Rolling In The Deep: A Deep Look At The Shallow Third Base Panorama

Final week we talked about catchers; let’s go clockwise across the diamond and transfer to 3rd base. In the event you’ve executed any drafting but, or when you’ve simply been checking in right here at Razzball usually, you already know that the place includes a comically steep cliff after the highest guys are off the board. Since Gray’s third base rankings simply dropped Monday, I can’t consider a greater strategy to put issues than he already did: it’s like a “select your individual journey” story/recreation/nightmare on the market. What I stated final week about catchers is probably much more true in regards to the sizzling nook: you’ll need to be very accustomed to the panorama forward of time even in shallow leagues and also you’ll actually, actually need to be accustomed to it in deeper leagues. You’ll want a plan getting into, and/or a few dozen contingency plans relying on how your particular person draft or public sale goes.

As a result of I’m discovering third base to be the weakest place in fantasy this yr, I’ve had bother deciding what to do in any measurement league, since, A) there’s such a tiny pool of 3B studs, B) I don’t like taking a hitter with no pace that early in a draft even when I’ve the choice to, C) I really feel just like the few mid-range choices I’d contemplating drafting are method too costly however as soon as they’re gone the place is a veritable wasteland, and D) I haven’t had a decide excessive sufficient to get Jose Ramirez (whom I stated I’d contemplate taking first total final yr and really feel the identical method this yr) but. Let’s simply say I’ve already skilled a lot of these 3B select your individual journey endings Gray talked about as I’ve zigged and zagged by my drafts, attempting to find out my group’s wants… and people endings weren’t all enjoyable and pleasurable. The deeper the league, the dicier the choices get, in fact, so let’s take a deep dive in and have a look outdoors the highest 300 (primarily based on NFBC ADP from December and January) at who may be accessible to fill the place as soon as we’re getting uncomfortably late in a deep-league draft.

I’d already drafted Luis Rengifo (NFBC ADP # 300) a few instances earlier than we even flipped the calendar to 2023, and on Wednesday Coolwhip did the heavy lifting telling you why he may not be a nasty choice this late in a draft. Rengifo’s ADP has fallen a smidge after the Brandon Drury commerce, and he’s now going after Justin Turner and Yandy Diaz and only a tick forward of Yoan Moncada. Rengifo qualifies at second and third in most leagues and regardless that he feels extra like a MI man, I’ve a sense he’ll wind up at 3B for me on a few deep-ish groups the place I’ve every day or mid-week strikes and am reducing and pasting the place collectively primarily based on matchups and such.

After Rengifo/Moncada, there’s an enormous ADP dropoff to the subsequent two 3B-eligible gamers being drafted: Wilmer Flores (#385) and Brendan Donovan (#390). Whereas nobody goes to be excited to nab Wilmer this yr, he does have triple eligibility (1B/2B/3B) and in case your draft journey includes being actually determined for energy this late in a draft I can see going with him right here. He hit 19 homers final yr and performed greater than I’d realized – 151 video games and 525 at bats. He had surprisingly strong run/RBI totals (72/71), and I can see the taking part in time/counting stats being related this yr given the shortage of offseason upgrades made to the Correa-less Giants’ infield. He’s most likely additionally doubtless to enhance on final yr’s ugly  .229 batting common (.261 for his profession, and Steamer predicts .250 in 2023).

As for Donovan, up to now he’s formed as much as be a traditional ‘extra worthwhile in actual life than fantasy’ participant for my cash (exemplified by the truth that he gained final yr’s utility participant gold glove), given his lack of each energy and pace. I’m additionally anxious about him repeating his .281 common (Steamer predicts .269, and I’ve seen different fashions dip into the .250’s). So why have I already drafted him on a pair deep-league groups? Properly, now I’m form of beginning to marvel that myself to be sincere, however I suppose it’s as a result of I’m hoping he performs rather a lot, and hits in a good spot in what ought to be a terrific lineup, and since it’s arduous for my head to not be turned by a man who qualifies at second, third, and the outfield in a extremely deep and/or draft and maintain league.

Eduardo Escobar‘s December/January total ADP is at the moment #462 — I actually don’t get him being THIS low, particularly since a ton of the drafts included in these numbers have been executed after the Mets deal for Correa fell by.  I’ve to suppose his ADP will rise with Correa out of the image and rumblings that Brett Baty will doubtless start the season within the minors, however he clearly remains to be being checked out as a fringe choice. Escobar is one other man who heads into the season seemingly prone to produce one thing near final yr’s numbers, which included a .240 common and 20 homers, and sufficient runs and RBI to maintain him on my 3B radar. No, it’s not a terrific choice, however he might be a smart deep league fallback plan outdoors the highest 400 at a place this weak.

Dropping down even additional to some fast hits outdoors the highest 500… a Rodolfo Castro (#507, and he qualifies at 2B/3B) decide doesn’t encourage a ton of confidence, however I form of like him as a late flyer right here. He’s a swap hitter who could find yourself taking part in a good quantity of second base for the Pirates; he wasn’t dangerous after he was promoted the second week of August final yr and ended up with 11 homers and 5 steals in 253 ABs on the season. His draft worth might rise considerably with a strong spring, as I really feel he might optimistically undertaking as a 20/10 man if it seems to be like he’ll be the on a regular basis second baseman in 2023.

Ramon Urias (#515, additionally qualifies at 2B/3B) has turn into an AL-only, very late goal for me, as I as soon as once more discover myself rostering extra Orioles hitters than might be advisable (deep leagues = restricted choices; you realize the drill!) I feel he’ll get common taking part in time at third, and Steamer initiatives him for 15 homers versus the 16 he hit final yr. He hits the ball arduous, he doesn’t chase rather a lot, and it simply wouldn’t shock me to see him eclipse each his taking part in time and his energy projections this yr.

In the event you’re simply searching for low cost, very late NL energy, or hopeful energy at the least, we encounter Patrick Knowledge (#537) and J.D. Davis (#540) at this level. I don’t suppose it’s a secret who both of those guys are at this level of their careers, and I’d want to not roster both of them no matter league measurement, however as soon as once more I’ll point out that one wants back-up plans to the back-up plans within the very deep league world. Steamer has Knowledge taking part in in 81 video games with 16 homers for the Cubs, and Davis hitting 11 bombs in 83 video games for the Giants, so do with that info what you’ll.

Now, outdoors the highest 550 — let’s take a look at yet another identify for every league. For the NL, I’ll go along with Spencer Steer. I think the Reds’ opening day lineup will look atrocious on paper, however I additionally suspect that it’ll provoke some deep-league dumpster diving from these of us looking for at bats. In the mean time Steer (who arrived to Cincinnati within the Tyler Mahle commerce) seems to be to have a reasonably clear path to taking part in time at third, and if he manages to settle in on the large league stage I don’t see 20 homers (albeit with a sketchy batting common, more than likely) being a very daring prediction.

We’ll shut all the best way down at #612 Jace Peterson, who ought to be in line for normal at bats in one other ugly lineup that we deep-leaguers could discover ourselves selecting by, searching for one thing to salvage. He could sit in opposition to lefties, although in his mere 32 ABs in opposition to southpaws final yr he hit .281 with a .343 OBP, so who is aware of… it doesn’t matter what, there ought to be extra amount, if not high quality, for him this yr. With the rule modifications and as a veteran who could have a inexperienced gentle to run on a group with nothing to lose, possibly he’ll enhance upon his SB numbers (he had 10 in 2021 and 12 in 2022) and find yourself being a comparatively strong supply of pace if nothing else.