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Staff Post: Third basemen to target in 2020

The Fake Teams writers tell you their favorite buys at the hot corner.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

It’s been a busy week at Fake Teams, punctuated by the Fake Teams and Friends Draft on Thursday evening. What a blast that was. It’s a star-studded lineup of participants this year.

Anyway, today’s it’s back to the hot corner, as each man among us lists his favorite target at the position. Later today you can expect staff avoids, as well as the next edition of the Friday Fanbag. Big day today!

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays (Jonathan Butler)

NFBC ADP: 57.29

2019 was not the breakout or debut that we all wanted out of Vladito, but I fully expect him to perform up to his true talent level this year. The soon to be 21-year-old was pitched like a big leaguer last year, and over the off-season has majorly slimmed down to a better playing weight. Vlad was only able to muster a launch angle of 6.7 degrees in 2019, but he did have a hard hit rate close to 40% and only struck out 17.7% of the time. Vlad is being drafted as the 57th player off the board, and with a small tweak to his swing he will be smashing baseballs out of ballparks and producing as a top 40 player, easy.

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox (Garrett Atkins)

NFBC ADP: 65.26

The Statcast page for Yoan Moncada is fantasy ecstasy! In 2019, his 92.8 mph average exit velocity was 7th in baseball. He was 92nd percentile hard hit percentage, and 72nd percentile for sprint speed. Then you look at those yummy x-stats! His .362 xwOBA was 6th among third baseman, his .291 xBA was 5th at the position, and his xSLG of .524 was 4th. Even if you look at the raw numbers of 25 homers, 34 doubles, 10 steals, and a .915 OPS...the best is yet to come for the former top MLB prospect.

Wild Card Round - Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics (Mark Abell)

NFBC ADP: 91.26

He had a career year in homers, games played, runs, RBIs, walk rate and strikeout rate. Yet, his BABIP was a full 20 points lower than any other season. I think we get last year’s production but with a batting average more like .270, not .250. You can potentially get a 35+ homer, 180 combined runs and RBIs first baseman outside the top 10.

Minnesota Twins Spring Training Workout Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Josh Donaldson, Twins (Heath Capps)

NFBC ADP: 93.57

There are a lot of routes you can go at third. I happen to really like Matt Chapman, too. Miguel Sano has a ton of power, if that’s the sort of play you need after pick 100. Justin Turner is an MVP-caliber hitter in a great lineup, when healthy. J.D. Davis and Hunter Dozier look like really strong plays..but in a perfect world I’d have them as corner infielders. All that said, this post is about the guy I’m aiming for primarily, and that’s Donaldson. There are a few drafts where I’ve been able to land Moncada’s well-rounded skill set early on. But in the ones where I don’t, I’m content to pass over all other third basemen in between just to take this guy. 35 homers, 100 runs, 100 RBIs, and a .265 average are what I see if he’s healthy. Drafting that production after pick 90 is fantastic.

How about you, fantasy baseballers? Who are your favorite third basemen for 2020?