Fantasy Baseball Today

Rankings Review: Third base getting interesting

By Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

Lonnie Chisenhall is climbing the ranks at both third and first base. (USATSI)
Lonnie Chisenhall is climbing the ranks at both third and first base. (USATSI)

I thought I'd take a moment tonight to highlight some of the changes to my rankings, because if I don't, the opportunity may pass me by. They're ever-changing, you see.

Kind of like the ninth-inning option for the Mets.

  • I think Matt Wieters' situation is about to go from bad to worse. I'm talking Old Testament, real wrath-of-God type stuff ... and/or season-ending surgery. But even with that expectation, I can't bring myself to move him lower than 16th at catcher, which probably indicates the big drop-off at the position. I mean, after Jason Castro, Wilson Ramos and Derek Norris, who even cares anymore?
  • Brandon Moss is playing every day and deserves to play every day, judging by his numbers against lefties, which leads me to believe his current pace is perfectly sustainable. Yes, I'm to the point where I'd trade either Joe Mauer or Buster Posey for him, which means I'd trade any catcher for him. I know I'm crossing positions with that comparison, but they are eligible at first base and I account for the dual eligibility in my rankings. Even factoring in position scarcity, he's the most valuable of the three.
  • If you're disappointed in Lonnie Chisenhall's ranking at first base, scroll down to third base before writing a nasty comment. For the most part, I'm believing, mostly because of his low strikeout rate. He wouldn't be the first top prospect who needed a couple years to find his footing, and age 25 is perfectly reasonable for a breakout. The gap between him and Nolan Arenado is tighter than it appears and mostly a factor of playing time concerns, which diminish with every start he makes against a lefty.
  • If you flip between Head-to-Head and Rotisserie, you'll see Mark Teixeira's value in relation to Kendrys Morales and Jon Singleton is entirely dependent on format. His walks count for something, after all. Of course, if his wrist continues to bother him, it won't matter either way.
  • Big changes at second base! Brian Dozier rebounded from his first real slump this season with a monster Week 10 (June 2-8). He took off about June 15 last year, so we're nearing a full season of elite production. I see no reason to doubt it anymore. He's a better on-base threat -- and, quite frankly, power source -- than both Jason Kipnis and Ian Kinsler, and my rankings now reflect it. Jose Altuve gets a nice boost, too. Even without power, he's producing like crazy.
  • Jean Segura is now rightfully behind Dee Gordon at shortstop. I held out as long as I could for one of my favorite early round bargain picks, if there is such a thing. Now watch him take off.
  • Third base has become something of a mess with mainstays like David Wright and Evan Longoria continuing to underachieve. Josh Donaldson has certainly pulled his weight, but if we're talking today forward, his pace has to slow down. And I'd say Wright's especially has to pick up.
  • I already noted the gap between Arenado and Chisenhall isn't as big as it appears. There's like six third basemen in that range who you could conceivably rank in any order -- particularly in Head-to-Head points leagues, where Pedro Alvarez's power isn't as big of a deal. Xander Bogaerts and Yangervis Solarte get a bump for their shortstop eligibility. Kyle Seager for his track record. I'd be more likely to move Arenado down than Chisenhall up.
  • Ryan Zimmerman's outfield ranking should give you some idea how much third base eligibility is worth. So should Todd Frazier's first base ranking.
  • I guess by ranking him 37th, I'm saying Gregory Polanco is just short of starting caliber in a 12-team, three-outfielder league. Of course, you have to take into account Bryce Harper's and Mark Trumbo's injuries. And all the players with multi-eligibility. And potential use of a utility spot. Yeah, you should probably go ahead and start him.
  • Nick Markakis and Dexter Fowler are much more valuable than I've given them credit for, at least in Head-to-Head points leagues. I'd still take Coco Crisp and Curtis Granderson over them in Rotisserie formats, but it's closer there than you might think.
  • I haven't exactly lost faith in Max Scherzer, but I have even more trust in the five ahead of him right now. I imagine the reshuffling will continue among those six.
  • Welcome to the top, Scott Kazmir.
  • I now trust Ian Kennedy and Dallas Keuchel to the point that I'll take them and their superior peripherals over less spectacular mainstays like Ervin Santana and Hyun-Jin Ryu. It's a big leap to make.
  • I'm worried Marco Estrada will drop even further before the end of the week.
  • With the news Alex Wood was sent to the minors to be stretched out for a return to the starting rotation, I'm calling him a must-stash in all formats, but especially Head-to-Head. If you don't go 52 starting pitchers deep in your league, find a new league.
  • The cutoff for "pitchers I'd want in a mixed league" ends at exactly 73. R.A. Dickey is an as-needed option only.
  • No reason to doubt Sean Doolittle anymore. I've said all along he could be a Glen Perkins-type closer, and my rankings say he's already there.
  • You may still have reason to doubt Ernesto Frieri, but not his current status as closer. I like Cody Allen more skills-wise, but Terry Francona is playing coy in Cleveland and holding off on any announcements. That bothers me.
  • ... like the ninth-inning option for the Mets, right? Jenrry Mejia is the latest closer to struggle. I have a feeling he'll get a longer leash than the others, but Jeurys Familia is worth a look in leagues where saves are scarce.
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