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2015 Third Base Rankings: The Fantasy Impact of the Josh Donaldson Trade

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Ray updates his 2015 third base rankings for the impact of the Josh Donaldson trade to the Blue Jays.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

I wrote about the huge trade that sent third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie and three prospects on Friday night. It appears A's GM Billy Beane is betting that Donaldson won't get much better and that Lawrie's best years are ahead of him. Well, that and the prospects he received in the deal, pitchers Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin and 18 year old shortstop prospect Franklin Barreto, can help the team in 2015 and beyond. Hey, I wouldn't be surprised if Nolin and Graveman contribute in 2015, as Beane has made a habit of winning trades. It may just take a few years though.

The move to Toronto improves Donaldson's value on draft day as he is moving from a pitcher's park in Oakland to a park that is friendly to right-handed hitters in Toronto. He moves from O.co Coliseum which depressed home runs by about 10%, to the Rogers Centre, which increased home runs by 31% last season, according to ESPN's park factors.

According to the park factors at Stat Corner, O.co Coliseum depressed home runs by 13% for right-handed hitters, while the Rogers Centre improved home runs for right-handed hitter's by 29%. His home/road splits from last season show he was a better hitter on the road than at home:

Home: .233-.322-.,395, 11 home runs, 45 RBI in 338 plate appearances

Road: .276-.361-.513, 18 home runs, 53 RBI in 357 plate appearances

So, Donaldson hit for a higher average and for more power on the road than he did at home, so one can argue, we could see a decent bump in his power stats in 2015, where he will play half of his games at the Rogers Centre, and 27 more at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Camden Yards, all known to be hitters parks. Add in the fact that he is moving to a better lineup, and we could see a bump in his stats across all five categories in 2015.

So, what am I projecting for Donaldson in 2015? I will project him for .279-.370-.545 with 33 home runs and 105 RBI. With that said, I am moving Donaldson to the #1 spot in my 2015 Third Base Rankings, dropping Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon to #2 in my rankings.

Other notes: There are a few third baseman in the top 10 who could jump into the top 5 in 2015, including Nolan Arenado, Evan Longoria and David Wright. I could see Kyle Seager moving into the top 3 as well. Let's take a look at my updated 2015 Third Base Rankings.

Updated 2015 Third Base Rankings

Rank

Name

Team

1

Josh Donaldson

Blue Jays

2

Anthony Rendon

Nationals

3

Adrian Beltre

Rangers

4

Todd Frazier

Reds

5

Kyle Seager

Mariners

6

Evan Longoria

Rays

7

Nolan Arenado

Rockies

8

Pablo Sandoval

Red Sox

9

Ryan Zimmerman

Nationals

10

David Wright

Mets

11

Manny Machado

Orioles

12

Josh Harrison

Pirates

13

Chase Headley

Yankees

14

Pedro Alvarez

Pirates

15

Aramis Ramirez

Brewers

16

Matt Carpenter

Cardinals

17

Xander Bogaerts

Red Sox

18

Kris Bryant

Cubs

19

Trevor Plouffe

Twins

20

Nick Castellanos

Tigers

21

Juan Uribe

Dodgers

22

Brett Lawrie

Athletics

23

Martin Prado

Yankees

24

Mike Moustakas

Royals

25

Lonnie Chisenhall

Indians

26

David Freese

Angels

27

Luis Valbuena

Cubs

28

Chris Johnson

Braves

29

Cody Asche

Phillies

30

Matt Dominguez

Astros

Other 2015 Position Rankings

Top 30 Catchers for 2015

Top 30 First Baseman for 2015

Top 30 Second Baseman for 2015

Top 30 Shortstops for 2015

Top 80 Outfielders for 2015

Top 75 Starting Pitchers for 2015

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