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Fantasy Baseball 2017: Top 20 Third Base Rankings

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Ray takes an early look at his 2017 third base rankings, where Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado sits atop the rankings. Check out where he ranks Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, Twins third baseman Miguel Sano and others.

Before I take a look at my early 2017 third base rankings, here are my early catcher, first base and second base rankings, along with early 2017 projections from Dave Morris:

2017 Top 20 Catcher Rankings

Projecting Gary Sanchez for 2017

2017 Top 20 First Base Rankings

Dave Morris' 2017 First Base Projections

2017 Top 20 Second Base Rankings

Dave Morris' 2017 Second Base Projections

Projecting Trea Turner for 2017

2017 Top 20 Shortstop Rankings

Quick Thoughts

Well, Nolan Arenado proved his 2015 breakout was no fluke....and how. I questioned whether he could duplicate his 40 home run production in 2016, but he silenced my critique by hitting .294 with 41 home runs, 116 runs scored and 133 RBI. He is my top fantasy third baseman for 2017 and I see no reason why he can't put up....at the very least.....a 30-35 home run, 100+ RBI, .290 BA season. Remember when he was still a prospect and we questioned how much power he would have. It shows we can't be too quick to place a ceiling on some hitters.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner came into the season with questions about the health of his knee, but all he did was go out and put up the best season of his career, and it appears he is getting better and better. A change in his swing has made him one of the best third baseman in the game. He makes a lot of hard contact and more and more of that is in the air, so the power appears to be real. As a Dodgers fan, I would love for the front office to sign him this offseason, as he is a free agent, but he turns 32 years of age around Thanksgiving, and I have a feeling the Dodgers won't overpay for him. That said, he was their best hitter in the playoffs and that could influence them to overpay on a shorter-term deal.

There are several third baseman who probably look to be ranked too low, Alex Bregman, Miguel Sano and maybe even Maikel Franco, but third base has become deep once again. Bregman hit 28 home runs across three levels in 2016, so he has more power than many projected when he was drafted. He should be a mainstay at third base for the Astros for the foreseeable future, but could get time in the outfield once again in 2017. I would not be surprised to see Bregman move into the top 6-8 fantasy third baseman this time next year.

Sano had a disappointing 2016 season from a batting average stand point, and he could improve upon the 25 home runs/66 RBI he put up this season, but that will only come if he can reduce the 36% strikeout rate. He is young enough to make the adjustments and I predict we see reports later in the offseason indicating he is working on tweaking his swing mechanics heading into 2017.

Franco had a solid, yet unspectacular, 2016 season, hitting .255 with 25 home runs and 88 RBI in his 630 plate appearances. One has to think that as the Phillies lineup improves in 2017-2018, his RBI totals should improve as well. Don't sleep on him in 2017 drafts.

One sleeper in these rankings, for me, is Pirates third baseman Jung-ho Kang. He did some bad things off the field during the season, but on the field, and specifically at the plate, he quietly had a very good season at the plate. In just under 400 plate appearances, he hit 21 home runs and drove in 62 runs. Could he be a 30 home run, 100 RBI hitter in 2017?

Early 2017 Third Base Rankings

Rank

Name

Team

League

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

1

Nolan Arenado

Rockies

NL

160

696

41

116

133

2

0.294

0.362

0.570

0.386

124

5.2

2

Manny Machado

Orioles

AL

157

696

37

105

96

0

0.294

0.343

0.533

0.366

129

6.5

3

Kris Bryant

Cubs

NL

155

699

39

121

102

8

0.292

0.385

0.554

0.396

149

8.4

4

Josh Donaldson

Blue Jays

AL

155

700

37

122

99

7

0.284

0.404

0.549

0.403

155

7.6

5

Adrian Beltre

Rangers

AL

153

640

32

89

104

1

0.300

0.358

0.521

0.371

130

6.1

6

Kyle Seager

Mariners

AL

158

676

30

89

99

3

0.278

0.359

0.499

0.363

133

5.5

7

Evan Longoria

Rays

AL

160

685

36

81

98

0

0.273

0.318

0.521

0.350

123

4.5

8

Jonathan Villar

Brewers

NL

156

679

19

92

63

62

0.285

0.369

0.457

0.356

118

3.0

9

Justin Turner

Dodgers

NL

151

622

27

79

90

4

0.275

0.339

0.493

0.353

124

5.6

10

Anthony Rendon

Nationals

NL

156

647

20

91

85

12

0.270

0.348

0.450

0.342

112

4.7

11

Todd Frazier

White Sox

AL

158

666

40

89

98

15

0.225

0.302

0.464

0.326

102

2.4

12

Alex Bregman

Astros

AL

49

217

8

31

34

2

0.264

0.313

0.478

0.336

112

1.0

13

Jake Lamb

Dbacks

NL

151

594

29

81

91

6

0.249

0.332

0.509

0.352

114

2.5

14

Matt Carpenter

Cardinals

NL

129

566

21

81

68

0

0.271

0.380

0.505

0.375

135

3.2

15

Jung Ho Kang

Pirates

NL

103

370

21

45

62

3

0.255

0.354

0.513

0.369

133

2.2

16

Miguel Sano

Twins

AL

116

495

25

57

66

1

0.236

0.319

0.462

0.334

107

1.3

17

Jose Ramirez

Indians

AL

152

618

11

84

76

22

0.312

0.363

0.462

0.355

122

4.8

18

Nick Castellanos

Tigers

AL

110

447

18

54

58

1

0.285

0.331

0.496

0.350

119

1.9

19

Maikel Franco

Phillies

NL

152

630

25

67

88

1

0.255

0.306

0.427

0.311

92

1.4

20

Javier Baez

Cubs

NL

142

450

14

50

59

12

0.273

0.314

0.423

0.316

94

2.7

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