Fantasy Baseball: Highlighting top third base prospects for 2017

With his switch over from shortstop in the second half this year, Alex Bregman joined the list of high-profile third base prospects to graduate to the majors over the past few years, making it arguably the deepest position in Fantasy Baseball today. So you'd think it'd be tapped out in the minors, right?

Not quite.

Granted, not as many are knocking on the door these days, but the talent pool is still among the deepest. It helps when the best prospect in the game transitions there -- which is sort of what happened with Bregman this year, actually -- but in this case, I'm of course referring to Yoan Moncada , whose path couldn't be clearer or talents any more evident.

Note: This list is intended for a variety of Fantasy formats and thus weighs short-term role against long-term value. Not all of these players will contribute in 2017 -- most, in fact, will not -- but among prospects, they're the names to know.

1. Yoan Moncada, 21, Boston Red Sox

Where played in 2016: high Class A, Double-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .294 BA (405 AB), 15 HR, 45 SB, .918 OPS, 72 BB, 124 K
Major-league stats: .211 BA (19 AB), 1 2B, .513 OPS, 1 BB, 12 K

He wasn't ready in September, but it in no way reflects poorly on Moncada, who's looking kind of like the Mike Trout of infielders with his loud and diverse tool set. And now that the Red Sox have moved him to third base, where the lowly Travis Shaw currently resides, it's just a question of opening day or soon afterward.

2. Nick Senzel , 21, Cincinnati Reds

Where played in 2016: Rookie, low Class A
Minor-league stats: .305 BA (243 AB), 7 HR, 15 SB, .982 OPS, 32 BB, 49 K

The second overall pick in this year's draft is a fast-track candidate and a Scott Rolen comp, combining a keen batting eye and all-fields approach with middle-of-the-order power. Assuming he takes to the upper minors OK, a 2018 debut is within the realm of possibility.

3. Rafael Devers , 20, Red Sox

Where played in 2016: high Class A
Minor-league stats: .282 BA (503 AB), 11 HR, 18 SB, .779 OPS, 40 BB, 94 K

Devers' abilities are so evident to the scouting community that even a .195 batting average through two months wasn't enough to incite panic, and sure enough, he hit .328 with an .883 OPS over the final three-plus. He has all-fields power and doesn't have to sacrifice contact for it, making him a future early-rounder in Fantasy.

4. Yulieski Gurriel , 32, Houston Astros

Where played in 2016: Rookie, high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .250 BA (56 AB), 2 HR, .691 OPS, 2 BB, 15 K
Major-league stats: .262 BA (130 AB), 3 HR, .677 OPS, 5 BB, 12 K

The man who hit .500 with 15 home runs while striking out three times over 174 at-bats during his last season in Cuba didn't recapture anywhere near that form in his first stint in America, and at his age, you have to wonder if he's still capable of it. But the exceptional contact rate, which would have ranked first among qualifiers, at least earns him a second look.

5. Vladimir Guerrero , 18, Toronto Blue Jays

Where played in 2016: Rookie
Minor-league stats: .271 BA (236 AB), 8 HR, 15 SB, .808 OPS, 33 BB, 35 K

The son of Fantasy royalty, Guerrero earns bonus points for his name, but he seems to have inherited Daddy's skills as well, earning high marks for his hand-eye coordination and power potential, with Baseball America saying "he seems to have been born to hit." He still needs some time, of course, but Guerrero has the look of a prospect who'll arrive before his 21st birthday.

6. Jeimer Candelario , 23, Chicago Cubs

Where played in 2016: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .283 BA (474 AB), 13 HR, .840 OPS, 70 BB, 99 K
Major-league stats: .091 BA (11 AB), .377 OPS, 2 BB, 5 K

As if the Cubs needed another infielder, right? The deluge continues with a switch-hitting walk machine in the Carlos Santana mold (trading off power for a little more batting average, maybe) who would probably be lined up for a starting gig with any other organization. Where Candelario fits is hard to say, but Triple-A can only hold him for so long.

7. Ryan McMahon , 22, Colorado Rockies

Where played in 2016: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .242 BA (466 AB), 12 HR, .724 OPS, 55 BB, 161 K

The move out of the hitter-friendly California league wasn't a kind one for McMahon, whose stock has plummeted from a year ago. But if he just keep his head above water for another year or two, he'll get to break through (more likely at first base) at a venue known for masking hitters' shortcomings (see Trevor Story ).

8. Matt Chapman , 23, Oakland Athletics

Where played in 2016: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .237 BA (514 AB), 36 HR, .847 OPS, 68 BB, 173 K

Speaking of all-or-nothing hitters, Chapman is Exhibit A in the minors today, which is normally a bad sign, but unlike so many of the A's sluggers that never took, Chapman did the extent of his damage in the neutral Texas League. And when a player this close has a power tool that loud, you owe it to yourself to stop and listen.

9. Austin Riley , 20, Atlanta Braves

Where played in 2016: low Class A
Minor-league stats: .271 BA (495 AB), 20 HR, .803 OPS, 39 BB, 147 K

Riley's first season of full season ball didn't go without a hitch, but his plate discipline wasn't an issue after a midseason mechanical adjustment allowed him to hit .290 with 15 homers and a .915 OPS over his final 245 at-bats. The power he has demonstrated at such a young age gives him a projectable path even if he's still a couple years away.

10. Joshua Lowe , 19, Tampa Bay Rays

Where played in 2016: Rookie
Minor-league stats: .249 BA (173 AB), 5 HR, .778 OPS, 37 BB, 59 K

The 13th overall pick in this year's draft is a bit of a project, but he has the kind of build and swing that power hitters are made of. He also runs well and showed he could work the count in his first taste of professional ball, so he's not confined to one singular route to greatness.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Raised in Atlanta by a board game-loving family during the dawn of the '90s Braves dynasty, Scott White was easy prey for the Fantasy Sports, in particular Fantasy Baseball, and has devoted his adulthood... Full Bio

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