Equivalent Fantasy Average: Third Basemen

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Want some positional tiers? Then look no further than third base.

With home runs, RBI, stolen bases, you can produce an absolute ranking. No matter what, 22 home runs is more than 21. On the other hand, with catch-all metrics like WAR and, yes, Equivalent Fantasy Average, it's more of a lumping tool.

In other words, compilation tools are tier-makers. A guy with a 5.8 WAR is probably better than a guy with a 5.4; he's definitely better than a guy with a 2.4. The simple truth is that there's almost always enough of a margin of error in the metrics that coming to a definitive conclusion on small gaps is foolish.

Rarely do you see this more illustrated than in the EFA at third base from our 2014 projections.

Like I said, these metrics are tier-makers. (I don't mean to say EFA is necessarily as thorough or efficient as WAR; just that the takeaway is similar.) And third base might be the most tiered position in fantasy right now.

The top tier is a single person: Miguel Cabrera. He's pretty obviously the best third baseman, and perhaps the best overall fantasy player, and his projected 2014 EFA (based on the numbers provided by the guys at Rotobanter) reflects that. Not only is his projected EFA of .308 the only one at the position over .300, it's the only one over .290. That pretty nicely illustrates Cabrera's status as the true top guy at the position.

After that, we look to the .280s. The next tier of players includes Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Donaldson, and David Wright. In the .270s are Matt Carpenter, Pedro Alvarez, Kyle Seager, Manny Machado, Martin Prado, and Pablo Sandoval. (No, there's nothing special about the delineation between Wright at .280 and Carpenter at .279, but for these purposes it's a nice arbitrary line.)

You can do this at any position, really, but the ease with which third base EFA divides itself into groups is nice and handy for sorting. (Also, avoid Luis Valbuena.)

Anyway, here are the projected 2014 EFAs for fantasy's third basemen:

Rank Third Basemen Team Projected 2014 EFA
1 Miguel Cabrera DET .308
2 Adrian Beltre TEX .285
3 Evan Longoria TBR .283
4 Ryan Zimmerman WAS .282
5 Josh Donaldson OAK .281
6 David Wright NYM .280
7 Matt Carpenter SLC .279
8 Pedro Alvarez PIT .276
Kyle Seager SEA .276
10 Manny Machado BAL .271
Martin Prado ARI .271
12 Pablo Sandoval SFG .270
13 Nolan Arenado COL .269
14 Chase Headley SDP .268
Brett Lawrie TOR .268
Will Middlebrooks BOS .268
17 Matt Dominguez HOU .266
Aramis Ramirez MIL .266
19 Todd Frazier CIN .262
Mike Moustakas KCR .262
21 Cody Asche PHI .261
Chris Johnson ATL .261
23 Nick Castellanos DET .260
24 David Freese LAA .253
25 Alberto Callaspo OAK .252
26 Lonnie Chisenhall CLE .251
Matt Davidson CWS .251
Juan Francisco MIL .251
Mark Reynolds MIL .251
30 Trevor Plouffe MIN .248
31 Juan Uribe LAD .247
32 Luis Valbuena CHC .239

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