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Fantasy Third Base Rankings: Steamer Projections for 2015

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Let's take a look at what the Steamer projections have in store for the third baseman we ranked this week.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Projecting player stats for the upcoming season, for me, has always been a gut feel. I usually look at other project systems like ZiPS, Steamer, Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster, but I usually look at what the player has done in the past and come up with my own projection. No formulas or spreadsheets,

Sometimes I have been on target, while other times, I have been way off. Attempting to predict how a player is going to perform is not an easy task. Projecting anything for which you have no control over is very hard. Just ask the weather forecasters after the failed "snowmageddon" here on the east coast a week ago.

One of the more well known projection systems out there is ZiPS, which is created by Dan Szymborski, and published over at FanGraphs. Another projection system which FanGraphs publishes for all to see is the Steamer projections. I am going to publish the Steamer projections here for each position we cover in our Consensus Rankings Series to help you prepare for your drafts and keeper league decisions in the coming weeks and months.

Here is more on Steamer from both the Steamer Projections website and from FanGraphs:

Steamer Projections is a projection system for baseball player statistics. The system was created and is maintained and operated by Jared Cross, Dash Davidson, and Peter Rosenbloom. Dash and Peter just graduated from college and are both former students of Jared - a high school science and statistics teacher. The three creators share a deep passion and interest for baseball and the statistics that are intrinsic to the game.

The project began in the Fall of 2008 at Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, New York. Saint Ann's offers its students an independent research program where they may embark on collaborative projects motivated by personal interest together with a teacher. The Steamer Projections system is the result of this program.

What began as an explorative academic pursuit soon became a passionate and time-consuming endeavor as we quickly began to expand and improve our system - and increase the requisite amount of work - as our skill and knowledge of the intricate process of statistical projection improved.

Now we are in the midst of working on the seventh iteration of our system, which has released a full set of projections for MLB players for each of the past five seasons by the end of March. We are still constantly tinkering on and tweaking Steamer Projections in the hope of making it ever more accurate and efficient. We are also investigating possible business partnerships with fantasy sports websites and MLB teams to leverage the predicative power of our system.  You can find our full pre-season and daily projections at www.fangraphs.com and at www.razzball.com.

Steamer - This uses the playing time projection from our (FanGraphs) depth charts. These are temporarily using playoff rosters, so there may be the occasional weird playing time allocation. Playing time may be updated on a nightly basis.

Steamer Projections for our Consensus Top 30 Third Baseman for 2015

Rank

Name

PA

AB

HR

R

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

wOBA

wRC+

1

Josh Donaldson

631

556

26

83

87

5

0.264

0.342

0.47

0.812

0.356

127

2

Anthony Rendon

642

569

19

84

72

11

0.279

0.350

0.454

0.804

0.354

125

3

Adrian Beltre

634

576

24

82

94

1

0.297

0.354

0.484

0.838

0.363

129

4

Kyle Seager

630

563

21

75

78

7

0.262

0.330

0.433

0.763

0.337

119

5

Evan Longoria

640

566

25

77

84

3

0.256

0.334

0.446

0.78

0.34

124

6

Todd Frazier

544

487

21

61

64

11

0.249

0.317

0.432

0.75

0.33

108

7

Nolan Arenado

614

568

20

72

81

3

0.282

0.326

0.461

0.787

0.344

103

8

Pablo Sandoval

597

543

18

76

83

1

0.291

0.347

0.464

0.811

0.353

124

9

Carlos Santana

591

489

21

74

73

0.245

0.366

0.433

0.799

0.355

131

10

Matt Carpenter

629

538

10

80

51

5

0.276

0.368

0.404

0.772

0.346

122

11

Manny Machado

610

560

18

76

69

6

0.271

0.319

0.436

0.755

0.332

111

12

David Wright

576

511

16

66

65

9

0.275

0.347

0.432

0.78

0.342

122

13

Chris Davis

551

483

30

71

79

0.242

0.326

0.477

0.803

0.348

122

14

Ryan Zimmerman

570

509

19

70

71

3

0.275

0.344

0.449

0.793

0.348

122

15

Josh Harrison

589

548

11

68

58

18

0.278

0.317

0.421

0.738

0.325

109

16

Chase Headley

597

520

17

69

68

8

0.257

0.343

0.412

0.755

0.335

113

17

Xander Bogaerts

546

492

15

64

62

5

0.256

0.319

0.406

0.725

0.321

102

18

Aramis Ramirez

527

480

17

58

66

2

0.266

0.324

0.431

0.754

0.332

109

19

Kris Bryant

406

21

51

57

6

0.260

0.333

0.498

0.831

20

Yamany Tomas

520

21

61

60

4

0.267

0.302

0.464

0.766

21

Pedro Alvarez

528

470

24

61

70

5

0.242

0.316

0.447

0.763

0.333

114

22

Brett Lawrie

548

495

17

64

65

7

0.263

0.324

0.427

0.751

0.332

116

23

Nick Castellanos

524

481

13

56

58

4

0.264

0.314

0.408

0.722

0.318

101

24

Martin Prado

633

579

11

68

63

5

0.274

0.326

0.401

0.726

0.321

103

25

Trevor Plouffe

514

461

16

57

60

2

0.248

0.315

0.412

0.728

0.322

106

26

Lonnie Chisenhall

393

357

12

44

47

2

0.262

0.318

0.426

0.744

0.327

112

27

Marcus Semien

571

503

16

66

62

9

0.239

0.317

0.396

0.713

0.317

105

28

David Freese

535

479

12

57

57

3

0.26

0.328

0.39

0.718

0.32

110

29

Mike Moustakas

528

480

17

57

61

3

0.248

0.305

0.415

0.72

0.317

102

30

Juan Uribe

461

427

11

43

50

2

0.253

0.297

0.385

0.682

0.3

93

Quick Thoughts

Nolan Arenado, Rockies

I wrote up the reasons why I am bullish on Arenado on Thursday in the Third Baseman to Target article. Steamer projects him to hit .282 with a .462 SLG, 20 home runs and 81 RBI, but I see more growth in Arenado's bat in 2015. He hit 18 home runs and slugged .500 in just 467 plate appearances last season and I see him improving in the power stats going forward. He is still in the growth phase of his career, so I think Steamer might be a little light on his 2015 projections.

David Wright, Mets

Tim Finnegan profiled Wright a few days ago, and after reading his piece, I am beginning to think that we have seen the best of Wright and that the Steamer projection may not be light, but on the mark.

Kris Bryant, Cubs / Yasmany Tomas, Diamondbacks

It is very difficult to project these two third baseman, as Bryant will not make his debut till late April at the earliest, and Tomas will be making his major league debut this season, after playing in Cuba. I have to think that the Steamer projections are a solid baseline for projecting their performance in 2015, yet I am of the opinion that Tomas may struggle to hit for average, and the same goes for Bryant.

Note: the projections for Tomas are ZiPS projections, as Steamer either didn't provide projections for him, or I couldn't find it.

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