Consensus Position Rankings/Projections: Top 30 Third Baseman for 2014, Part 2

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

It's Third Base Week at Fake Teams, where we publish part 2 of our consensus Top 30 fantasy third base rankings for 2014. Check out where the Fake Teams writers rank Todd Frazier, Will Middlebrooks and Mike Moustakas.

We published part 1 of our Top 30 third base rankings on Monday, and today we bring you part 2 of our consensus fantasy third base rankings for 2014. We used a points system for each of the 30 second ranked by each of the Fake Teams writers who participated in the consensus rankings series.

Below you will find links to all of our position rankings and projections that we have published to date:

Catcher: Part 1| Part 2

First Base: Part 1| Part 2

Second Base: Part 1| Part 2

Shortstop: Part 1| Part 2

We feel that providing you our consensus position rankings, you get an average ranking from the Fake Teams writers, rather than hearing me spew my rankings nonsense throughout the offseason. You will see some players ranked higher by one Fake Teams writer than the others, so this helps the reader see both sides of the argument for/against a certain player who might be getting too much love this offseason.

Each of the position rankings will be split into two parts, rankings, player profiles and projections for third basemen ranked 1 - 15 in part 1, and rankings, player profiles and projections for third basemen ranked 16 - 30 in part 2 to be published on Wednesday morning. Consensus rankings should bring about discussion amongst you, our readers, and the Fake Teams writers who participated in this series.

In addition to the rankings, we are now offering your 2014 projections for each player ranked, courtesy of Dan Schwartz from Fake Teams and Rotobanter. He has spent all offseason on his projections, and to learn more about how he calculates his projections, you can read his explanations here: Part 1| Part 2| Part 3. Part 1 details his projection approach, Part 2 details how he calculates his hitter projections and part 3 details how he calculates his pitcher projections.

We didn't stop at just providing you rankings and projections, as we are also providing you with auction values, courtesy of Dan, along with the Equivalent Fantasy Average for each player ranked, courtesy of Daniel Kelley. The equivalent fantasy average can be used to compare players at the same position.

Here is a brief explanation of Equivalent Fantasy Average, from Daniel's Fantasy Average Positional Breakdown piece a few weeks ago:

Those who have been around the last week or two probably saw my Fantasy Average piece, in which I attempted to use standard deviations to present every offensive players' fantasy contributions in terms of a batting average-like number. That presentation is a useful ranking tool and, since it's on a scale we're all familiar with, is a heck of a shorthand for overall strength. If your guy hit ".300" by Fantasy Average, he's a heck of a player.

And all of this is consolidated, with player photos, into statistical tables thanks to the work of Jason Hunt.

2014 Third Base Rankings

Now let's take a look at part 2 of our Top 30 Fantasy Third Base Rankings for 2014:

Rank Player Team Ranking Points Ray Matt Brian Alex Daniel Joe Jason Zack
16 Martin Prado ARI 137 13 12 16 13 9 18 13
17 Aramis Ramirez MIL 132 10 15 15 16 22 17 22 15
18 Todd Frazier CIN 115 17 21 20 19 18 18 14 22
19 Chris Johnson ATL 114 19 20 23 18 14 22 17 17
20 Will Middlebrooks BOS 106 21 16 21 20 23 15 19 23
21 David Freese LAA 87 23 22 22 21 26 23 21 19
22 Matt Dominguez HOU 87 22 23 18 24 25 20 25 20
23 Mike Moustakas KCR 85 20 25 24 23 19 21 20 27
24 Matt Davidson CHW 72 25 26 19 25 21 24 27 25
25 Nick Castellanos DET 70 19 28 22 20 16 23
26 Trevor Plouffe MIN 46 29 24 26 28 28 26 24
27 Cody Asche PHI 45 24 27 27 27 29 28 24
28 Juan Francisco MIL 26 27 25 21
29 Juan Uribe LAD 26 30 24 30 26 29
30 Mark Reynolds MIL 19 26 26 28

Also Received Votes: Lonnie Chisenhall (18), Mike Olt (13), Luis Valbuena (12), Miguel Sano (12), Alberto Callaspo (6), Jose Iglesias (4), Kris Bryant (4), Maikel Franco (3), Mike Aviles (3)

Player Profiles

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# 16 Martin Prado (ARI)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.282 70 14 82 3
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
664 0.333 0.417 7.08% 7.98%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.284 72 12 79 3
Auction Value: $ 10.34 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.271

Prado is one of those hitters fantasy owners don't talk about much, but at the end of the season, he is hitting .280-.300 with double digit home runs and 70-80 runs and RBI. Last season, Prado hit .282-.333-.417 with 14 home runs, 70 runs and 82 RBI in 155 games. Part of Prado's fantasy value is tied into his position eligibility, as he is eligible at third base, second base and outfield, playing at least 30 games at each of those positions last season.

Prado rarely expands his strike zone, as his 28.4% O-Swing% indicates, and is an extreme contact hitter, making contact on 96% of pitches in the zone and 92% of all pitches.

I wrote about Prado in our consensus second base rankings a few weeks ago, as well.

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# 17 Aramis Ramirez (MIL)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.283 43 12 49 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
351 0.370 0.461 10.26% 15.67%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.277 60 17 68 0
Auction Value: $ 3.59 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.266

Ramirez endured an injury-filled season, dealing with a recurring knee injury which impacted his performance at the plate. Ramirez played in just 92 games last season, hitting .283-.370-.461 with 12 home runs, 43 runs and 49 RBI in 351 plate appearances, so he was productive when healthy. Going forward, he will bring injury risk with him on draft day, as he has not had surgery to repair the knee, so it could continue to be an injury that flares up from time to time.

Ramirez turns 36 years of age in June, and becomes a free agent at the end of the season (mutual option), so he could be a solid late round third base selection in drafts this year, assuming he can stay healthy. He also benefits from hitting in the hitters park that is Miller Park.

Assuming good health, I could see him hitting 280 with 20-25 home runs with 70-80 RBI this season.

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# 18 Todd Frazier (CIN)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.234 63 19 73 6
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
600 0.314 0.407 8.33% 20.83%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.246 59 19 70 4
Auction Value: $ 1.00 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.262

Frazier was a hot sleeper pick heading into 2013 drafts, but was a bit of a disappointment, hitting just .234-314-.407 with 19 home runs, 63 runs, 73 RBI and 6 stolen bases in 600 plate appearances last year. He hit much better in 2012, hitting .273-.331-.498 with 19 home runs, 55 runs and 67 RBI in 465 plate appearances, so he struggled in his first full season as a starter.

His batting average of balls in play fell to .269 from .316, so he was unlucky at the plate. The drop in line drive rate from 22% to 18% explains some of the decrease in BABIP, and his HR/FB% fell a bit as well, resulting in a drop in home runs (per plate appearance).

Frazier's value heading into 2014 drafts is lower than in 2013, and that can represent value for fantasy owners, as he still plays in a nice hitters park, so he could surprise this season.

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# 19 Chris Johnson (ATL)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.321 54 12 68 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
547 0.358 0.457 5.30% 21.21%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.277 53 12 66 0
Auction Value: $ 0.06 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.261

Johnson has his best season at the plate of his career, hitting .321-.358-.457 with 12 home runs, 54 runs and 68 RBI. His home run and RBI totals were down from 2012, but his batting average was higher by .40. His batting average benefitted from an extremely high .394 batting average of balls in play. Actually, no other batter had a higher BABIP than Johnson last year.

His batted ball profile shows that his line drive rate (27%) increased for the second year in a row, and was the highest of his career. But fantasy owners should not expect him to hit .321 again, as he was pretty lucky with the BABIP last season. With that said, he is hitting more line drives over the past few seasons, so one can expect his batting average to stay in the .270-.290 range. However, he will probably never be a 20 home run hitter, as his fly ball rate of 27.5% was the 19th lowest in MLB last season. Of the 30 hitters with the lowest fly ball rates, only Reds first baseman Joey Votto hit more than 20 home runs last season.

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# 20 Will Middlebrooks (BOS)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.227 41 17 49 3
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
374 0.271 0.425 5.35% 26.20%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.256 65 23 71 4
Auction Value: $ 5.36 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.268

Middlebrooks struggled in his second season in the big leagues, hitting .227-.271-.425 with 17 home runs, 41 runs and 49 RBI in 374 plate appearances. His split data shows he did not fare well vs righties, hitting just .205 with a 73-13 strikeout to walk rate in 255 plate appearances. His monthly splits indicate that he hit higher than .244 just once last season. Here are his monthly batting average splits last season:

April: .194 BA/ 32-4 strikeout to walk rate in 103 plate appearances

May: .211 BA/ 22-3 K-BB in 82 PA

June: .138 BA/ 6-2 K-BB in 31 PA

August: .322 BA/ 16-8 K-BB in 69 PA

September: .244 BA/ 22-3 K-BB in 89 PA

He was then benched in favor or top hitting prospect Xander Bogaerts in the playoffs. With Stephen Drew still unsigned, it appears Middlebrooks will be the Red Sox starting third baseman in 2014, but that could change should GM Ben Cherington decide to sign Drew

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# 21 David Freese (LAA)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.262 53 9 60 1
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
521 0.340 0.381 9.02% 20.35%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.265 46 10 52 1
Auction Value: $ -5.68 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.253

Freese moves from St. Louis, where he was the 2011 World Series hero, to Los Angeles after the offseason trade to the Angels. Freese was terrible in 2013, hitting .262-,340-.381 with 9 home runs, 53 runs and 60 RBI in 521 plate appearances. He would have lost his starting job had he stayed in St. Louis, as the team was intent on moving Matt Carpenter back to third base to make room for second base prospect Kolten Wong.

Freese is not your normal third baseman as he his hits for little power, and his defense isn't that great either. His 55.2% ground ball rate was the seventh highest among qualified hitters in 2013, so there's no wonder why he doesn't hit many home runs. His ground ball rate puts him in a group with speedsters like Eric Young Jr, Denard Span, Michael Bourn and others.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Freese lose his job in 2014.

20130221_mje_ah6_1107.

# 22 Matt Dominguez (HOU)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.241 56 21 77 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
589 0.286 0.403 5.09% 16.30%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.254 59 22 79 0
Auction Value: $ 3.74 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.266

Dominguez surprised in his first taste of big league pitching, hitting 21 home runs in 589 plate appearances. While he hit for decent power, his slash line was sub-par, as he hit .241-.286-.403 with 21 home runs, 56 runs and 77 RBI. Among qualified third baseman, Dominguez ranked 8th in home runs, 7th in RBI, 12th in runs scored, and 17th in batting average last season, so he quietly had a good season at the plate.

The Astros don't have anyone in their minor leagues pushing Dominguez off of third base, so he will play every day until they decide to go another way. He has the potential to be a gold glove third baseman, so there is value in that. He is a late round pick in most drafts this season, capable of repeating the 20 home run season, but with a low batting average, unless he changes his approach at the plate.

20130221_mje_ar5_1202.

# 23 Mike Moustakas (KCR)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.233 42 12 42 2
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
514 0.287 0.364 6.23% 16.15%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.257 58 18 65 2
Auction Value: $ 0.59 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.262

Moustakas was once a highly ranked prospect in the Royals organization, but finds himself with some competition at third base after the Royals signed Danny Valencia this offseason. To say Moustakas has struggled in the big leagues is an understatement. After hitting .242-.296-.412 with 20 home runs, 69 runs, 73 RBI and 6 stolen bases in 149 games in 2012, Moustakas slumped to .233-.287-.364 with 12 home runs, 42 runs and 42 RBI in 136 games last season.

Moustakas led the minors in home runs in 2010 with 36, but that hasn't translated over the to the big leagues just yet. The thing with Moustakas is his batted ball profile shows that he hits enough fly balls for a power hitter, his fly ball rate over the last two years is over 44%, but not enough of them are landing in the seats. His HR/FB%, 6.9% in 2013 and 9.0% in 2012, is low for a power hitter. Power hitters like Pedro Alvarez, Giancarlo Stanton and Chris Davis own HR.FB% of over 20%. His HR/FB% ranked with Jon Jay, Alberto Callaspo and Brandon Crawford last season. You get the point.

Moustakas' calling card on draft day is his power, but he doesn't even do that, thus the reason why the Royals have given him some competition this season. He struggles against lefties, hitting just .198 against them last season, and just .222 for his career. It is possible he will be in a platoon at third this season.

20130220_jla_ar5_242.0

# 24 Matt Davidson (CHW)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.237 8 3 12 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
87 0.333 0.434 11.49% 27.59%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.239 50 15 52 2
Auction Value: $ -3.46 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.251

Davidson was traded from the Diamondbacks to the White Sox in the trade that sent closer Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks this offseason. Davidson got his cup of coffee at the big league level last season, hitting .233-.333-.434 with 3 home runs, 8 runs, and 12 RBI in 87 plate appearances. He struck out too much, but did own a solid walk rate in the small sample size of plate appearances.

In AAA last season, Davidson hit .280-.350-.481 with 17 home runs, 55 runs and 74 RBI in 500 plate appearances. He is going to hit for power in the big leagues, but he strikes out a ton, so with that brings a low batting average. He may start the season in the minors in 2014, but should see plenty of at bats for the rebuilding White Sox.

20130219_jla_sv7_247.0

# 25 Nick Castellanos (DET)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.278 1 0 0 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
18 0.278 0.278 0.00% 5.56%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.261 61 10 67 4
Auction Value: $ -0.05 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.260

With the Tigers trade of Prince Fielder to the Rangers, Castellanos will be the Tigers starting third baseman on Opening Day this season. Castellanos got a cup of coffee in the big leagues last year, but his 18 plate appearances don't tell us much. What he did in AAA does, however, as he hit .276-.343-.450 with 18 home runs, 81 runs and 76 RBI in 595 plate appearances. He hasn't tapped into his power yet, and I don't see that changing in 2014. Actually, I think he may hurt fantasy teams more than he helps them this season, as I see him struggling to begin the season.

Like Manny Machado, I see it taking a few years before he begins to reach his potential as a big league hitter. He is nothing more than an AL only or deep league option at this point of his career.

20130219_jla_ah6_068.0

# 26 Trevor Plouffe (MIN)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.254 44 14 52 2
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
522 0.309 0.392 6.51% 21.46%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.242 41 13 48 1
Auction Value: $ -8.89 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.248

Plouffe is keeping third base warm for the Twins power hitting third base prospect Miguel Sano. He came back down to earth in 2013, after hitting 24 home runs in 2012. as he hit .254-.309-.392 with 14 home runs, 44 runs and 52 RBI in 522 plate appearances. His 25% line drive rate indicates we could see a bit of a rise in his batting average if he is able to sustain that level in 2014.

Guys like Plouffe and the remaining third baseman on this top 30 are AL/NL only or deep league options or players you might want to stash on your bench if your league rules allow it. Nothing more.

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# 27 Cody Asche (PHI)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.235 18 5 22 1
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
179 0.302 0.389 8.38% 24.02%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.260 54 15 64 5
Auction Value: $ 0.12 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.261

There is a lot of conversation about where Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco will play once he is called up to the big leagues. Like last season, he will play some first base in AAA this season, but his regular spot is at third. I am not sure what the Phillies think of their current third baseman, Cody Asche, but I have read some pieces where they really like him, they like his glove at third base and love the way he plays the game.

After hitting .295-.352-.485 with 15 home runs, 52 runs, 68 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 446 plate appearances in AAA, Asche hit just .235-.302-.389 with 5 home runs, 18 runs and 22 RBI in 179 plate appearances in Philadelphia. He will be the Phillies starting third baseman in 2014, and could put up double digit home runs and stolen bases this season.

Like a few guys ranked ahead of him, Asche should be drafted in NL only and deeper mixed leagues at this point.

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# 28 Juan Francisco (MIL)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.227 36 18 48 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
385 0.296 0.422 8.31% 35.84%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.239 37 20 53 0
Auction Value: $ -6.39 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.251

Francisco should see time when Brewers starting third baseman Aramis Ramirez lands on the disabled list or just needs a day off. He could also see time if Mark Reynolds struggles more than he usually does. Francisco is a power hitter who has trouble making contact. He strikes out around 35% of his plate appearances, which is pretty pitiful.

Francisco is waiver wire fodder on draft day. No use drafting unless you are in a 20 team mixed league.

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# 29 Juan Uribe (LAD)

Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.278 47 12 50 5
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
426 0.331 0.438 7.04% 19.01%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.234 46 10 49 5
Auction Value: $ -8.60 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.247

I think the Dodgers signed Uribe just to be Yasiel Puig's Big Papi over the next two years. Uribe was tight with Puig last season, almost a father figure in the clubhouse. Uribe had a great 2013 in fWAR terms, as his 5.1 fWAR was higher than Chase Headley, Ryan Zimmerman and several others.

He had a decent season at the plate in 2013, hitting .278-.331-.438 with 12 home runs, 47 runs and 50 RBI in 426 plate appearances. He is an NL only or deep mixed league option this season.

20130219_jla_ar5_399.0

# 30 Mark Reynolds (MIL)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.220 55 21 67 3
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
504 0.306 0.393 10.12% 30.56%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.216 51 19 60 2
Auction Value: $ -6.73 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.251

Now here is a guy I would take a shot at late in drafts, assuming you can stand his low batting average. His power plays big in any ball park, but now he is moving to Miller Park that is very home run friendly.

He signed a minor league contract with the Brewers, and has been assured he will make the 40 man roster out of spring training. He is the favorite to win the first base job and has the potential to hit 20-25 home runs this season.

Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more position rankings, or plain old fantasy baseball goodness, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one place to get all things fantasy.

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