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Fantasy Baseball: Early Top 30 Third Base Rankings for 2015

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Ray offers an early look into his top 30 third base rankings for 2015. Check out where I rank David Wright, Anthony Rendon, Kyle Seager and others.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today, I continue with my early 2015 position rankings, ranking my Top 30 third baseman for next season. Yeah, it is early for rankings, and we have yet to see any free agent signings or offseason trades, so my rankings may change as a result. But, for now, here are my 2015 first base rankings, assuming any offseason free agent signings or trades won't have a material impact on my rankings.

Before we get into my third base rankings, here is a link to my 2015 rankings to date:

Top 30 Catchers for 2015

Top 30 First Baseman for 2015

Top 30 Second Baseman for 2015

Top 30 Shortstops for 2015

Heading into the 2014 season, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera was the #1 ranked third baseman, but he no longer has third base eligibilty. Some will rank Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre as the #1 ranked third baseman, but I am ranking Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon in the top spot, as he offers owners a combination of power and speed that Beltre cannot offer. Beltre has more power, and will hit for a higher average, but the Rangers lineup struggled to score runs in 2014, and there are some question marks in their lineup heading into the 2015 season. Rendon's breakout season was enough to push him into the top spot for me.

Reds third baseman Todd Frazier had his own breakout season in 2014, hitting 29 home runs, with 88 runs scored, 80 RBI and 20 stolen bases, stats that could push him to the #1 spot later in the offseason. I may actually consider moving him to the top spot, but in the back of my mind, I am not sure if he will steal 20 bases again. He has the power to eclipse 30 home runs in 2015, so I will strongly consider moving him up later in the offseason.

I have moved a few regular top 5 fantasy third baseman, David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman to the bottom half of my top 10, as their injuries have mounted over the past few seasons. The Mets are moving in their fences in right center field this offseason, so we could see a resurgence in Wright's power numbers should he be able to stay healthy all season, but that is a big question mark.

The top 5 fantasy third baseman could look much different in 2016 if guys like Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado can have breakout seasons in 2015. Bryant is expected to start the season in AAA, with an April or early May call up. Bryant has the power to hit 20+ home runs once he is called up, with an outside chance of approaching 30.

I ranked Arenado ahead of Wright and Zimmerman as he has the hit tool and power to his 25 home runs, drive in 85-90 runs and hit .280+ in 2015.

Below you will find my early 205 Top 30 third base rankings, along with 2014 player stats, courtesy of FanGraphs. Included in the rankings and stats provided below, I have included each players' 2014 wRC+, which is defined below, courtesy of FanGraphs:

Weighted Runs Created (wRC) is an improved version of Bill James' Runs Created (RC) statistic, which attempted to quantify a player's total offensive value and measure it by runs.  In Runs Created, instead of looking at a player's line and listing out all the details (e.g. 23 2B, 15 HR, 55 BB, 110 K, 19 SB, 5 CS), the information is synthesized into one metric in order to say, "Player X was worth 24 runs to his team last year."

Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) measures how a player's wRC compares with league average after controlling for park effects.  League average for position players is 100, and every point above 100 is a percentage point above league average. For example, a 125 wRC+ means a player created 25% more runs than a league average hitter would have in the same number of plate appearances. Similarly, every point below 100 is a percentage point below league average, so a 80 wRC+ means a player created 20% fewer runs than league average.

For example, Kyle Seager's 126 wRC+ indicates he created 26% more runs than the league average hitter, and is 26% better than the league average hitter.

I included wRC+ because I think, along with others, that it is one of the single stats you can look at to tell you how good a hitter is vs all major league hitters, and it factors in park effects as well.

Rank

Name

Team

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

wRC+

1

Anthony Rendon

Nationals

153

683

21

111

83

17

130

2

Josh Donaldson

Athletics

158

695

29

93

98

8

129

3

Adrian Beltre

Rangers

148

614

19

79

77

1

141

4

Todd Frazier

Reds

157

660

29

88

80

20

122

5

Kyle Seager

Mariners

159

654

25

71

96

7

126

6

Evan Longoria

Rays

162

700

22

83

91

5

107

7

Nolan Arenado

Rockies

111

467

18

58

61

2

113

8

Ryan Zimmerman

Nationals

61

240

5

26

38

0

120

9

David Wright

Mets

134

586

8

54

63

8

100

10

Pablo Sandoval

Giants

157

638

16

68

73

0

111

11

Manny Machado

Orioles

82

354

12

38

32

2

111

12

Aramis Ramirez

Brewers

133

531

15

47

66

3

109

13

Josh Harrison

Pirates

143

550

13

77

52

18

137

14

Matt Carpenter

Cardinals

158

709

8

99

59

5

117

15

Pedro Alvarez

Pirates

122

445

18

46

56

8

103

16

Xander Bogaerts

Red Sox

144

594

12

60

46

2

82

17

Kris Bryant

Cubs

18

Trevor Plouffe

Twins

136

582

14

69

80

2

112

19

Chase Headley

- - -

135

531

13

55

49

7

103

20

Juan Uribe

Dodgers

103

404

9

36

54

0

120

21

Brett Lawrie

Blue Jays

70

282

12

27

38

0

101

22

Martin Prado

- - -

143

573

12

62

58

3

103

23

Mike Moustakas

Royals

140

500

15

45

54

1

76

24

Lonnie Chisenhall

Indians

142

533

13

62

59

3

121

25

David Freese

Angels

134

511

10

53

55

1

106

26

Luis Valbuena

Cubs

149

547

16

68

51

1

116

27

Chris Johnson

Braves

153

611

10

43

58

6

82

28

Cody Asche

Phillies

121

434

10

43

46

0

94

29

Brock Holt

Red Sox

106

492

4

68

29

12

98

30

Casey McGehee

Marlins

160

691

4

56

76

4

102

Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more rankings, whether it be fantasy baseball, football or basketball, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one site on the 'net for all things fantasy.