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2015 Third Base Rankings: A Look Back

Ray reviews Fake Teams 2015 preseason third base rankings, providing thoughts on some of the third base you should keep an eye on in 2016 drafts.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the 2015 fantasy baseball season has arrived, and we hope we were able to help you win your leagues this season, or at least finish in the money. If not, we hope our baseball and prospect coverage helped you begin your rebuild to win your leagues in 2016.

Our prospect team just completed publishing their Top 10 Fantasy Prospects for all American League East teams last week and have begun publishing their AL Central Top 10s this week They will continue to release their top 10 fantasy prospects for each team in the weeks and months ahead.

Beginning sometime in January, we will begin to publish our 2016 consensus position rankings, but before that, I will review our 2015 consensus position rankings, continuing with the third base position today. In addition to reviewing our preseason position rankings, I will address the impact of many of the offseason free agent signings and trades, and publish some player profiles along the way as well.

With all that said, let's take a look at how our preseason top 30 third base performed in 2015, along with some thoughts on a few of the players, including a few third baseman that out-performed our rankings in 2015.

Our preseason Consensus Third Base Rankings for 2015

Rank

Name

Team

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

wRC+

WAR

1

Josh Donaldson

Blue Jays

158

711

41

122

123

6

0.297

0.371

0.568

154

8.7

2

Anthony Rendon

Nationals

80

355

5

43

25

1

0.264

0.344

0.363

97

0.9

3

Adrian Beltre

Rangers

143

619

18

83

83

1

0.287

0.334

0.453

108

4.6

4

Kyle Seager

Mariners

161

686

26

85

74

6

0.266

0.328

0.451

116

3.9

5

Evan Longoria

Rays

160

670

21

74

73

3

0.270

0.328

0.435

110

4.2

6

Todd Frazier

Reds

157

678

35

82

89

13

0.255

0.309

0.498

114

4.4

7

Nolan Arenado

Rockies

157

665

42

97

130

2

0.287

0.323

0.575

119

4.5

8

Pablo Sandoval

Red Sox

126

505

10

43

47

0

0.245

0.292

0.366

75

-2

9

Carlos Santana

Indians

154

666

19

72

85

11

0.231

0.357

0.395

110

2.4

10

Matt Carpenter

Cardinals

154

665

28

101

84

4

0.272

0.365

0.505

139

5.2

11

Manny Machado

Orioles

162

713

35

102

86

20

0.286

0.359

0.502

134

6.8

12

David Wright

Mets

38

174

5

24

17

2

0.289

0.379

0.434

133

0.9

13

Chris Davis

Orioles

160

670

47

100

117

2

0.262

0.361

0.562

147

5.6

14

Ryan Zimmerman

Nationals

95

390

16

43

73

1

0.249

0.308

0.465

107

0.6

15

Josh Harrison

Pirates

114

449

4

57

28

10

0.287

0.327

0.390

100

1.3

16

Chase Headley

Yankees

156

642

11

74

62

0

0.259

0.324

0.369

91

1.5

17

Xander Bogaerts

Red Sox

156

654

7

84

81

10

0.320

0.355

0.421

109

4.3

18

Aramis Ramirez

Pirates

137

516

17

43

75

1

0.246

0.297

0.423

93

0.8

19

Kris Bryant

Cubs

151

650

26

87

99

13

0.275

0.369

0.488

136

6.5

20

Yasmany Tomas

Diamondbacks

118

426

9

40

48

5

0.273

0.305

0.401

88

-1.3

21

Pedro Alvarez

Pirates

150

491

27

60

77

2

0.243

0.318

0.469

114

0.2

22

Brett Lawrie

Athletics

149

602

16

64

60

5

0.260

0.299

0.407

94

0.6

23

Nick Castellanos

Tigers

154

595

15

42

73

0

0.255

0.303

0.419

94

-0.1

24

Martin Prado

Marlins

129

551

9

52

63

1

0.288

0.338

0.394

100

3.1

25

Trevor Plouffe

Twins

152

632

22

74

86

2

0.244

0.307

0.435

102

2.5

26

Lonnie Chisenhall

Indians

106

362

7

38

44

4

0.246

0.294

0.372

80

2.1

27

Marcus Semien

Athletics

155

601

15

65

45

11

0.257

0.310

0.405

98

1.7

28

David Freese

Angels

121

470

14

53

56

1

0.257

0.323

0.420

110

2.2

29

Mike Moustakas

Royals

147

614

22

73

82

1

0.284

0.348

0.470

124

3.8

30

Juan Uribe

Mets

119

397

14

40

43

2

0.253

0.320

0.417

104

1.9

Well, we hit on Josh Donaldson being the top fantasy third baseman, as he put up huge numbers in four of the five categories, but he wasn't the only third baseman to have a great season at the plate. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado and Orioles third baseman Manny Machado both put up MVP-type seasons and will challenge for the top spot at the position in 2016. I currently have Machado as my #1 fantasy third baseman heading into the 2016 season as he contributes in all five categories, while Arenado and Donaldson do not run.

We missed on Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, but he missed half the season due to injury. I can see a nice bounce back season from him in 2016. We were too low on Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant as well, even though the common thought was that he would be called up in late April and be the favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year award.

I might have to consider this for future rankings, as, lately, some of the top prospects in the game have been making an immediate fantasy impact. I don't know if this is an anomaly or a trend worth watching in the future. Maybe the player development departments in MLB are getting better at preparing players for the big leagues.

Now let's take a look at a few guys that we didn't rank, but should be strongly considered at the deep third base position in 2016:

Maikel Franco, Phillies

Franco was having a terrific rookie season before taking a pitch off of his wrist in Arizona in early August. He missed the rest of the season due to the injury, but was very productive when healthy. Assuming the wrist injury doesn't affect his power stroke in 2016, After putting up a .280-45-14-50 line in just 80 games this season, Franco could be a 25-30 home run hitter next season, even on a bad Phillies team.

Justin Turner, Dodgers

Turner might be one of the biggest surprises in 2016, as he put up a .294-55-16-60 line in 126 games this season, good for a wRC+ of 141. It's quite possible that he could put up a 20-80 season in a full season of games in 2016. He is slated to be the Dodgers starting third baseman next year, but one thing I learned last offseason is that Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman is not one to shy away from making a trade.

Hector Olivera, Braves

Olivera did not have a great debut in his September cup of coffee, hitting .253-4-11 in 87 plate appearances, but he has a 20-25 home run bat, and should be the Braves every day third baseman in 2016. Actually, some think he could be a 30 home run bat, so here is your sleeper power pick late in drafts next season.

Jung Ho Kang, Pirates

Kang might be the top ranked shortstop in NL-only leagues had he not had his knee blown apart by Chris Coghlan. Kang started the 2015 season very slowly, but had a terrific second half, ending season hitting .287-60-16-58-5 in 126 games. His line is very similar to Turner's above, but I think we could see more power from him in 2016 and beyond. He will probably miss most, if not all, of spring training and start the season on the disabled list, which should negatively impact his fantasy value on draft day. Don't let the injury change your mind on Kang and draft him in the later rounds of drafts with confidence in 2016.

Here is a link to my early third base rankings for 2016:

Top 20 Third Base Rankings for 2016

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