Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Prospects: 3B (2021)
As of late, fantasy managers in their drafts can wait to fill their third base and corner infield slot late in drafts and be totally fine. The hot corner has an embarrassment of riches for fantasy purposes, and the third base prospects look to keep that alive for years to come.
While it’s not as loaded throughout as shortstop, it does have the two top FYPD choices at No. 1 and No. 2, and it has solid contributors for fantasy after that.
It is, though, filled with polarizing talent, and the feedback you get on a player will depend on the analyst you talk to, as there’s a lot of hit-and-miss potential with the players listed below.
We’ll take a look at the top five third base prospects for fantasy purposes, what they bring to the table, and when they will arrive.
A quick note first before we dive in, though. As always, with dynasty leagues, it’s hard to have a one-size-fits-all approach, as league setups are different, as are teams as far as contention windows. The approach taken with these pieces highlights the top prospects overall at the position for fantasy, with a nod to those who are closer to contributing at the big-league level. It won’t, though, elevate someone like Royce Lewis above Marco Luciano due to proximity.
Let’s get to it.
“Torkelson is the clear No. 1 choice not only in his FYPD class, but at his position, as well. Torkelson has the highest floor and ceiling at his position, with a .275-.280 average and about 30-35 homers during his peak.”
ETA: The thought with Torkelson is that he’ll be in the big leagues toward the end of 2021 or 2022. General Manager Al Avila said in a recent interview with WXYT-FM that he’d likely begin the season in High-A, but “I don’t want to be held to that.” The Tigers were aggressive during the shortened 2020 season with prospects Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal.
Note: What’s interesting with Torkelson is that he was announced as a third baseman on draft day when the Tigers selected him. It doesn’t matter much for fantasy purposes, but third base is so deep that having the first base eligibility would elevate his stock for the short term.
Austin Martin (3B/OF – TOR)
The Player: He has the best hit tool in the draft, and he showcased it over a stellar career at Vanderbilt. Martin probably has the safest floor for fantasy on this list, too. The question is where he will play, as the Blue Jays are loaded with young talent for the foreseeable future. Third base or outfield makes the most sense right away, with second base looking like his career destination. You’re looking at .303 with 22 home runs and 16 steals. He’s really safe.
MLB Comp: Christian Yelich
Note: Martin could become super valuable when he gets called up, as he could get eligibility in the outfield, third base, second base, and possibly even shortstop. That’s added value for daily lineups.
Jordan Groshans (3B/SS – TOR)
The Player: Another Blue Jay on the list, and another Blue Jay who doesn’t have a true home, except somewhere on the left side of the diamond. Injuries have sunk his perceived value a bit, but he’s a starting third baseman for real-life purposes and fantasy purposes, thanks to his offensive skill set. He’ll offer a handful of steals, but his value comes with his plus-raw power. His line should look like .295 with 30 homers and 8 steals.
MLB Comp: Josh Donaldson
Note: 2021 will be a big year for Groshans after a lost 2020 and an injury-plagued 2019. He could rise fast, and this may be your last chance to get him for a below-market price.
Nolan Jones (3B – CLE)
The Player: Jones has the type of power that makes you want to watch batting practice to see how far he will hit them. The issue with Jones – if you want to call it that – is that he is maybe too selective at the plate. He’s going to take a ton of walks, but he’ll also hold off swinging at hittable pitches while at the plate. He’s a cleanup hitter in the making with something to the tune of .268, 35 home runs, and a 13 BB%.
Note: With Carlos Santana signing with the Royals, the Indians have room in their lineup – which is pretty bad on paper – for Jones to make his debut at some point this season.
Nolan Gorman (3B – STL)
The Player: This is an interesting spot because you could have any number of players here, so it all comes down to personal preference. For me, I like Gorman the most here due to his power upside. He has 60-grade power, which is fantastic, but there are serious warts to his game – namely his near-30 K%. He has 35-homer potential, but you’ll have to suck up the average drain and hope for at least an 8 percent walk rate.
MLB Comp: Pete Alonso
Note: A fun note – Gorman has been using VR to scout pitchers this offseason.
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