Third base week is drawing to a close, and so far you can check out:
All of that should get you off to a good start. If you don’t have the time to read everything, what follows are our individual targets. These are picks that we have each made after a week’s worth of focus on the hot corner. Enjoy, and feel free to comment or ask questions as you have them. Happy Friday, and happy Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational drafting to Brian, Eddy, and Heath!
Nick Castellanos, Tigers (Heath Capps)
I am drinking the kool-aid with Castellanos this year. His home run total has increased every year since 2014, culminating in 26 home runs and 101 RBIs last year. He made hard contact 43.4% of the time in 2017 and has always been an epic line drive hitter. Here are his line drive rates over the last four seasons: 28.5%, 23.3%, 25.6%, and 24.5%. He isn’t an extreme fly ball hitter (career 39.2%) but with those healthy line drive rates and an RBI-producing spot in the Tigers lineup, Castellanos offers back-end starter production at third base (with upside for more).
Joey Gallo, Rangers (Brian Creagh)
40-homer upside in the 10th round? Yes, please. Gallo’s obvious flaw for fantasy is his batting average, but there are ways to minimize its impact by drafting high average players in earlier rounds, and actively managing the third base position to avoid difficult matchups. Gallo is only 24 years old, so there is still opportunity for improvement. I am more than willing to gamble on Gallo and his power in 2018.
Adrian Beltre, Rangers (Punk is Dead)
I could talk about Travis Shaw all day but I’ll offer up a different player here. Adrian Beltre is an absolute STEAL at his current ADP of 157! Beltre missed a lot of games last year, but he still hit .312 with a .915 OPS. And his 17 homers and 71 RBIs project out to 29-122. He did that with one good leg! Beltre is still a .300 hitter with 30 HR+100 RBI potential. He’s basically what everyone is hoping Justin Turner will be, except Beltre has done it before. Turner is being drafted 5-6 rounds earlier.
Adrian Beltre, Rangers (Eddy Almaguer)
Let’s play the baseball edition of Who’s Line Is It Anyways. According to Steamer 2018 projections, Player A is at 77/22/79 with .292/.373/.490. Player B: 69/20/77 .288/.352/.473. Pretty similar, right? The big difference is A is at 83rd overall in NFBC ADP while B is at 153rd. That’s Justin Turner and Adrian Beltre, respectively. Yeah, Beltre turns 39 in early April. But I’m done waiting for the other shoe to drop. He’s been incredibly consistent and even set a career-high walk rate last year (10.0 BB%). Don’t be an ageist. Take Beltre and look like a genius when he turns in a strong season.
Matt Chapman, Athletics (Eddy Almaguer)
If you’ll notice, Punk’s blurb regarding Beltre was the ole’ bait-and-switch. We all thought he was targeting Travis Shaw, so Eddy didn’t hesitate to target Beltre as well. But since we generally attempt to target different players, Eddy’s secondary choice is Chapman. Here is part of what Eddy said about Chapman in his three-tier piece from Wednesday:
“One thing to know about Matt Chapman is that he’s a defensive wiz at third base. We’re talking “Probably-the-best-3B-in-the-AL” kind of good. This is going to ensure he gets 150 games this year barring injury. Because of this, Chapman is going to get a chance to hit a ton of bombs. In 133 games last year he hit 30 home runs. In 2015 at High-A he hit 23 in 80 games. In 2016 in Double-A and Triple-A he hit 36 in 135 games. The interesting thing with Chapman is he’s always been a pull-power type of guy, but in his 84-game stint in the majors he only pulled it 34 percent of the time and still got to his power. If he maintains an all fields approach and keeps his power, he could avoid becoming a shift-prone player.”