2020 Fantasy Baseball: ADP Report - Third Basemen & Outfielders

Shawn Childs

ADP Reports: C & 1B | 2B & SS | 3B & OF | SP & CL

Third Basemen ADP Report

Last year 15 players hit 30 home runs or more at third base, with eight of these players qualifying at other positions. Eugenio Suarez led the way with 49 home runs and 103 RBI while Nolan Arenado (.315/102/41/118/3) remains the rock in the front of the third base pool. 

Eight players scored over 100 runs, and eight players delivered over 100 RBI. 

Anthony Rendon (.319/117/34/126/5) and Rafael Devers (.311/129/32/115/8) had the most significant step forward at third base.

In 2018, five third basemen had 100 runs or more, and five players drove in over 100 runs. Ten batters had over 30 home runs.

Here’s a grid showing the final stats for 2019 for the top 12 players at each position and their value ranked by SIscore:

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Last year the average of the top 12 third basemen hit .289 with 92 runs, 32 home runs, 92 RBI, and six stolen bases over 512 at-bats. The third base position ranked third in overall hitter value.

Here are the projections (7/16) for the top 12 third basemen at Sports Illustrated ranked by SIscore:

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The stats highlighted by the yellow line show the average projections (.286 with 35 runs, 11 home runs, 34 RBI, and four steals over 203 at-bats) for the top 12 third basemen in 2020.

Here’s a look at the top 12 third basemen by 2020 ADP in five NFBC Main Events in July:

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Fantasy owners will have plenty of good looking options to choose from at third base over the first 100 draft picks. The only player with some concern is Eugenio Suarez, who is recovering from right shoulder surgery in late January. He’s coming off a career year. Saurez does benefit from the layoff to get healthy.

The combination of speed and power pushed Jose Ramirez ahead of Nolan Arenado in all drafts in July. Ramirez missed 33 games last year, which led to a regression in his stats (.255 with 68 runs, 23 HRs, 83 RBI, and 24 SBs over 482 at-bats). His batting average could rebound in a big way with a floor of 25 home runs and 20 steals.

Nolan Arenado has one of the most secure skill sets in baseball. Over the past five seasons, he hit .300 while averaging 104 runs, 40 home runs, 125 RBI, and three steals. Arenado has somewhat been overlooked thanks to his high upside in power and batting average.

The extensive “competitive advantage” program run over the last few seasons by Houston has hurt the attraction of Alex Bregman. His approach is exceptionable while playing in a top-scoring lineup. Bregman gains extra value by qualifying also at shortstop. Don’t sleep at the wheel as he has league-leading upside in batting average with more speed on his major league resume.

The Mike Trout (if he plays) effort should lead to follow through for Anthony Rendon in 2020. His swing continues to improve with possible growth in power based on his 88 doubles hit in 2018 and 2019. Rendon should see a sharp pullback in runs unless some of the Angels' batters behind him in the batting order have career seasons. 

Since the Mookie Betts trade, Rafael Devers has lost some luster in drafts. His growth in 2019 may only be a glimpse of his overall package. His runs and RBI don't look repeatable this year unless Devers pushes his home run total over 40, which is possible.

The two biggest wild cards at the top end of the third base list are Vladimir Guerrero and Yoan Moncada. 

Guerrero has the talent to be a batting average beast in his second year in the league, with the strength to be a difference-maker in power. The Blue Jays have two young talented players hitting in front of him, which should create plenty of RBI chances.

Last season Moncada had one of the highest averages in baseball when he put the ball in play. If he can shave off some strikeouts and add his minor league speed to his resume, he has the making of a first-round draft pick over the next few seasons. Don’t forget that he had impact steals on his minor league resume (111 over 1,042 at-bats). Moncada was late arriving at camp with possible ties to Covid-19.

The sexiness of Kris Bryant looks to be gone even after a productive year. Fantasy owners have grown tired of his short RBIs and never developing into that stud power bat. His ADP (55) does make him more attractive. 

Matt Chapman has 40-plus home run upside, which should lead to 100 or more runs and RBI if baseball played a full season. His batting average is trailing, but I don’t view it to be a huge liability. A fantasy owner picking him up as the 12th third base option should be ecstatic this year.

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There is a cliff at third base, which probably comes after Yuli Gurriel for me.

Miguel Sano has a natural attraction due to his immense power, but his free-swinging style does invite some batting average risk. He offsets some of that downside by hitting for a high batting average when he puts the ball in play. 

I’m a fan of Yuli Gurriel, but a season of repeated power would be a lot to ask. A fantasy owner needs to proceed with caution while being ready to make a bet on him if he slides to the backend of his ADP. Gurriel would have a .280/20/80 floor if baseball played a full season.

I’ve heard multiple people talk about the value of Justin Turner. I get attraction, but I don’t see 550 at-bats based on his recent career path. The Dodgers will rotate in other players, plus Turner will spend some time on the injured list.

J.D. Davis was an ADP riser over the winter, but his momentum slowed after suffering a left shoulder injury in late February. He has a big power bat that needs to be in the lineup every day for New York. The addition of the DH in the National Leagues is a big win for Davis in 2020.

The power/speed combination of Scott Kingery works at third base, and he is going to qualify at second base early in the year. The key to his growth will be better command of the strike zone. 

Outfielders ADP Report

Last year 24 players hit 30 home runs or more that qualified as outfielders. The best player at the position was Ronald Acuna (.280 with 127 runs, 41 home runs, 101 RBI, and 37 steals over 626 at-bats), highlighted with a SIscore of +12.36. Jorge Soler finished with the most home runs (48) and RBI (117). 

Twelve players scored over 100 runs, and eight players delivered over 100 RBI. 

In 2018, nine outfielders scored 100 runs or more, and four players drove in over 100 runs. Nine batters had over 30 home runs.

Here’s a grid showing the final stats for 2019 for the top 12 players at each position and their value ranked by SIscore:

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Last year the average of the top 12 outfielders hit .291 with 105 runs, 37 home runs, 98 RBI, and 14 stolen bases over 549 at-bats. The outfield position ranked first in overall hitter value.

Here are the projections (7/16) for the top 12 outfielders at Sports Illustrated ranked by SIscore:

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The stats highlighted by the yellow line show the average projections (.301 with 39 runs, 12 home runs, 31 RBI, and nine steals over 208 at-bats) for the top 12 outfielders in 2020.

Here’s a look at the top 12 outfielders by 2020 ADP in five NFBC Main Event drafts in July:

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Ronald Acuna remains the consensus number one pick in fantasy baseball drafts. His ability to deliver impact power and speed set him apart from the top players in the game. He does strikeout too much while not looking sharp in spring training (3-for-26 with no HRs, two RBI, and 12 strikeouts). Acuna plays the game hard, which does invite some injury risk while chasing down fly balls. With a better approach in 2020, his batting average should push higher.

Over the last week, Mike Trout fell to a mid-round first-round pick while fantasy owners wait for him to commit to the 2020 baseball season. He will also miss some time in August when his wife gives birth. His game remains elite, but fantasy owners don’t trust his value in stolen bases. I expect Trout to run more with a chance to set a career-high in offensive production. The addition of Anthony Rendon does improve the quality of the Angels’ starting lineup.

If Christian Yelich didn’t miss time last year due to a knee cap issue, he would have been worth more to a fantasy team than Acuna. His swing path continues to improve, leading to fewer ground balls and more fly balls. His game has reached a level where he should be trusted to hit over 40 home runs with 25 steals while adding a sure edge in batting average. I get the sense he’s on a Barry Bonds path without the juice.

The move to the NL may hurt Mookie Betts some in power, but he’ll still get on-base often. The Dodgers have a great supporting cast, and the escape from Boston may be a relief off his shoulders. Betts is in a contract year, so his stats should be top shelf in 2020.

The fantasy market has stated their case for Juan Soto over the early part of March and in the July draft season. He’s a lockdown first-round pick with one of the best approaches in the game at age 21. In 2019, he added some speed to the equation, and his batting average and power should push him to stud levels this season. 

In the early draft season, Bryce Harper could have been had in the third round in many drafts. Over the last week, Harper has an ADP of 21. His bat looked sharp in March (8-for-16 with three HRs, 11 RBI, and three SBs). He seems motivated to put his name back in the best player in the game conversation. There’s a lot to like here, especially if he improves his approach. 

For jump street, Starling Marte has been a targeted piece to a fantasy team in the second round of drafts. The move to Arizona should be a plus, and his base skill set points to a foundation of 25 home runs and 25 steals.

J.D. Martinez remains one of the better high average power bats in the game, but the inventory has improved in front of him in drafts. His lack of speed does push his draft value down a couple of spots. 

For a fantasy owner looking for impact speed in the fifth round of drafts, Victor Robles should be a target. His best value would come batting leadoff, but Washington will make him hit his way up the lineup. Some of the public is down on him due to his low hard-hit rate last year. It showed that he needs to get stronger, and many aren’t pricing in some improvement in his second year in the league. I see 50-plus steals with about 15 home runs if he played a full season of games.

Charlie Blackmon slid 17 slots in the draft rankings after contracting Covid-19 in early July. The Rockies expect him to be ready for opening day.

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Aaron Judge lost 40 spots off his ADP (69) in March while battling injuries. He’s on my avoid list until I get a clear update on his return to the field, which hasn't happened in July.

At the same time, Giancarlo Stanton is slipping. His ADP (81) fell by 26 picks since the end of February. His outlook isn’t as bad as Judge, and Stanton does look healthier in July. A great source of power, but I view him as a wild card in drafts.

Last year fantasy owners saw an impactful end to the year for Eloy Jimenez. He looks poised to offer an edge in batting average with a high floor and ceiling in power. His only question comes with his ability to stay healthy. Jimenez looks to be a value based on his ADP (65).

The best-balanced players in the second outfield grouping come from Ramon Laureano, Tommy Pham, and Luis Robert.

Pham takes plenty of walks while adding value in steals. His low fly-ball rate does limit his explosiveness in power.

The A’s will hit Laureano second in the batting order, which is a win for him in runs. His resume gives him a chance at a 30/30 type skill set. At the very least, a fantasy owner should expect plenty of home runs and steals with a neutral batting average.

The new kid on the block is Luis Robert. His speed should be trusted more than his power out of the gate. He doesn’t take many walks, which hurts his chance to hit at the top of the batting order early in his career. I expect him to hit the ground running with a chance at a 25/25 skill set. Robert played well in March at spring training (10-for-30 with one home run, two RBI, and three steals).

Nick Castellanos looks to be on the verge of a big season in power. Last year he finished 58 doubles and 27 home runs. The change to Cincinnati should be a win for him in power. His ADP (77) moved up about 20 draft picks since the start of March.

In the second grouping of outfielders, Jorge Soler is the player climbing in drafts over the first half of March, but he lost all of his gains in the high-stakes market in early July. Soler underperformed for most of his early career in the majors, but his previous resume supported his power growth.

The upside in power for Franmil Reyes led to him moving up 19 drafts slots in early March with follow-through in July (+25.5 draft spots). The Indians will have him in the lineup almost every day, leading to a run at 40-plus home runs. 

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Conforto was expected to miss the start due to an oblique issue, which led to ADP fade in March. His draft value continues to slide in July (ADP – 134) in the high-stakes due to fantasy owners more willing to push up starting pitching and closers.

Andrew Benintendi looks to be the go-to guy for a balanced skill set, but there hasn’t been much movement in his draft value (ADP – 123).

The opening day starting lineup for the Cubs should have Kyle Schwarber batting cleanup while also gaining more chances with the DH added to the National League. His bat has plenty of power while needing to improve his batting average. Schwarber looked on the verge of a 40/100 season.

Byron Buxton had surgery on his left shoulder on September 10th. He just started taking batting practice on March 10th. I trust his speed more than his power while looking to avoid him as a target on draft day. Buxton suffered an ankle in mid-July, which may end up being minor.

David Dahl gained over a round of draft value in July, but his name popped on the injury report this week with a core issue. I like his upside while understanding his injury risk.

Before last year, Bryan Reynolds hit the ball hard often, but he lacked the loft and strength to be productive in home runs. His growth with Pittsburgh in 2019 should be repeated this year while adding more volume to his chances. He’ll hit in the right part of the batting order with batting average expected to be an asset. Reynolds has the look of an 80/20/80 hitter in his sophomore campaign. 

Willie Calhoun took a pitch to the face in spring training, which led to jaw surgery. His value took another hit in July after suffering a hip injury. Calhoun should start the year on the injured list.

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Kyle Tucker comes into 2020 with repeated questions with his ability to get everyday at-bats and hit in a favorable part of the batting order. He has two years under his belt at AAA with the game to be a 30/30 player. Houston has to find a way to give him maximum playing time. The late reporting of Yordan Alvarez should be a big win for Tucker.

Mallex Smith is the double speed guy in this area of the draft, where a fantasy owner that loaded up with power will try to get out in speed with one-stop shopping. His bat has been quiet in March (5-for-24 with eight Ks). 

Yasiel Puig signed with the Braves, which would have created an intriguing opportunity. Unfortunately, a case of Covid-19 led to him not signing his deal. Puig should sign somewhere, but he’ll miss some time to start the year.

As tempting as Nick Senzel might be, I’m going to pass on him this year. His game and upside project well and the Reds would love him to seize a top of the order opportunity. I’m always cautious with players coming off shoulder injuries. Last September, Senzel had his left shoulder surgery to fix a torn labrum issue. Just by getting back on the field, his ADP (198) moved up 14 picks since early March.

Justin Upton lost momentum in his draft value this year due to an injury-prone season in 2019. He’ll hit behind Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, which will give him plenty of RBI chances. With a full season of at-bats, Upton should have some batting average risk with 80-plus, 30-plus home runs, 90-plus RBI, and a run at double-digit steals. His ADP (210) looks favorable.

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