Expectations are that five third baseman will come off the board in the first two rounds, which just highlights how deep this position is. There’s value, variety and vivacious stars everywhere you look. Don’t undervalue elite players, but you should be able to find quality players to fill both your 3B and CI spots. Which third basemen should you target in 2020?
Players are ranked based on Standings Gain Points (SGP) for their projected stats relative to every other player’s projections. You can read more about the idea of SGP here. For these rankings, SGP is calculated assuming a 12-team, 5x5 mixed league with default positions and is based on information from leagues of that type from the last two seasons. My projections are derived from a composite of several projection systems weighted by their accuracy in previous seasons.
1. Nolan Arenado (3B - COL) — ADP: 11.2
It’s surprising to see Arenado fall out of the first round in several NFBC drafts. I get he doesn’t offer the speed the other first-round hitters have, but he excels in literally every other category. I’m more than happy to take him at the turn.
2020 Projection: 102R - 40HR - 115RBI - 3SB - .298 (580 ABs)
2. Jose Ramirez (3B - CLE) — ADP: 19.6
I’m fully buying back in. So much so that I have him ranked as my No. 14 overall player. He was the Jose Ramirez of old in the second half of last season (29-16-48-6-.327 in 165 ABs) and I expect him to pick up where he left off.
2020 Projection: 93R - 30HR - 99RBI - 25SB - .275 (564 ABs)
3. Rafael Devers (3B - BOS) — ADP: 23.4
Expecting a lot of the same from his breakout 2019 season but his non-HR counting stats are going to dip, especially with Mookie Betts out of the lineup. I still think he’s a surefire second-round pick.
2020 Projection: 97R - 32HR - 101RBI - 8SB - .300 (576 ABs)
4. Alex Bregman (3B/SS - HOU) — ADP: 10.4
I’m expecting 2018 Alex Bregman this season, so I’m avoiding the first-round price tag. I expect solid numbers whether he knows what pitch is coming or not, but I’d be more comfortable pairing him with Ronald Acuna, Mike Trout or Christian Yelich as my No. 2 guy instead of starting my team with him.
2020 Projection: 106R - 32HR - 105RBI - 6SB - .286 (549 ABs)
5. Anthony Rendon (3B - LAA) — ADP: 19.4
New face in a new place does scare some people away, but Rendon is as solid as they come. I wouldn’t pay for a repeat of last season’s career year, but I think his 2020 will be better than any season prior to 2019.
2020 Projection: 98R - 29HR - 104RBI - 4SB - .292 (565 ABs)
6. Manny Machado (3B/SS - SD) — ADP: 54.6
If you don’t expect 15 steals and always project a .270 batting average knowing it could be .290 or .250, you’ll be able to appreciate Machado again. He’s a value outside the Top 50, but he’s in a spot where many are drafting pitching. The homers are a lock and I expect improvement in the other non-SB counting stats.
2020 Projection: 91R - 36HR - 101RBI - 7SB - .271 (591 ABs)
7. Josh Donaldson (3B - MIN) — ADP: 94.8
I have Donaldson ranked about 45 spots higher than his ADP. If he’s healthy, he’s going to rake. He’s hitting in the middle of an awesome lineup in Minnesota to boot. A repeat of 2019? Why not?
2020 Projection: 96R - 35HR - 99RBI - 4SB - .264 (538 ABs)
8. Yoan Moncada (3B - CHW) — ADP: 67.4
His .406 BABIP should finish closer to the .340 range in 2020, so expect a significant average drop, but that’s really about it. Everything else about his game is legit. He’s being drafted appropriately.
2020 Projection: 89R - 27HR - 87RBI - 12SB - .268 (586 ABs)
9. Kris Bryant (3B/OF - CHC) — ADP: 47.8
Cubs tax and name value has Bryant being overdrafted by about a round, but he’ll still solid across the board. His run production outclasses most of the other players on the board at this point, but his other numbers aren’t special enough to overpay for.
2020 Projection: 101R - 29HR - 86RBI - 4SB - .274 (565 ABs)
10. Matt Chapman (3B - OAK) — ADP: 88.4
Power totals finally matched the rest of his ascent. I don’t see the home run and RBI totals falling back down to 2018 levels. He’s a bit undervalued.
2020 Projection: 96R - 35HR - 98RBI - 2SB - .257 (571 ABs)
11. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B - TOR) — ADP: 56.2
He’s still being overdrafted, just not as badly as last season. He’s a solid 6th or 7th round player that’s being taken in the 5th. His batting average could be special but everything else can be replicated or bested by several players left on the board.
2020 Projection: 82R - 27HR - 89RBI - 3SB - .295 (553 ABs)
12. Eugenio Suarez (3B - CIN) — ADP: 65.2
Opening day is in question for Suarez as he’s recovering from shoulder surgery. As such I’ve knocked his projection totals down slightly to account for maybe missing the March portion of the regular season.
2020 Projection: 83R - 35HR - 95RBI - 3SB - .262 (533 ABs)
13. Yulieski Gurriel (1B/3B - HOU) — ADP: 133.4
His homers are going to come down, but everything else is legit. The home run spike finally got him the fantasy attention he deserved yet somehow he’s still undervalued.
2020 Projection: 79R - 23HR - 92RBI - 5SB - .291 (574 ABs)
14. D.J. LeMahieu (1B/2B/3B - NYY) — ADP: 64.0
LeMahieu is still a better real life player than fantasy player, but had an amazing first season in the Bronx. He fits in well at any of his eligible positions. Expect a drop in home runs and regression from his .327 batting average. Otherwise, he’ll continue to be a better version of the player he was in Colorado.
2020 Projection: 94R - 19HR - 75RBI - 6SB - .288 (605 ABs)
15. Jeff McNeil (2B/3B/OF - NYM) — ADP: 96.0
As everyone waited for McNeil to regress late in the season, he simply decided he didn’t want to. While I expect some small regression in the power stats, he should be able to maintain the high batting average and add about 10 more runs to his season total from last year.
2020 Projection: 91R - 20HR - 71RBI - 8SB - .295 (594 ABs)
16. Max Muncy (1B/2B/3B - LAD) — ADP: 74.2
Projection systems have him dipping below the 90-run and 90-RBI marks. Everything else seems on par. Only issue I have is the runs total, which I can see pushing 100 for the second straight season. This is where the SGP puts him value-wise (partly because of his under-500 ABs), but given his triple-eligibility and high ceiling for runs, his current ADP is 100% justifiable.
2020 Projection: 88R - 33HR - 88RBI - 4SB - .251 (495 ABs)
17. Mike Moustakas (2B/3B - CIN) — ADP: 103.0
I don’t see why he can’t just replicate last season’s numbers and add a few more RBIs. It’s possible he spikes to 40 home runs at Great American Ball Park, but I think the projection below is quite safe.
2020 Projection: 80R - 35HR - 95RBI - 3SB - .256 (563 ABs)
18. Miguel Sano (3B - MIN) — ADP: 130.0
Power for days and will be 1B eligible in April. A solid CI piece if you’re punting batting average or need to boost your power numbers.
2020 Projection: 82R - 38HR - 94RBI - 1SB - .244 (504 ABs)
19. Justin Turner (3B - LAD) — ADP: 153.0
Solid everywhere except steals. Might hit third in an amazing lineup. He’d fit in a CI spot on any fantasy team.
2020 Projection: 80R - 24HR - 79RBI - 3SB - .281 (540 ABs)
20. Eduardo Escobar (2B/3B - ARI) — ADP: 114.2
I’m buying some significant regression here, but I’m still expecting a better season than any he had before 2019. His 15.2 percent HR-to-fly-ball ratio will drop significantly (probably near his career average of 10-11%), but as long as you’re not paying for last year’s numbers you’ll be happy.
2020 Projection: 80R - 26HR - 90RBI - 4SB - .259 (590 ABs)
21. Scott Kingery (3B/OF - PHI) — ADP: 185.4
A 20-20 guy with multi-position eligibility? Sign me up. He’s just outside of the Top 150 for me and I’d be more than happy to have him at CI or as a fourth OF. There’s some risk that if he starts slow the Phillies may not let him work through it. But his upside is significant. I’ll take the risk.
2020 Projection: 71R - 20HR - 68RBI - 19SB - .250 (553 ABs)
22. Tommy Edman (2B/3B - STL) — ADP: 143.6
The Cardinals aren’t going to trade for Nolan Arenado or find someone to replace Marcell Ozuna so Edman’s got an everyday spot. Aside from the next player on this list, this is the steals and batting average portion of the 2B rankings.
2020 Projection: 68R - 13HR - 54RBI - 19SB - .278 (561 ABs)
23. Brian Anderson (3B/OF - MIA) — ADP: 280.6
A really solid player that deserves more credit than he gets playing in Miami. A bench option I’m targeting that can fill-in on off days.
2020 Projection: 75R - 22HR - 76RBI - 5SB - .264 (572 ABs)
24. Hunter Dozier (3B/OF - KC) — ADP: 179.2
I’m essentially projecting him to repeat last season’s numbers with batting average regression. He’s just inside my Top 200.
2020 Projection: 73R - 24HR - 81RBI - 5SB - .252 (571 ABs)
25. Ryan McMahon (2B/3B - COL) — ADP: 203.8
I never trust the Rockies to give the proper players playing time so I’m cautious here. There’s significantly more upside than what the projections show, but even at CI I’d be a little wary.
2020 Projection: 68R - 23HR - 78RBI - 5SB - .262 (474 ABs)
26. J.D. Davis (3B/OF - NYM) — ADP: 186.6
2020 Projection: 64R - 23HR - 69RBI - 3SB - .271 (435 ABs)
27. Gio Urshela (3B - NYY) — ADP: 236.8
2020 Projection: 65R - 18HR - 69RBI - 2SB - .279 (502 ABs)
28. Starlin Castro (2B/3B - WSH) — ADP: 280.2
2020 Projection: 61R - 18HR - 70RBI - 3SB - .278 (486 ABs)
29. Hanser Alberto (2B/3B - BAL) — ADP: 363.5
2020 Projection: 65R - 13HR - 57RBI - 5SB - .289 (550 ABs)
30. Kyle Seager (3B - SEA) — ADP: 314.8
2020 Projection: 67R - 25HR - 77RBI - 3SB - .239 (531 ABs)
31. Yandy Diaz (1B/3B - TB) — ADP: 297.2
2020 Projection: 66R - 15HR - 60RBI - 4SB - .274 (508 ABs)
32. Evan Longoria (3B - SF) — ADP: 356.7
2020 Projection: 60R - 20HR - 70RBI - 3SB - .251 (521 ABs)
33. David Fletcher (2B/3B/SS/OF - LAA) — ADP: 302.0
2020 Projection: 69R - 6HR - 51RBI - 8SB - .282 (500 ABs)
34. Maikel Franco (3B - KC) — ADP: 436.8
2020 Projection: 54R - 20HR - 63RBI - 1SB - .256 (398 ABs)
35. Todd Frazier (3B - TEX) — ADP: 495.5
2020 Projection: 59R - 20HR - 64RBI - 3SB - .241 (424 ABs)
36. Colin Moran (3B - PIT) — ADP: 468.5
2020 Projection: 53R - 15HR - 65RBI - 1SB - .271 (451 ABs)
37. Tommy La Stella (2B/3B - LAA) — ADP: 295.0
2020 Projection: 56R - 14HR - 57RBI - 2SB - .280 (382 ABs)
38. Matt Carpenter (3B - STL) — ADP: 344.2
2020 Projection: 64R - 19HR - 56RBI - 5SB - .238 (450 ABs)
39. Travis Shaw (3B - TOR) — ADP: 402.8
2020 Projection: 55R - 20HR - 60RBI - 3SB - .233 (374 ABs)
40. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (3B/OF - TB) — ADP: N/A
2020 Projection: 53R - 22HR - 63RBI - 0SB - .248 (400 ABs)
41. Jeimer Candelario (1B/3B - DET) — ADP: 496.5
2020 Projection: 54R - 15HR - 55RBI - 3SB - .237 (393 ABs)
42. Jake Lamb (1B/3B - ARI) — ADP: 452.3
2020 Projection: 49R - 16HR - 53RBI - 3SB - .230 (395 ABs)
43. Marwin Gonzalez (1B/3B/OF - MIN) — ADP: 386.2
2020 Projection: 42R - 12HR - 45RBI - 1SB - .269 (312 ABs)
44. Rio Ruiz (3B - BAL) — ADP: 609.0
2020 Projection: 45R - 13HR - 48RBI - 2SB - .247 (421 ABs)
45. Joey Wendle (2B/3B - TB) — ADP: 466.3
2020 Projection: 39R - 6HR - 35RBI - 9SB - .258 (329 ABs)
46. Jon Berti (3B/SS/OF - MIA) — ADP: 299.2
2020 Projection: 34R - 5HR - 25RBI - 15SB - .249 (281 ABs)
47. Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/3B - WSH) — ADP: 350.8
2020 Projection: 40R - 10HR - 40RBI - 2SB - .264 (288 ABs)
48. Jedd Gyorko (3B - MIL) — ADP: 777.0
2020 Projection: 36R - 12HR - 40RBI - 3SB - .246 (297 ABs)
49. Brandon Drury (3B/OF - TOR) — ADP: 662.5
2020 Projection: 40R - 11HR - 41RBI - 3SB - .240 (334 ABs)
50. David Bote (2B/3B - CHC) — ADP: 496.5
2020 Projection: 34R - 9HR - 35RBI - 4SB - .244 (266 ABs)