Third base is the most top heavy position in fantasy baseball, but that does not mean there are not some “diamonds in the rough” to be found later in drafts. At third base, power and production is prevalent, but finding that in fantasy baseball is tough in the later rounds. Here are some sleepers at third base who could help you win your fantasy league.
Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
Machado is one guy I cannot figure out. His ADP is so low at 139 but he is supposed to be ready by Opening Day. Thing is, even if he isn’t, he will be back by May, which is more than long enough to contribute. Machado is one of the best young players in the game and will be a top tier third baseman for years to come. Last year he hit .283 with 14 home runs and 71 runs batted in. He also scored 88 runs, which is among the position’s best. As he gets older, some of his doubles will turn to home runs, so it is not unfathomable to expect 20 home runs this season. Machado could easily hit .290 with 20 home runs and 90 runs batted in while scoring at a high rate. Put Machado on your “must-draft” list, and take him before 139.
Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
This is based strictly if Sano is the Opening Day third baseman, but it may very well happen. Sano has the best raw power in the minor leagues, and will be a 30 home run hitter at some point in his career. He may struggle at first, but any third baseman who can hit 25 or more home runs has value in fantasy baseball. Not to mention his ADP is 404 right now, meaning you can draft him in the last round of most drafts. Take Sano late with no risk but incredibly high reward. Should he start in the Majors, you have a third baseman, if not, stash him, because he is your last pick, which should not have much impact anyway. In the minors, Sano hit 35 home runs in 519 at-bats last year.
Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves
Johnson is one of the more interesting players in fantasy baseball, because he does not carry much value at first base. But, he is also eligible at third base, which makes him a good sleeper. Johnson is being drafted as the 25th third baseman at 272nd overall. Some seem to forget he was in the race for a batting title last year, and is a .289 career hitter. In the Braves lineup, he could score a lot of runs and will contribute greatly to your team’s batting average. Last season Johnson also hit 12 home runs and drove in 68, so he is not just a one-trick pony. Johnson’s value is great at 272 overall, and he can be a good plug-in at third base if you cannot land one of the better players at the position.
ADP’s are based on data from FantasyPros.com
Stay tuned for the rest of the “Fantasy Baseball Draft Advice: Sleepers by Position” series.