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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Prospects: Top 10 Third Basemen


The third base position has some interesting names including a few that could develop into impact big league players. But it’s not an overly deep position in terms of established prospects. With that said, the 2019 amateur draft saw a number of intriguing amateurs turn pro so we may have more to get excited about as they establish themselves in pro ball.

Veteran MLB third basemen provided a plethora of strong offensive performances in 2019 — which shouldn’t be overly surprising considering that the position features a lot of strong players that would have greeted the juiced ball from 2019 with open arms. So there just aren’t a lot of openings at the hot corner around baseball right now so the rookies listed below will have to force their way into big league playing time.

We began this look at the top prospects at each position a few weeks ago and previously reviewed the catchers, first basemen, second basemen, and shortstops. Let’s see how the third basemen stack up against their peers.

 

Top 10 Third Base Prospects

1. Alec Bohm, Phillies, MLB ETA: 2021

Playing in just his first full season after being drafted third overall in 2018, Bohm rocketed through three minor league levels and provided excellent overall numbers. He has the raw power to be an impactful third baseman but he showed more than just home-run potential. Bohm showed an excellent approach as a hitter with a BB-K of 57-73 in 125 games. He also isn’t afraid to use the whole field and shoot for the gaps. There is some concern that Bohm won’t be able to stick at the hot corner long-term but he’s also a taller player and they often take a little longer to learn to control their bodies so hold out hope.

2. Nolan Jones, Indians, MLB ETA: 2021

If we were considering players’ overall games, you could argue that Jones should be listed No. 1 given that he holds a defensive edge over Bohm but a player’s fielding skills have little relevancy in fantasy baseball. Jones has a lot of raw power but he hit just 15 home runs in 2019 because he has yet to fully embrace the “launch angle revolution” and still hits more balls on the ground than you’d like to see from a relatively slow-footed third baseman. Although he struck out an eye-popping 148 times in 2019 while splitting the year between High-A and Double-A, Jones also walked an impressive 96 times so he’ll have added value in leagues that reward the free pass.

3. Sheldon Neuse, Athletics, MLB ETA: 2020

Neuse finally had the big breakout season we were all waiting for — aided by the juiced balls. The strikeouts were down and the walks were up. He’s very strong and has regularly produced massive line-drive rates throughout his career. When he gets the ball in the air, good things happen.  After hitting just five home runs in 2018, he went deep 27 times in 2019. Neuse also earns additional value for having versatility. Blocked at the MLB level by Matt Chapman, the prospect played four different positions and actually did a respectable job at second base. After two years in Triple-A, he should be well-positioned to spend 2020 in the Majors.

4. Josh Jung, Rangers, MLB ETA: 2022

Prior to the 2019 amateur draft, I had Jung ranked as the fourth-best college hitter behind Andrew Vaughn (White Sox), Adley Rutschman (Orioles), and J.J. Bleday (Marlins). I suggested that the Reds should consider him at seventh overall despite the presence of Jonathan India in their system. They passed but the Rangers took him with the next selection. Jung’s advanced approach to hitting carried over to his pro ball debut although he failed to tap into his above-average raw power with just two home runs in 44 games. Expect a lot more power in 2020 as he gets comfortable with his new vocation. He’s a threat to hit for power and average, while also producing impressive BB-K rates.

5. Nolan Gorman, Cardinals, MLB ETA: 2022

Gorman has already received a fair bit of hype because of his prodigious power but some of the shine is already starting to come off as he battles sky-high strikeout rates and struggles to make consistent contact. He struck out 152 times in 125 games in 2019 while taking just 45 free passes. His power output also dipped. Gorman hit 17 home runs in 63 games during his debut in 2018 but followed that up with just 15 in 2019. He was especially ineffective after being promoted to High-A ball where he hit just five home runs in 58 games and posted a BB-K of 13-73. He should return to that level in 2020 with something to prove.

6. Kody Hoese, Dodgers, MLB ETA: 2022

Hoese was another player that I was really high on in the 2019 amateur draft. I advocated for him to go as high as 20th overall as the third-best third baseman available. The Dodgers snapped him up with the 25th overall selection and his addition to a strong development system only increases the likelihood that he’ll realize his full potential. Hoese has shown the ability to control the strike zone well for a power hitter, which should help him hit for a high average and produce a good number of walks. He also has 20+ home run potential.

7. Abraham Toro, Astros, MLB ETA: 2020

It took a little while for this previously-raw native of Canada to develop his tools but he broke out in a big way and then forced his way into playing time at the big league level late in the 2019 season. Toro has always had a good feel for the strike zone and should continue to pile up walks but he’s probably not a .300 hitter going forward. Despite that fact, he’s gotten stronger and now projects to have the ability to hit at least 20 home runs in his prime. Toro is not a great fielder but he has a very strong arm. He played every infield position but shortstop in 2019 so he should provide versatility, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him tried in the outfield.

8. Brett Baty, Mets, MLB ETA: 2023

The Mets’ 2019 first-round selection, Baty had a good-not-great pro debut. He showed why he’s expected to produce a lot of power at the MLB level but the young third baseman also had a lot of swing-and-miss to his game with 56 strikeouts in 42 games. Baty offset that to a degree with a healthy number of walks but I’m remaining cautious about his future potential until we see how he handles his full-season debut in 2020. He has as much offensive potential as Josh Jung and Kody Hoese but he has a higher flameout risk.

9. Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates, MLB ETA: 2020

Hayes has been among the top third base prospects in baseball since being selected in the first round of the 2015 draft because of his above-average athleticism but he failed to build off of his breakout 2018 season. He had a disappointing first half of the year and also missed time in June due to injury. When he returned, though, Hayes hit very well in the final two months of the minor league season but it wasn’t enough to earn some big league playing time in September. On offense, he does a little bit of everything but hasn’t shown a plus tool in any one area. He could hit for a respectable average while producing 15 home runs, a healthy number of walks and 10-12 steals,

10. Bobby Dalbec, Red Sox, MLB ETA: 2020

Dalbec squeezes onto the Top 10 because the Red Sox’s prospect has shown the ability to produce above-average power while taking a lot of walks. He went deep 27 times in 2019 while playing at both Double-A and Triple-A after hitting 32 home runs the previous season. He also took 73 free passes in 135 games. Dalbec prescribes to the grip-it-and-rip-it method of hitting so he’ll likely never hit for a strong average. He spent time at both third base and first base in 2019 so that will help his fantasy value if he remains dual-eligible at the big league level.

Just Missed: Jonathan India (Reds), Colton Welker (Rockies), Luis Toribio (Giants), Isaac Paredes (Tigers)

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