Draft Jose Ramirez. That's my honest strategy for third base this season. It gets ugly quickly and doesn't offer much depth. If I don’t get Ramirez, I'm shooting for upside with Adalberto Mondesi, which we will talk about further in a bit. Outside of those two, third base might be the position I invest the smallest amount of draft capital in. Alas, we still have to draft someone, right? Maybe the names below will give you enough keep the lineup afloat. And they can be had at very reasonable draft prices.
Here are a few names I’m targeting in drafts at third base.
Adalberto Mondesi, Kansas City Royals
My Rank: 6
NFBC ADP: 58.34
ATC projection: .245, 16 HR, 55 RBI, 66 R, 42 SB, 120 games
The most polarizing player in fantasy baseball. Perhaps ever! Mondesi is going to provide top 30 overall roto production when healthy. But, he might spend half of the season on the IL. How good has he been when he's played, you ask? Since 2018, Mondesi has a 162-game pace of 21 home runs, 83 RBI, 94 runs, and 68 steals. The speed is a big part of his game. He has 114 steals over that four-year stretch, which is fourth in baseball. Trea Turner leads the league with 122 steals in that same time frame. Turner played 491 games, Mondesi just 271 games. The problem has been his health. He's only averaged 68 games a season (though he did play 59 of 60 games in the shortened 2020). Perhaps the move to third base will help. Only time will tell. But if I can get first round value in the sixth round or later, I'm taking that risk 10 times out of 10.
Luis Urias, Milwaukee Brewers
My Rank: 12
NFBC ADP: 159.14
ATC projection: .251, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 69 R, 5 SB, 141 games
Urias had a bit of a breakout last year. He hit .249 with a .789 OPS, 23 home runs, 77 runs, 75 RBI, and five steals in 150 games. This solid stat line is backed up by above average plate discipline. In fact, Urias had a career high 11.1% walk rate and a career low 20.4% strikeout rate. He also had a much better batted ball profile. A 41.8% ground ball rate and 26.2% fly ball rate were both immense improvements. The former top 30 prospect is trending in the right direction as he enters his age 25 season. I'm buying in.
Jeimer Candelario, Detroit Tigers
My Rank: 20
NFBC ADP: 225.07
Steamer projection: .257, 20 HR, 69 RBI, 71 R, 1 SB, 144 games
After you get to a certain point in your draft, sometimes safety and consistency is a better use of a draft pick than a lottery ticket. Candelario is just that. He hit .271 with 16 home runs, 67 RBI, and 75 runs last season. He also led the league in doubles with 42. You can blame Comerica Park for that. He did this despite a very poor month of June. In fact, from July on, Candelario hit .280 with an .878 OPS. That includes 12 homers, 46 RBI, and 45 runs during those final 78 games. He'll have a better lineup around him with additions like Javier Baez and eventually Spencer Torkelson. Candelario can be a solid four category contributor who's currently going outside the top 200.
Josh Jung, Texas Rangers
My Rank: 26
NFBC ADP: 280.63
Steamer projection: .265, 14 HR, 49 RBI, 46 R, 2 SB, 95 games
Now if you want to take a lottery pick at the third base position, Josh Jung is your guy. Jung (pronounced Young) is a former first round draft pick of the Rangers. He hit .326 with a .990 OPS over 78 games between Double-A and Triple-A. That includes 19 home runs and 61 RBI. Oh, and his OPS in Triple-A was actually higher at a monstrous 1.088! He's an offensive force who should be a hot free agent add when called up. He'll also benefit from an improved Rangers lineup with upgrades like Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. If my league has a deep enough bench, I'm drafting Jung and hoping he's in the majors sooner rather than later.