The 2023 fantasy baseball season is right around the corner and now is the time to prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts. There is no better way to get ready for draft day than with the FREE Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Draft guide. Tuesday will be “Third Base Day” and last week, we started our 2023 fantasy season preview series with the top fantasy five at third base. For a quick review, José Ramírez of the Guardians is in a tier of his own (tier one) and then the next four – Rafael Devers of the Red Sox, Manny Machado of the Padres, the Braves' Austin Riley and the Cardinals' Nolan Arenado are all interchangeable tier-two players.
Now it’s time to dig a little deeper and look at the mid-tier third basemen in case you missed out drafting one of the top-five or are looking for a little depth at the hot corner. As you prepare for your drafts, the depth at each position deserves serious consideration when forming your draft strategy. You may not want to overrate position shortage, but third base is once again top heavy, and the position will dry up quickly. The lack of depth at the position should have you focusing early on filling that spot on your roster. So here we go. the 2023 top third base depth players.
Fantasy Baseball Third Base ADP Rankings
Third Base Tier 3
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (76.13 ADP)
- .259/.366/.454 slash, 23 HR, 93 RBI,.820 OPS
- 11.7% K /13.3% BB rate — both top-5% of league
Bregman's 41 home runs of 2019 are a thing of the past but we can expect 20-25 bombs and a .260-.270 average from the stat-sheet stuffer. More walks than strikeouts and power potential always make Bregman a Top-10 asset in fantasy drafts as that brings runs and RBIs. This is the safest play of the Tier if you do not grab one of the elite Tier 1 or 2 bats.
Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles (91.74 ADP)
- .259/.348/.440 slash, 4 HR, 18 RBI, .788 OPS (132 PA)
- #1 overall prospect in baseball (per MLB Pipeline)
- Front-runner for American League Rookie of the Year.
- Not many holes in his game as he hits the ball hard with .280 BA/30 HR potential
Matt Chapman, Toronto Blue Jays (158.83 ADP)
- .229/.342/.433 slash. 27 HR, 76 RBI, .757 OPS
- 92.2% Exit Velocity (top-10% of league) and 51.2% Hard Hit (Top-3% of the league)
In 2022, Chapman dealt with a repaired hip and moved from a huge, pitcher-friendly park in Oakland to a smaller, much more hitter-friendly park in Toronto. Chapman saw his OPS+ rise 100 to 127 as well as a 10% jump in his hard-hit rate (41.7% to 51.2%). Chapman is a good HR/RBI bat but you will have to eat the low average.
Tier 3 Player Spotlight
Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers (141.02 ADP)
To define “depth player” for this article, we will be breaking down some of the third basemen that are ranked between at their position in most draft platforms. Max Muncy is that one player in this group that could come close to the early-round players with his 2023 production. When last season began, he was already dealing with an elbow injury suffered late in 2021 and it showed with a final slash line of .196/.329/.384 with 21 HR and 69 RBI. But here is the good news: from August to September (53 games), Muncy slashed .247/.358/.500 with 12 HR, 37 RBI, and an .858 OPS. He also posted a .282 BABIP compared to a .190 mark in his first 83 games of the season. Max Muncy is not done and with a clean bill of health there is no reason to believe he will not be back to his normal 35 HR/95 RBI bat.
Third Base Tier 4
Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies (182.70 ADP)
- .280/.315/.398 slash, 13 HR, 72 RBI, .713 OPS
From June 25th on last season, Bohm slashed .299/.333/.439. He started to hit like he did as a rookie two years ago and found much needed power, smashing nine home runs over his final 83 games, including one in the World Series.
If he continues to improve according to his analytics (.290 XBA- Top 2% of the league as one example) and the Phillies get a second-half Bohm instead of first-half Bohm, then he will be making fantasy managers very happy.
Brandon Drury, Los Angeles Angels (192.00 ADP)
- .263/.320/.492 slash, 28 HR, 87 RBI,.812 OPS
Drury had his breakout season with the Reds and Padres, hitting .263 with 28 home runs, 87 RBIs, an OPS of .813, an OPS+ of 122 and a WAR of 2.6.
Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels (244.72 ADP)
- .229/.326/.380 slash, 5 HR, 24 RBI, .706 OPS
Rendon was a top-five third baseman in both 2017 and 2019 and even though he might be 32 years old, everything looked normal from a small sample size in 2022 (192 PA). With one of the most consistent swings in baseball that produces a lot of line drives, the shift ban should only help him post a high average and being part of a lineup that includes Mike Trout, Shotei Ohtani and Hunter Renfroe helps even more. Rendon should have at least one more solid offensive year in him.
Jose Miranda, Minnesota Twins (151 ADP)
- .268/.325/.426 slash, 15 HR, 66 RBI, .751 OPS
Miranda sneaks into this tier after an impressive rookie year in 2022. A sub-20% strikeout rate (18.8%) and a hard-hit rate of 42%, which was higher than the likes of George Springer, J.D. Martinez, Trea Turner and Francisco Lindor was an indicator that a solid 25 HR/85 RBI season may be on the horizon. Not a bad pick up for a player that lacks speed, but will make contact and hit the ball on a rope.
Tier 4 Player Spotlight
Eugenio Suárez, Seattle Mariners (150.69 ADP)
There has been a lot of talk in fantasy circles over the winter that Eugenio Suárez is now a one-trick pony at this stage of his career. Not so fast, as he posted a .236/.332/.459 slash line with 31 HR, 87 RBI, 24 doubles, two triples, 76 runs scored and 73 walks. Suarez’s Wins Above Replacement metric (fWAR), generated 4.1 wins with only three other third basemen in the American League producing higher fWAR numbers and only Austin Riley (38) and Manny Machado (32) hitting more home runs. Suarez will never be a high-average hitter (his average was an atrocious .236 last year), but the Mariners believe he can be closer to a .265 hitter and trim down the strikeouts. Fantasy managers can accept the swings and misses if it means moments of hard contact producing extra-base hits and home runs. Suarez has now hit more than 30 homers in each of the past four seasons (not counting 2020 COVID-shortened season) and with a few more “off days” by using him as a designated hitter, we can reasonably expect another power year out of the 32-year old veteran.
Third Base Depth “Gut Call”
Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates (168.69 ADP)
It seems like the same old story with Ke’Bryan Hayes: where is the power? Most fail to realize, though, that 2022 was Hayes’ first full MLB season. It’s true that he didn’t hit for ton of power and his slash was only .244/.314/.345, but the talent is there. Since he debuted in 2020, Hayes has led MLB in defensive runs saved and excelled on the base paths, as he was seventh in the National League with 20 stolen bases last year. A lingering back injury did limit Hayes at the plate as his batting average has continued to drop since his rookie season, but he has proven the ability to hit major league pitching. This is a player that is so close to becoming a complete offensive package as Hayes was in the 85th and 84th percentile of exit velocity (90.9) and hard-hit rate (46.8%) and had an above average contact rate, chase rate, and whiff rate.
That all seems like a player who should be one of the top hitters in the game but Hayes also had a wRC+ of just 88 and his launch angle was only 5.2 degrees (seventh lowest in MLB in 2022). Hayes did increase his launch angle from just 2.6 degrees in 2021 to 5.2 this past season, so we may see more improvement in 2023, which would be huge. He is expected to finally enter a season healthy which should help him in the batter’s box and with his above average vision and mechanics, he should consistently start to get on base. With an improved lineup from last year Hayes is now entering Top 10 third baseman territory and worth a shot in all fantasy formats.
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