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.
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.
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
|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|