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Top 20 Third Base Rankings for 2016: Youth dominates the top 10

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Ray takes a look ahead to the third base position for 2016, and opines that the position is deeper than in most years.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I discussed whether or not the power outage, or the sinking trend in home runs, is now over. Today, I take a look at the third base position heading into 2016. With the additions of Kris Bryant, Maikel Franco and Jung-ho Kang, and the breakout seasons from Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado, the third base position is going to be very deep for fantasy owners in their 2016 fantasy drafts. Heck, the third base position could include Dodgers shortstop prospect Corey Seager as well.

Imagine poring through position rankings and seeing former top-ranked third baseman Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria in the lower part of top 10 third base rankings. The third base position owns three of the 30+ home runs hitters in the game at this point with a chance for possibly one more (Machado). Nine third baseman have hit 20 or more home runs, and 17 have hit 15 or more home runs thus far. Last season, not one third baseman hit 30+ home runs, and only six hit 20+ home runs.

There are 11 hitters who have hit 20 or more home runs and stolen 10+ bases this season, and three, Machado, Bryant and Frazier, are third baseman. I can see my top five third baseman being drafted in the first three rounds of 2016 drafts.

Here is a look at a very crude, read little research, ranking of my top 20 third baseman for 2016, with stats courtesy of FanGraphs:

Rank

Name

Team

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

wRC+

1

Manny Machado

Orioles

143

631

28

87

72

17

0.289

0.361

0.495

134

2

Josh Donaldson

Blue Jays

141

632

38

109

119

6

0.305

0.371

0.586

159

3

Nolan Arenado

Rockies

140

589

38

85

110

1

0.283

0.317

0.571

116

4

Todd Frazier

Reds

140

609

33

78

84

12

0.259

0.311

0.513

118

5

Kris Bryant

Cubs

132

568

24

78

92

12

0.271

0.366

0.489

134

6

Anthony Rendon

Nationals

63

278

5

35

21

1

0.287

0.367

0.398

113

7

Kyle Seager

Mariners

144

611

24

77

66

6

0.273

0.331

0.46

119

8

Maikel Franco

Phillies

77

326

13

43

48

1

0.277

0.34

0.49

125

9

Evan Longoria

Rays

141

590

19

63

68

3

0.27

0.332

0.435

112

10

Adrian Beltre

Rangers

124

532

15

69

55

1

0.264

0.306

0.417

89

11

Jung-ho Kang

Pirates

122

457

15

60

58

5

0.29

0.359

0.467

132

12

Matt Carpenter

Cardinals

137

593

21

84

73

3

0.26

0.359

0.461

126

13

Mike Moustakas

Royals

129

538

18

62

71

1

0.281

0.345

0.454

120

14

David Wright

Mets

24

113

3

17

9

2

0.294

0.363

0.412

121

15

Justin Turner

Dodgers

115

400

15

49

54

5

0.285

0.36

0.486

135

16

Trevor Plouffe

Twins

135

561

20

68

79

2

0.25

0.313

0.445

106

17

Pablo Sandoval

Red Sox

123

492

10

42

46

0

0.247

0.293

0.371

77

18

Yasmany Tomas

Diamondbacks

109

400

8

39

45

5

0.282

0.315

0.405

93

19

Nick Castellanos

Tigers

138

537

15

39

68

0

0.25

0.302

0.419

94

20

Brett Lawrie

Athletics

133

531

16

57

57

5

0.269

0.307

0.43

104

Note: I did not rank Twins third baseman/DH Miguel Sano here, as it appears he will not be eligible at third base in 2016 in leagues which require 20 games at a position to be eligible. He needs one more game at third base to be eligible in Yahoo leagues which require 10 games. Had I ranked him, I would lot him at the #6 spot in my rankings.

I will probably go back and forth between Arenado, Machado and Donaldson as my # 1 fantasy third baseman in the offseason, so don't be surprised to see me change the rankings a bit.

Frazier is my # 4 third baseman, but I could easily see Bryant and/or Rendon move up ahead of him. I like Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco as he could be a 25 home run, 85 RBI, .280 BA with a full season of at bats.

Then we get to Beltre and Longoria at #9 and #10. Seems odd, right? They are perennial top 3-5 fantasy third baseman every season, but their production has dropped this season. I have to admit I am a little surprised at the drop in power from Longoria this season, as he is still relatively young, but he could have a few more 25-30 home runs seasons in his bat, and come relatively cheaply next season.

I like Pirates infielder Jung-ho Kang, as I don't think we have seen the best from him yet at the plate. I can see a 20-25 home run, 80 RBI season from him in 2016, but he will have to get the ball in the air more than 28% of his plate appearances to do so.

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