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2022 Third Base Ranking Tiers (Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Mar 16, 2022
Jose Ramirez

Jose Ramirez remains in a tier of his own heading into the 2022 season.

Aside from catcher, third base is the shallowest position this year for fantasy. There’s one elite option, three near-elite options, and then a mixed bag the rest of the way.

As always, when it comes to rankings, tiers are the best way to go, as it allows you to group a set of players together so that you know when you need to take a specific player at a position before that tier runs out.

We’ll take a look at third base ADP based on FantasyPros composite ADP and break them down into tiers for you so you know when to grab the guy you like.

We should note that these tiers are based on a 12-team standard roto league, so adjust accordingly for your league.

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Tier 1: Tier of His Own

For me, Trea Turner is by far the 1.1 in drafts, but he shouldn’t, under any circumstances, fall below the third pick. He has the elite, league-winning speed that you need, and he’s a true five-category stud.

But right after him is Ramírez. He’s the unquestioned 1.2 and the 1.1 in OBP leagues.

A lot of it has to do with his position since third base is extremely blah this year. But he offers elite five-category production and a great floor to go with the high ceiling.

Tier 2: Three of a Kind

Devers on the turn in a 15-team league is a great pick to pair with a speed guy for a nice offensive start or an ace to get ahead of the pitcher run on the way back. He’s an elite option who is pushed up due to his position.

Machado’s ADP is lower than I expected it to be, especially after he stole 12 bags last year. The 12 steals were his most since 2018. 

ADP has a big drop-off here with Machado (23) and Riley (44), so if you’re drafting based on these tiers, you can afford to wait a round or two on Riley and look elsewhere with your second-round pick. I buy the gains that Riley made last year, and his dual eligibility is an added bonus.

Tier 3: Wanderlust

I’m in the camp of fully buying into Franco as a soon-to-be-elite fantasy option. The “better in real life than in fantasy” talk could be true, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a really good fantasy option. I’m expecting .310 with 23 home runs and 10 steals this season. That’s pretty damn good for a 21-year-old. 

Last year was just another Arenado-being-Arenado season with 100-plus RBIs and 30-plus home runs. Seeing a spike in batting average closer to .270 would be nice, though.

Tier 4: Question Marks

I won’t take Mondesi. I get the appeal, but I like players who are good at baseball. 

Wrist injuries can be tough to overcome, and so can poor power profiles. Bregman has had both. He’s falling to a point where I’m OK taking him with his elite contact profile.

I’m good with Bryant. We just don’t know where he’s going to play his games. He’s a nice value at 87 overall.

I’m concerned about Rendon. There are a lot of injuries that are piling up, and hip injuries particularly concern me. I’m fading him as a top-100 player.

After a solid stretch in New York, LeMahieu had a terrible 2021 season, but are we overreacting just a tad? He feels like a good value here.

Taylor is another high-floor player who saw the power rebound in a big way. The Dodgers will play him all over the place daily.

Tier 5: Underrated

The Moncada discourse on Twitter is a weird place to be. Some people treat him like he’s an elite player, while others act like he’s a total bust. What if he’s just somewhere in between? He may not live up to the expectations we initially had, but 20 homers with a .260 average and potential for more speed will play.

A short season and the addition of a designated hitter only help Turner’s outlook for 2022. There are injury concerns, sure, but he and Donaldson both still hit the tar out of the ball.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Hayes in the minors, but it feels like we’re overreacting to an injury-riddled 2021. He’s one of my favorite draft targets this year.

2021 is likely to be France’s best season of his career, but he’s a fantastic quality-of-contact option for a corner infielder.

I think there’s room for growth for Chapman, but that strikeout rate really needs to get back to sub-30%. If not, he’s just an expensive Patrick Wisdom.

McMahon feels like a good value here for a player who finally wasn’t blocked in 2021 and came through in a big way for a nice power return. Playing half of his games in Coors Field certainly helps.

Suarez should also benefit from the designated hitter. The Reds have a logjam in the infield, so he should see regular time at third base and DH. I don’t love the profile, though.

I’m not an Escobar fan, really, but he provides nice late-round pop in an improved lineup.

We’ve been waiting for the Urias breakout, and after looking like it was going to be known as the Trent Grisham trade, Urias evened it up last year with a big breakout season. Can he finally repeat the underlying metrics for a full season?

Tier 6: Mixed Bag

We don’t know when Torkelson will get called up, but he has a big-league-ready bat that can pop 30 homers with ease. 

I love Dalbec’s power, but if he continues to struggle to make contact and strikes out at around a 30 percent clip, how long will it be until Triston Casas takes over?

I don’t really get the love for Candelario, but it’s out there. The profile doesn’t do much for me and he’s a replacement-level bat at most. 

So Urshela really fell off, no? 2021 was a weird year for a lot of Yankees, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rebound to .280 with 20 homers.

Rojas has a nice balanced game and can help across the board. 

Tier 7: What Did 2021 Mean?

Bohm had a terrible sophomore season, and he didn’t meet a groundball he didn’t like. His stock has completely tanked, but he has the pedigree as a nice post-hype player.

Wisdom went on a power binge last year, but it came with a 40 percent strikeout rate. Good luck.

We were too high on Biggio, to begin with last year, but now we seem a little low. The power profile isn’t what we saw in 2019, but he offers 15/10 potential with a nice walk rate.

Key Takeaways

  • If you have a top-three pick and you don’t go with Trea Turner, take Ramirez and don’t think twice. He’s a top-three pick and he’s not No. 3.
  • If I don’t end up with Ramirez, I tend to get my starter in Tier 5. I have many shares of Hayes, Turner, and Donaldson, but I’d like a couple of Moncada shares.
  • Tier 4 is a hard pass for me overall. There are too many question marks there for me. Bregman is the only one who falls to a spot where I like to take him.
  • If you follow my lead and take a Justin Turner, Hayes, or Donaldson, look to fill your utility or corner infield spot with a third baseman later. The former and latter are both injury risks, so you’ll want to have a replacement ready. I find myself grabbing a lot of Evan Longoria shares.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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