I am in the middle of my review of our 2014 consensus position rankings, having completed analysis of the following position rankings:
The hot corner used to be chock full of power hitters, and an easy position to address your power needs, but this season there were only six third baseman who hit 20 or more home runs, and not one hit 30 home runs.
Of all third baseman who had 350 or more plate appearances, only nine drove in 70 or more runs. Some of the higher ranked third baseman at the beginning of the season disappointed fantasy owners due to injuries, including Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright and, to a certain extent, Miguel Cabrera. More was expected from Miggy, who saw his performance drop across the board this season, as he played with a variety of injuries. Now that the Tigers have been eliminated from the playoffs, I wonder if we will hear that he will have offseason surgery on whatever ailed him this season.
Now let's take a look back at our Top 30 Fantasy Third Base Rankings for 2014 ranked 1 - 15:
And here is a look back at our Top 30 Fantasy Third Base Rankings for 2014 ranked 16 - 30:
What we got right
AdrIan Beltre, Rangers
Beltre had a bit of a down power year, but so did the rest of the Rangers. Even with the drop in power and RBI, Beltre did not hurt you, as he hit .324-.388-.492 with 19 home runs, 79 runs scored and 77 RBI in 148 games. Assuming the Rangers are more healthy in 2015, Beltre should see a bump in his counting stats and remain one of the top 3-4 fantasy third baseman.
David Freese, Angels
We ranked Freese as our 21st ranked fantasy third baseman in 2014, and he did not do anything to outperform that ranking. Freese had a breakout year in 2012 hitting 20 home runs and driving in 79 runs, but that is looking more and more like a career year for him. This season, Freese hit .260-.321-.363 with 10 home runs, 53 runs scored and 55 RBI in 511 plate appearances. Over the past two seasons, Freese has hit just 19 home runs in over 1,000 plate appearances , one less than he hit in 2012.
Pablo Sandoval, Giants
We ranked Sandoval as our 10th best fantasy third baseman, and that is right around where he ended the season. Sandoval hit .273-.324-.415 with 16 home runs, 68 runs scored and 73 RBI. He played in 157 games this season, the most he has played since he played 153 in 2009. He is a free agent at the end of this season and could see his fantasy value improve with a move out of San Francisco.
What we got wrong
Kyle Seager, Mariners
Well, we ranked Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager as our 9th ranked fantasy third baseman, but he was much better than that in 2014. The soon-to-be 27 year old third baseman had his best year across the board hitting .268-.334-.454 with 25 home runs, 71 runs scored, 96 RBI and 7 stolen bases. The 25 home runs and 96 RBI ranked third and second, respectively, among all qualified third baseman in 2014. He is certainly a top 5 fantasy third baseman heading into the 2015 season.
Todd Frazier, Reds
We ranked Reds third baseman Todd Frazier as our 18th ranked third baseman in 2014, and we couldn't have been more wrong. Frazier enjoyed a breakout season at the plate, and on the basepaths, this season, as he was just one of five 20 home run/20 stolen base hitters in baseball this season. Frazier hit .273-.336-.459 with 29 home runs, 88 runs scored, 80 RBI and 20 stolen bases this season, all career highs in each of the five fantasy categories. I don't think anyone expected him to steal 20 bases this season, but he did steal 17 in AAA back in 2011, so he does possess enough speed to steal double digit bags in 2015.
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