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Top 20 AL-Only Third Base Rankings for 2016

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Ray ranks his top 20 third baseman for AL-only leagues with Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson heading the rankings.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

For those of you who play in mono or "only" leagues, I published my NL-only third base rankings yesterday and my AL-only third base rankings today.

The third base position in the American League features two guys who used to sit atop the third base rankings for several years, but age and a drop in power has pushed them lower in the rankings. Yes, I am talking about future hall of famer Adrian Beltre and Eva Longoria's younger brother Evan. The three time 30 home run hitter, Longoria has seen his power and counting stats drop over the last two seasons, while Beltre is just getting old, as he will turn 37 a few days after the season begins. Like Longoria, his power and counting stats have dropped over the last two to three seasons, but he is still a very valuable real like baseball player, putting up a WAR of 4.6 or higher in each of his last six seasons.

The guys who have overtaken Longoria and Beltre at the hot corner are Orioles young star Manny Machado and Blue Jays power hitting third baseman and MVP Josh Donaldson. Machado is coming off a breakout season where he hit 35 home runs and stole 20 bases, while Donaldson put up video game numbers in his first season hitting in the Rogers Centre.

We ranked Miguel Sano at third base in our consensus rankings and he appears here as well. If there is one player other than Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper or Mike Trout that I would bet on to hit 40 or more home runs this season, it is Sano. He is one of the reasons why I will watch some Twins games this season. The White Sox traded for their new third baseman Todd Frazier, and he should be the same Frazier we saw hitting 30+ bombs in Cincinnati this season.

That said, when a third baseman who hit 22 home runs and drove in 86 runs last year is my 12th ranked AL third baseman, you know the position is deep this year. Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas made some changes at the plate in 2015 and had the best year of his career, so we will be looking to see if he can continue to hit for a high average and power in 2016.

I wrote about Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos on Tuesday, and I think he is on the cusp of a breakout season and could be ranked much higher in these rankings this time next season.

Last season, seven AL third baseman hit 20 or more home runs, and that number could easily increase to ten or more in 2016, with Castellanos, a healthy Beltre, and even Brett Lawrie joining the 20 home run club. And if two AL East third baseman, Chase Headley and Pablo Sandoval, can have bounce back seasons, the third base position is going to provide plenty of production for fantasy owners in 2016.

Top 20 AL-Only Third Base Rankings for 2016

Rank

Player

Team

1

Manny Machado

Orioles

2

Josh Donaldson

Blue jays

3

Miguel Sano

Twins

4

Todd Frazier

White Sox

5

Kyle Seager

Mariners

6

Adrian Beltre

Rangers

7

Evan Longoria

Rays

8

Mike Moustakas

Royals

9

Pablo Sandoval

Red Sox

10

Brett Lawrie

White Sox

11

Nick Castellanos

Tigers

12

Trevor Plouffe

Twins

13

Chase Headley

Yankees

14

Joey Gallo

Rangers

15

Danny Valencia

Athletics

16

Luis Valbuena

Astros

17

Jed Lowrie

Athletics

18

Yunel Escobar

Angels

19

Lonnie Chisenhall

Indians

20

Mike Aviles

Indians

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