- Josh Donaldson (Auction $36): Last year's AL MVP, Donaldson is #1 at 3B for me and #5 overall on my big board. Tremendous power in the middle of a great lineup. Everything to like here.
My projections for Donaldson: 104 / 36 / 115 / 5 / 0.276
- Nolan Arenado (Auction $34): Arenado had a huge power surge last season hitting 42 bombs. While Colorado is very accommodating for power bats, this was a big jump that even the most optimistic Arenado fans didn't see coming. I think he can hit 30 again, but I doubt 40. Still, he should be good enough to warrant a first round pick.
My projections for Arenado: 91 / 32 / 110 / 3 / 0.287
- Manny Machado (Auction $33): Like Arenado, Machado also had a massive uptick in power in 2015. I don't think that's the real Machado and I don't think that's what we can expect from him in 2016; but I do think he will be an elite 5 tool 3B option.
My projections for Machado: 96 / 27 / 86 / 18 / 0.286
- Kris Bryant (Auction $29): In some drafts, it will be possible to see all top four 3B options go in the first round. Bryant wasn't necessarily a guy I was targeting last year and I missed out on a huge season. He's a power bat that also has a little SB upside. I still think in his second season his average might struggle a bit, but hitting in a great Cubs lineup, he will have a lot of opportunity for run production.
My projections for Bryant: 90 / 29 / 99 / 11 / 0.273
- Todd Frazier (Auction $18): From Bryant to Frazier, there is a tier change and a reasonable drop off in projected production. After winning the HR derby last year, Frazier had a horrendous finish to 2015 hitting just .220 in the second half. I expect him to bounce back and still have both power and some speed, but not an amazing average.
My projections for Frazier: 78 / 27 / 87 / 11 / 0.254
- Kyle Seager (Auction $17): Seager is about as steady as they come from a production perspective. Now 28, I think Seager had a very high floor with some upside still. 20-25 HR's and 6-12 SB is absolutely something to expect.
My projections for Seager: 77 / 24 / 80 / 7 / 0.267
- Adrian Beltre (Auction $15): Beltre is approaching the end of a potential hall of fame career. Soon to be 37, he's still a productive 3B option. While many may shy away from him in drafts for a younger player, I think he can still be a safe bet for steady production. While he may not be the Beltre of old, he's still in a good Rangers lineup and should still put up a solid average and some power. Just don't touch his head.
My projections for Beltre: 79 / 17 / 81 / 1 / 0.281
- Matt Carpenter (Auction $15): Carpenter really has transformed over the last few seasons. He has gone from a great contact hitter to a power bat at 3B. In 2013 he lead the league in hits while batting .318 with a K% of 13.7. In 2015 he only hit .272, upped his k% to 22.7 but had a huge jump in power to mash 28 HR's. He can seeming do whatever he wants (which is truly impressive) however I can't imagine he's going to go back to being a contact hitter -- chicks dig the long ball. That said, I also don't expect him to belt 28 HR's again either. What I expect is a lot of runs scored at the top of a good lineup with power and speed sprinkled in.
My projections for Carpenter: 95 / 18 / 66 / 4 / 0.273
- Matt Duffy (Auction $15): Duffy is one of my top 3 batters that I'm really high on this year. Check out my take on him here.
My projections for Duffy: 62 / 13 / 70 / 14 / 0.286
- Anthony Rendon (Auction $12): I'm banking on a bit of a bounce back with Rendon this season. All of last year was essentially a wash for him, but lets not forget how successful and on the rise he was in 2014. This kid is only 25, and should be able to score runs in what should be a much better Nationals lineup this season.
My projections for Rendon: 69 / 14 / 65 / 12 / 0.277
- Evan Longoria (Auction $10): Now mostly just a name to me, expectations have been tempered for Longoria. I think he can still produce and give a fantasy team reasonable production, but I'm somewhat certain he will go in drafts a bit earlier than I would be willing to take him by name recognition alone.
My projections for Longoria: 72 / 21 / 74 / 2 / 0.263
- Maikel Franco (Auction $10): In 80 games with the Phillies last year, Franco showed some power, hitting 14 HR's and driving in 50. Now, I don't expect that to double to 28 and 100 in what should be a full season, but I do think he can put up good numbers in 2016.
My projections for Franco: 60 / 19 / 73 / 4 / 0.269
- Mike Moustakas (Auction $9): Moose finally lived up to the hype that had surrounded him for most of his career in 2015. Following down seasons in 13 and 14, his 2015 campaign was solid across the board, hitting both for good power and contact. Some underlying metrics like K%, ISO, and HR/FB ratio are all trending in the right direction. It's very plausible that we can expect a similar Moustakas in 2016.
My projections for Moustakas: 68 / 19 / 74 / 1 / 0.264
- Josh Harrison (Auction $8): Harrison is another guy I'm very high on this year compared to most. Check out my take on Harrison here.
My projections for Harrison: 67 / 9 / 55 / 14 / 0.277
- Daniel Murphy (Auction $7): Murphy is dual eligible at 2B and 3B. Check out what I wrote about Murphy in my second base projections here.
My projections for Murphy: 64 /10 / 60 / 5 / 0.283
- Jung-Ho Kang (Auction $7): In his first year with the Pirates, Kang put up decent numbers. His BABIP coupled with his GB% may have suggested he as a bit lucky with some of his hits, but overall I am projecting him for similar type of production in 2016.
My projections for Kang: 61 /14 / 56 / 4 / 0.280
- Justin Turner (Auction $5): My biggest concern for Turner is playing time. There are a lot of mouths to feed in LA and I think Turner may be the odd man out more than others. If he was on another team and guaranteed more of a starting job, I would probably have him ranked a bit higher.
My projections for Turner: 56 /12 / 58 / 6 / 0.276
- Brett Lawrie (Auction $3): I feel 2016 is the year expectations are finally in line with Lawrie. The last couple of seasons the hype train surrounding him was crazy. Now, the masses seem to have tempered expectations and are projecting him where he should be. If you're going to wait, he will be fine and put up reasonable numbers for a later round 3B.
My projections for Lawrie: 61 /15 / 60 / 3 / 0.262
- Trevor Plouffe (Auction $2): The Twins don't have the most hitter friendly ballpark or the most powerful lineup. They are a younger team and there is a ton of potential, but I think it's tough to predict what to expect. Then there's Plouffe who has been relatively consistent over the last three years. He had a nice ROI in 2015 compared to expectations as he put up 22 HR's, and while I don't think he will reach that level again, I do think he will be fine hitting in the middle of that order.
My projections for Plouffe: 62 /18 / 64 / 2 / 0.251
- Nick Castellanos (Auction $2): Castellanos will likely be hitting in the bottom 3rd of the order and that will limit his run opportunities. He has a reasonable last couple of years and there is upside for 2016, however I don't have him projected all that much higher.
My projections for Castellanos: 51 /16 / 70 / 0 / 0.261
- David Wright (Auction $2): I like the Mets to have another very good year, but much of that will be in spite of Wright. He has only one full season of games played over his last 5 years, and when he is on the field, his skills have declined to a mediocre level. His name value will make him go in drafts higher than he should. Don't bite.
My projections for Wright: 53 /12 / 54 / 3 / 0.274
- Yangervis Solarte (Auction $1): 60 / 11 / 58 / 1 / .268
- Pablo Sandoval (Auction $1): 62 / 11 / 58 / 0 / .268
- Martin Prado (Auction $1): 51 / 8 / 61 / 1 / .278
- Yunel Escobar (Auction $1): 57 / 8 / 51 / 2 / .278
- Danny Valencia (Auction $1): 50 / 14 / 54 / 3 / .255
- Chase Headley (Auction $1): 67 / 12 / 60 / 0 / .252
- Lonnie Chisenhall (Auction $1): 53 / 11 / 49 / 5 / .256
- Adonis Garcia (Auction $1): 42 / 15 / 40 / 0 / .267
- Yasmany Tomas (Auction $1): 41 / 10 / 47 / 4 / .264
- Luis Valbuena (Auction $1): 58 / 17 / 52 / 1 / .235
- Jed Lowrie (Auction $1): 52 / 10 / 50 / 1 / .259
- Jake Lamb (Auction $1): 43 / 8 / 37 / 4 / .266
- Brock Holt (Auction $1): 40 / 3 / 36 / 4 / .278
- Tyler Saladino (Auction $1): 39 / 6 / 32 / 13 / .242
Third base has 4 huge superstars that can go in the first round of your draft. If you don't get one of them, there are still great options in the middle and later rounds. Of all of the positions I will be drafting this year, 3B is one I think I will feel very comfortable no matter who I get.
Check out my other positional breakdowns:
First Base: here
Second Base: here
Third Base: here
Designated Hitter here
Starting Pitching: here
Relief Pitching: Coming soon