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Ranking the top 25 third baseman in fantasy baseball [UPDATE]

We take a look at the third base position, including notable offseason transactions, injury news, and rank out the best options for your 2021 fantasy baseball drafts.

Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians gets ready in the batters box against the Kansas City Royals during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark on March 01, 2021 in Goodyear, Arizona. Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

March 24 update: Eugenio Suarez isn’t shortstop-eligible yet, but it looks like that will be a reality soon. The Cincinnati Reds started Suarez at shortstop multiple times last week, and it appears that will carry over into the regular season. Suarez hasn’t played shortstop with any sort of regularity since 2015, but, defensive concerns aside, this can only help Suarez’s fantasy value. He’s a good buy in the Round 5-6 range.

Maikel Franco isn’t in these rankings — he might have been if this was a top-30 — but after the Baltimore Orioles signed him last week, Franco should be on the radar of owners in deeper leagues. As the Orioles’ probable everyday third baseman, he could be a cheap source of 20-25 home runs. The 28-year-old hit eight HRs and recorded a .778 OPS in 234 at-bats for the Royals last year. Now he gets to call one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks home for 2021.

March 9 update: Alex Bregman, who hasn’t played in a spring training game yet due to a hamstring injury, said over the weekend that he is about 90% healthy. He has been going through full workouts, and the Astros are right to take it slow with him. But the fact that he has been dealing with this issue since January gives me a little trepidation. That said, I’m not quite ready to move him in my 3B ranks. Bregman is at No. 6 until further notice.

Third base has a tantalizing mixture of safe bets and risk-reward propositions for fantasy baseball participants. There are a bunch of studs at the top, headlined by Jose Ramirez. But then you could see the likes of Kris Bryant, Matt Chapman and Josh Donaldson hanging around until the double-digit rounds of your draft. The best course of action here may be to grab Anthony Rendon or Rafael Devers early and then take a chance on one of those bounce-back candidates later.

Offseason transactions

Nolan Arenado was unloaded by the Rockies in February and now calls St. Louis home. Leaving Coors Field will certainly ding Arenado’s batting line, but he should remain a solid producer in the Cardinals’ lineup as he heads into his age-30 season.

It took a while, but Justin Turner ended up re-signing with the Dodgers this winter, as expected. Staying in the middle of one of the best lineups in baseball is good for his fantasy value (#analysis). You can depend on him for a high average and useful run production. His main issue is just staying healthy. But when active, Turner has recorded a 143 OPS+ over the past four years.

Notable injuries

A handful of players at the hot corner — Anthony Rendon, Alex Bregman and Gio Urshela — are working through some minor ailments in early March. Rendon has sat out some game action due to general soreness. Bregman has missed time because of a hamstring injury, and Urshela is working his way back from December surgery to clean up a bone spur in his right elbow. All three should be back on the field soon.

Top 25 3B rankings

Third base rankings 2021

Rank Player Team
Rank Player Team
1 Jose Ramirez Cleveland Indians
2 Manny Machado San Diego Padres
3 Anthony Rendon Los Angeles Angels
4 Rafael Devers Boston Red Sox
5 DJ LeMahieu New York Yankees
6 Alex Bregman Houston Astros
7 Nolan Arenado St. Louis Cardinals
8 Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati Reds
9 Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers
10 Yoan Moncada Chicago White Sox
11 Cavan Biggio Toronto Blue Jays
12 Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
13 Matt Chapman Oakland Athetics
14 Ke'Bryan Hayes Pittsburgh Pirates
15 Alec Bohm Philadelphia Phillies
16 Justin Turner Los Angeles Dodgers
17 Josh Donaldson Minnesota Twins
18 Gio Urshela New York Yankees
19 Tommy Edman St. Louis Cardinals
20 Jean Segura Philadelphia Phillies
21 Andres Gimenez Cleveland Indians
22 Kyle Seager Seattle Mariners
23 Austin Riley Atlanta Braves
24 Brian Anderson Miami Marlins
25 J.D. Davis New York Mets