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2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Third Base

Nick Senzel may have played a majority of his games at third base last season, but his way to the majors may include a move to shortstop.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds-Workouts Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

If you have missed out this week, get ready for fantasy baseball by checking out all of our third base content so far. You can find traditional rankings, tiered rankings, values, and more! Now let’s check out some sleepers...

Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies (ADP: 267.8)

Last season Franco went from one of the top sleeper picks to one of the biggest disappointments. With a .230/.281/.409 slash line, it is no wonder Franco is being taken outside the top 250, but that slash line also came with a .234 BABIP. With a low line drive rate, Franco should be someone who posts a low BABIP. But his BABIP should be around .280, not .234.

With Franco's low strikeout rate and power, he is someone who has the potential to post a .265/.315/.470 while also putting up 25 home runs. With those numbers and an improved lineup around him, we could see Franco become a fantasy star in 2018.

Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics (ADP: 303.8)

It is a tragedy that Chapman is being taken outside the top 300. Chapman has elite power at the age of 24 but doesn't have the swing and miss stuff like many other hitters in his class. With an 11.5 swinging strike rate, he has the potential to have a strikeout rate below 30%, which could lead to a batting average above the .240 mark.

With Chapman's extreme fly ball rates and power potential, he already has the potential to hit 40 home runs in 2018. I don't have any problem taking Chapman with my last pick of the draft, and you shouldn't either.

Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds (ADP: 331.0)

It seems like the Reds are trying to find the fastest way to get Senzel up to the major leagues, and that path may see him play more shortstop than third base. The Reds may not be as high on Jose Peraza as they are on Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez, which has led to Senzel seeing some time at short this spring. Although Senzel may not break camp with the club, we could see him up in the big leagues as soon as late April.

Senzel currently profiles as a high batting average player with some speed and power upside. ZIPS projects him to have a .271/.332/.450 slash line with 15 home runs and 13 stolen bases. If Senzel can be a 15/15 player with a .270 batting average, that should make him a top 200 fantasy option in most leagues.

Rio Ruiz, Atlanta Braves (ADP: 836.5)

Johan Camargo is currently scheduled to be the Braves starting third baseman, but Ruiz does have some breakout potential in 2018. I wasn't a big fan of Ruiz until I saw the 0.0% infield fly ball rate he posted in his 173 major league plate appearances. With this ability to diminish pop-ups paired with his high line drive rate and ability to make hard contact, Ruiz could be someone who hits for a decent batting average. He can do so even if his 23.7% strikeout rate carries over from 2017.

Ruiz will be an interesting player to watch as the season progresses. If he does end up taking the starting third base job away from Camargo and catches fire, don't be afraid to click that add button by his name.

Poll

Which third baseman are you most intrigued by in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies
    (91 votes)
  • 38%
    Matt Chapman. Oakland Athletics
    (163 votes)
  • 36%
    Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds
    (156 votes)
  • 4%
    Rio Ruiz, Atlanta Braves
    (18 votes)
428 votes total Vote Now