult as it has in a long time for Freese. Freese can play both third and first, but in his way are Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and likely Max Muncy as well. A repeat of last year’s numbers is likely a reach. At this point Freese is a utility bat in deep NL-Only leagues. – Doug Anderson

Jedd Gyorko, St. Louis Cardinals

Jedd Gyorko 2019 MLB Projections

Gyorko never seems to have a full-time job, yet always seems to get his 400-plus at-bats. 2018 was no different, but his final stat line was. The 11 homers is a long way from the 30 he hit in 2016 and 20 he hit in 2017. To be fair, there are no metrics that point to a real reason for the power outage. Gyorko has hit about 40% fly balls in each of the past three seasons. In 2018 his HR/FB percentage inexplicably dropped to 10.0% despite a career-high 37.1 Hard Hit percentage. Without getting too deep into StatCast data it looks like a bit of a sample size issue. The power is still there. Is the playing time? The addition of Paul Goldschmidt at first base means Matt Carpenter is going to be locked in at third. The Cardinals like Kolten Wong’s defense at second. Unless injury strikes getting another 400 at-bats looks very doubtful, leaving Gyorko as a waiver wire claim in mixed leagues and a utility bat in deeper formats. – Doug Anderson

Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks

Jake Lamb 2019 MLB Projections

After two almost identical seasons in 2016 and 17, Lamb never really got going last year and then a rotator cuff injury took him down for the count. The trade of Paul Goldschmidt means Lamb will move across the diamond to first and get the majority of at-bats there. Lamb’s strikeout rate shot up to 27.3% in 2018, but previously he’d kept his whiffs down to a reasonable rate. He’ll take a walk and usually chips in a handful of steals each season. It’s impossible to know how much of Lamb’s struggles in 2018 were related to the shoulder issues. What we do know is that fantasy owners have pretty much forgotten him. His ADP of 314 has him going after lesser bats like Johan Camargo and teammate Eduardo Escobar. If you do the math that means Lamb is being undrafted in 12-team mixed leagues. That’s a mistake. Lamb makes a great end-game flier and could net you 30 HRs and 95 RBIs for little to no cost. – Doug Anderson

Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants

Evan Longoria 2019 MLB Projections

Longoria is just 33 years old, but the bat is acting like it’s much older. He’d been trending down for quite a few years, but things bottomed out in 2018. Longoria was once a player whose BB/9 was typically over 10.0%. In 2018 it was 4.3%. What were once OBPs in the .350’s turned into a .281 in 2018. Basically Longoria has turned into a suppar middle infield bat with a bit of pop, but he’s playing a position that demand some thunder. As someone who watched Evan Longoria when he was the golden child in Tampa Bay and a near elite player, it’s sad to see what he is now. In fantasy that’s a shaky corner option in NL-Only leagues. – Doug Anderson

Wil Myers, San Diego Padres

 Wil Myers 2019 MLB Projections

I have to hand it to Fantrax drafters. It would be easy to write him off an injury-plagued and inconsistent season in 2018. They have not. Myers is going off the board at an ADP of 80.53. That’s basically in the middle of the seventh round in 12-team mixed leagues. This despite missing almost two months in 2018 to an oblique injury in addition to another DL stint for a foot injury. In what amounted to about half a seasom Myers’ numbers were about what we would expect. The power was down a touch, but he continued to be an underrated source of speed, stealing 13 bases and getting caught just once. Myers also comes with the added benefit of eligibility at third and in the outfield. It still certainly looks like Myers is a threat to approach 30/20 if he can stay on the field. That seventh-round ADP is starting to feel like a bargain. – Doug Anderson

Martin Prado, Miami Marlins

Martin Prado 2019 MLB Projections

Martin Prado has had a long career in the Major Leagues due to the fact that he could provide a solid batting average and play multiple positions in the field. Both of those are highly valuable to a MLB team, but when it comes with very little power and speed, there’s not much fantasy value. And now Prado is more of a bench/utility bat that has hovered around .250 in each of the last two seasons while combining for only 337 at-bats. This Marlins lineup is not very good, so Prado will still get some playing time this season, but he’s only worth a look in NL-Only formats if he happens to come into additional playing time. – Eric Cross

Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals

Anthony Rendon 2019 MLB Projections

When Rendon is able to play close to a full season, he’s about as consistent as they come. The 2018 season was Rendon’s third straight season of at least 20 home runs, 85 RBI, and 80 runs and second straight season with an average north of .300 and an OPS north of .900. The .308 average was a career-high mark and not a product of an overly high BABIP either. Rendon simply continues to improve as a hitter year in and year out. In 2017-2018, he’s lowered his strikeout rate below 14%. He did get more aggressive in 2018 with career-highs in Swing%, O-Swing%, and Z-Swing%, but continues to make contact at an elite rate. Among qualified hitters, Rendon’s 87.7% hard contact rate ranked tied for 6th while his 5.9 SwStr% was 13th lowest. Barring injury, there’s no reason to believe he won’t turn in another strong offensive season in 2019 with a solid lineup around him. Bryce Harper might be leaving town, but this lineup still will have Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, and Ryan Zimmerman around him which should keep Rendon in the 170-200 range for R+RBI. Draft with confidence. – Eric Cross

Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds

Nick Senzel 2019 MLB Projections

If it wasn’t for a bout with Vertigo, we likely would’ve seen Nick Senzel up with the Reds around mid-season in 2018. Instead, he was limited to 44 games in the International League, but still was able to put together a fine season. Senzel is one of the best pure hitters in the minors. Outside of a 10-game Pioneer League (R) cameo, he’s never hit below .300 at any level and has averaged 19 homers and 28 steals per 600 at-bats so far in the minors. Senzel will most likely head back to Triple-A to start 2019 after the time he missed in 2018, but he’s basically as ready as a prospect can be. The question is, where does he fit in with Cincinnati? Eugenio Suarez is locked into third base and both Jose Peraza and Scooter Gennett performed admirably at shortstop and second base respectively. Maybe the outfield? Who knows, but when Senzel does get regular playing time, whenever that it, he’s a priority waiver add in mixed leagues due to his high batting average upside and the ability to chip in some power and speed. – Eric Cross

Travis Shaw, Milwaukee Brewers

Travis Shaw 2019 MLB Projections

We’ve got Travis Shaw profiled here with the National League third baseman and it looks like he’ll be handling third base for the Brewers as well. You however may choose to use Shaw at second base, quite a luxury for a player with back-to-back 30-HR seasons. A .270 season from Shaw is about the most you can expect from Shaw in terms of batting average and while he’ll add a hanful of SBs, he’s no threat to steal 20. It’s all power and positional flexibility with Shaw. Invested in speed in the outfield? Regain some of that power with Shaw in a middle infield slot. Got your speed with a middle infielder? Draft Shaw in the ninth round and compete in the power categories with owners who drafted a third baseman in the fourth round. Shaw isn’t and never will be a superstar, but the power numbers he puts up are one notch below elite and can make a huge difference in fantasy. – Doug Anderson

Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds

Eugenio Saurez 2019 MLB Projections

Eugenio Suarez was just a run of the mill middle infielder with a bit of pop. One day they decided to put him at third base and he started acting like his bat belonged there. Suarez has upped his home run count all five seasons of his Major League career. Over the last two seasons he’s also added a 10.0-plus BB%, lifting his OBP into the .360’s. Suarez strikes out just enough where we won’t often see batting averages over .280 like we did in 2018, but he’s also not pulling a Chris Davis. Suarez is right in his prime and playing in a very hitter-friendly home ballpark. Hope for one more step up, but pay for something in between 2017 and 2018 and you should get your money’s worth out of Suarez in 2019. – Doug Anderson

Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers

Justin Turner 2019 MLB Projections

Turner got a late start to the 2018 season due to a broken wrist he suffered in Spring Training. He didn’t exactly come back like gangbusters upon his return. Over 49 games in May, June, and July, Turner had just five homers, 21 RBI, and a batting average under .260. Turner rebounded in the second half of the season with a .356 average, 9 HRs and 33 RBI. Turner doesn’t have quite the power of Nolan Arenado or even Alex Bregman, but he’s almost an automatic .300 hitter who’s going to drive in and score close to 190 runs. His current ADP has him leaving the board early in the ninth round, after Eugenio Suarez and Matt Chapman, two players who won’t contribute on as many fronts as Turner will. Buy with confidence in 2019! – Doug Anderson

More Player Profiles

National League: C1B2B – 3B – SS – OF – SP – RP 
American League: C1B2B3B – SS – OF – SP – RP

Did you enjoy these NL Third Base Profiles and Projections Profiles? For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2019 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!

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