Dynasty leagues are the best, aren’t they? It’s the closest us fanatics can get to being a real baseball general manager. While you might not look at your team every single day of the offseason, dynasty leagues are a year-round commitment and there’s never a bad time to improve your team. Never I say! Whether you’re starting a new dynasty league or entering year 20, rankings play a vital part of any draft prep, trades, etc. I’ve released my overall top-500 as recently as March (and will update that soon), but I figured I’d dive a little deeper and break these down by position with some analysis and prospect talk.
While the hot corner is shallower than it used to be, there’s still some rock stars at the top and steady veterans in the middle. As for prospects, several are on the verge of contributing at the Major League level over the next year or two.
Recent reports have Vlad Jr transitioning over to first base. We all knew it was coming, but for now, he still has third base eligibility and will remain in the below rankings.
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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Third Base Rankings
Is Arenado Still The Top Dog?
For the last several seasons, Nolan Arenado has led the charge at the hot corner with arguably the most consistent offensive production in baseball year to year. However, with his relationship appearing to sour with the Rockies front office, we have to wonder how much longer Arenado will remain in Colorado. Outside of the Coors Field launching pad, Arenado has been very good, but not an elite slugger as he has been at home. With a near 60-point AVG drop and around 10 fewer home runs annually, Arenado wouldn’t even be close to the top third baseman for redraft or dynasty purposes.
A .265/31 line is pretty good, but I’d much rather have Alex Bregman, Rafael Devers, or Vladimir Guerrero as my starting third baseman if Arenado leaves Colorado. Now, this might all be for not and Arenado could remain a Rockie through 2026 when his contract runs out. If that’s the case, he’s still a locked-in top-3 option, even with having 5-6 years in age on the other three.
Don’t You Dare Get Off the Vlad Hype Train
We’ve been spoiled with top prospects recently. Players like Ronald Acuña Jr, Fernando Tatis Jr, Juan Soto, and many others have dominated out of the gate, ascending to elite status within one full season in the Major Leagues. With the newfound frequency of initial prospect success, it’s beginning to feel like more of a certainty than a luxury like it used to. We need to clear that mindset. Not every single prospect can excel from day one and cash in on all that potential that made them highly-desirable prospects to roster in dynasty leagues. Case in point, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The hype train on Vladdy was already steaming down the tracks and nearly derailed when he hit .402 in 66 Double-A games back in 2018. Guerrero finished that season hitting .381 across 95 total games with 29 doubles, 20 homers, and a 37/38 BB/K ratio. A 9.3% strikeout rate for someone with Vlad’s power is almost unheard of. Even last year in the Majors when he was “struggling”, Guerrero’s strikeout rate was still a solid 17.7%. Sure, he wasn’t hitting a ton of homers or threatening Ted Williams .406 mark, but just because he didn’t immediately become the player we thought he could be, doesn’t mean he still can’t.
During Guerrero’s time in Double-A New Hampshire, I got to see him live around 10-12 times. I can confidently say that he was one of the most impressive offensive players I’ve ever seen play in person. His barrel control and strike zone awareness are exceptional for any player, let alone one with his power. And If you watched the HR derby last year, you don’t need me to tell you about how much power Guerrero Jr has in that bat. Pete Alonso might’ve won the derby, but Vlad Jr stole the show.
So forget about his middling statcast data and underwhelming surface stats. I’m very confident that this is still a .300/40 bat in the making that can cement himself as a top-20 dynasty asset for years to come. That’s beginning to look like it will be across the diamond at first base, but Vlad will have third base eligibility for at least the next year and could be a top-3 dynasty first baseman longterm. If any sort of buy-low window opened on Vladdy in your dynasty league, taking advantage of that would be highly recommended.
What To Do With Sano?
We’re now five years into Miguel Sano’s career and anyone that has rostered him in re-draft or dynasty over that time likely came away more frustrated than anything with their investment. When Sano debuted with the Twins, he was considered a near-universal top-5 fantasy prospect largely due to his mammoth raw power. The contact and approach issues were still there, but to the point where he was projected mostly as a .250-.260 hitter that would hit enough to keep his power bat in the lineup.
Yeah, that hasn’t 100% been the case. Those concerns have become more prominent and Sano has also dealt with several injuries. All of that has made it so Sano has never exceeded 500 plate appearances in a season yet and seen his batting average fluctuate immensely, dropping down as low as .199 in 2018.
- 36.2 K% (207)
- 15.8 SwStr% (t-199)
- 63.8% contact (206)
- 77.2% Z-Contact (t-202)
- 42.8% O-Contact (206)
That strikeout rate is nothing new either as Sano has been between 35.5% and 38.5% every year of his career.
As you can see, I didn’t include his O-Swing or Z-Swing metrics. Those actually aren’t that bad. It’s not a matter of chasing too much for Sano, it’s putting the bat on the ball, in general, that’s his issue. With this contact profile, hitting above .250 just isn’t going to happen without a ton of luck. But as long as he can keep his AVG close to .250, Sano’s power will allow him to be an asset in fantasy, especially in OBP leagues due to his career 12.0% walk rate.
A slash line in the vicinity of .250/.350/.550 with 40 homers annually is certainly in play, but the contact profile and durability concerns make Sano a bit too risky at his price tag for me. He’s just as likely to return to his 2018 .199/.281/.398 line as he is to match his 2019 .247/.346/.576 line.
Top Third Base Prospects
My dynasty rankings take proximity to the Majors into consideration as well. The rankings below will not 100% correlate to my prospect rankings.
1. Alec Bohm, PHI: I’ll admit, I wasn’t the highest on Bohm after the 2018 draft, but the hulking third baseman is growing on me. Bohm has displayed an above-average to plus hit tool, advance plate approach, and plus power which has helped him climb the ladder quickly in the Phillies farm system. He’s now knocking on the door to Philly and likely makes an impact of some sort if there’s a shortened season. Longterm, this is a .290/.370/.525 profile with 30 homers annually hitting 3rd or 4th in the order.
2. Nolan Gorman, STL: Gorman is starting to remind me of Miguel Sano that I dove into above. The power upside here is massive, but Gorman has struggled to make consistent contact and his swing and miss tendencies need some major refinement. I’m still holding out hope for a .260/40 profile, but plenty of work needs to be done to reach that level of production.
3. Nolan Jones, CLE: Honestly, I’m not the highest around on Nolan Jones. While I believe there’s .275/30 upside here with even more value in OBP leagues due to his massive walk rate, Jones has struggled immensely against southpaws. So much, in fact, that there’s a chance he’s a strong-side platoon bat at the Major League level if he doesn’t improve against them.
4. Bobby Dalbec, BOS: The Dalbino! I had the chance to see Bobby Dalbec dozens of times live during his time at Double-A Portland and I was impressed. And honestly, I don’t see a major difference between him and Miguel Sano. Dalbec possesses double-plus raw power, below-average contact skills, walks a bunch, and strikes out a ton as well. While he might wind up at first base or at DH, this is a major power bat with intriguing upside in OBP formats.
5. Kody Hoese, LAD: I’ve spoken highly about Kody Hoese in many places. The 2019 first-round pick has a very simplistic, yet powerful swing with an above-average hit tool and plus raw power. This is a polished collegiate bat that should move quickly once the minor leagues resume and take over at the hot corner in Los Angeles in the next couple of years.
6. Josh Jung, TEX: Jung is nearly cut from the same cloth as Hoese. Both have the ability to hit for average and power with a solid plate approach as well. Jung was one of the more advanced hitters in the 2019 draft and should reach Texas sooner rather than later.
7. Sherten Apostel, TEX: While Jung will likely reach the Majors a year or two sooner, Sherten Apostel’s upside is just as high. The 6’4 Curacao native doesn’t quite possess the same contact skills as Jung, but makes up for that with more raw power that has been slowly translating into more frequent game power. With his contact skills and power, Apostel has the potential to develop into a .260/30+ type of bat at the Major League level.
8. Ke’Bryan Hayes, PIT: If you know me and how I feel about Ke’Bryan Hayes, this ranking shouldn’t be a shock. Listen, Hayes is a solid all-around prospect that has the skillset you see stick around for a decade or longer in the big leagues. He also has a higher floor than most you’ll see on this list. However, the ceiling isn’t that appealing in the .280/15/15 range. Again, that’s solid and will play in fantasy, but I’m not going to go bonkers to bring Hayes onto my fantasy squad.
9. Jonathan India, CIN: The last 12 months or so has been one neverending tumble down fantasy rankings for Jonathan India, a prospect once thought of as arguably the best in the 2018 draft class. Not anymore. With that said, there’s still plenty to like here. India can do a little of everything with .280/20/15 upside and gets a boost in OBP formats. Like with Hays, don’t spend big to acquire him, but if the price is right, India can be a nice asset.
10. Brett Baty, NYM: The 12th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Baty would be top-5 on this list on upside alone. The 6’3 Baty possesses plus raw power, an above-average hit tool, and can work the count well. His debut last season was a tad underwhelming, but Baty has the upside to rise up rankings over the next year or two.
Alright, here are the rankings!
|3||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||3B||TOR||21.4|
|46||Tommy La Stella||2B,3B||LAA||31.5|
Media Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire
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