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2019 Fantasy Baseball: Third Base Sleepers

The third base position may be really deep this season, but there is still a lot of value to be had later on in drafts.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Third base has become one of the deepest positions in the fantasy game, but there is still a lot of value to be had later on in the draft. If you miss out on some of the elite guys early on in your draft or need to fill out that corner infield spot with some potential breakout stars, then these guys could be what you are looking for.

Brian Anderson, Miami Marlins (ADP: 272.8)

Anderson may be the only fantasy-relevant hitter in the Marlins lineup. He hits the ball extremely hard but struggles to hit it in the air, and he plays in the second-worst hitter’s park behind Oracle Park. Last season his contact improved immensely and he even started swinging outside the zone a little less. He will be a high BABIP player due to his ability to make consistent hard contact, but he will struggle to reach the 20-homer mark if adjustments aren’t made. Anderson will only be 25 years old to start the season and has the potential to become a breakout star.

Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies (ADP: 296.0)

Honestly, I still don’t know how I feel about Franco’s fantasy value. With his raw power, high amount of batted ball events, and one of the best hitter’s parks in the league, Franco is a legitimate threat to put up 30 home runs, but he doesn’t come without concerns. It is still unclear if Franco will be the starting third baseman on Opening Day, with Scott Kingery on the bench and Manny Machado still available. But I am mostly concerned about his lack of plate discipline. He has always been able to keep his strikeouts at a minimum, but that also comes with a very aggressive approach that causes a lot more soft contact than expected. This has caused him to post a .263 career BABIP, which is well below average. With an ADP close to 300, however, Franco still seems like a quality sleeper as he looks really similar to another third baseman in Mike Moustakas.

Johan Camargo, Atlanta Braves (ADP: 325.1)

I was all ready to take Camargo in all my drafts this offseason until the Braves decided to ruin my excitement by signing the AL’s former MVP in Josh Donaldson. Last season, Camargo started to show signs of a breakout with a .272/.349/.457 slash and 115 wRC+. With a 33.4% hard contact rate on last season and a healthy amount of fly balls, there is no question that Camargo has the potential to hit 20+ home runs. He has an aggressive approach at the plate that should help keep his strikeout rate below 20.0%, and he should be a high BABIP player as well. Camargo will likely come off the bench in a super-utility role in 2019 and could accumulate a decent amount of at-bats as more players start to need days off. With an ADP outside the Top 300, I am fine with drafting Camargo and keeping him on my bench as the season progresses.

Colin Moran, Pittsburgh Pirates (ADP: 479.4)

I was all in on Colin Moran and Ryan McMahon last season, and both fell short of my expectations. Moran’s fly ball improvements he made at Triple-A in 2017 were the cause for my excitement. Sadly, that fly ball rate dropped 11.0% in his first season with the Pirates, and lead to an unimpressive 11 home runs in 465 plate appearances. With a 35.3% hard contact rate according to Statcast, however, there is still a lot of power upside coming from the Pirates third baseman. With his ability to barrel the ball and make consistent contact, Moran is a legitimate threat to post a batting average lingering around .300. With his skills, Moran is a steal with an ADP approaching 500.

Jung-Ho Kang, Pittsburgh Pirates (ADP: 523.2)

Kang missed all of last season due to his off-the-field issues that lead to him being detained in his home country of South Korea. But there is no denying his ability. His raw power is quite impressive, as he has a hard contact rate on over 40.0%. He makes a decent amount of contact and has solid plate discipline, so he should have a batting average above .260. He will likely be in a platoon with Moran to start the season, but is an exciting fantasy option to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Be sure to check out the rest of Third Base Week!