2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Busts: The Corners To Avoid
With all of the exceptional talent at the corners, there’s no reason to draft a possible third base bust. I actually like the depth at this position more than most of the infield. Compared to first base, third base has a lot more talent later in drafts. However, just because there is more talent doesn’t mean there’s a lack of third base busts.
Players are subject to being busts for a number of reasons. The most common are poor projections, platooning, injury risks, low ceiling, and a mistakenly high adjusted draft position (ADP). Sorting through the players at each position against these guidelines will help you sort out potential busts.
David Gonos recently published his 3B rankings. With the Top 10 third baseman going in the first 57 overall picks, chances are that you will find a solid option you trust. But most leagues have a 1B/3B or Util spot that can be filled by a third baseman.
With the depth at this position relative to first base, grabbing a third baseman later in drafts makes more sense.
Unfortunately, this is the range where busts will likely sit and wait to be drafted. I’m going to help you sort out who are the likely third base busts of 2017.
2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Busts
Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
I steered clear of Sano last year in drafts and plan to do the same in 2017. Last year Sano was going 40th overall, and I still don’t want him at 113th overall. Sano struggled through 2016, as he missed time with injury and struggled to match his expectations.
In 2016, Sano hit .236 with 57 runs, 25 homers, and 66 RBIs. Even with this power, Sano struggled to compete with other third baseman in Fantasy. In most formats, Sano didn’t even rank in the Top 25 third baseman, making him one of the biggest busts in Fantasy Baseball in 2017.
SCFE currently has Sano ranked as the 11th ranked third baseman in Fantasy drafts. The reason why he is ranked so high is because his ceiling is 40 home runs and 100 RBIs. However, Sano strikes out so often that it really hurts his value in points leagues.
In any league where strikeouts count against you, I can’t recommend drafting Sano. Sano also doesn’t have a lot of talent around him, limiting his potential for RBIs. Stay away from Sano unless you’re desperate for power in category leagues.
Eduardo Nunez, San Francisco Giants
Nunez was off to an electric start to 2016 with the Twins, but fell off after coming to San Francisco. He started with a .373 average in April, which eventually dropped to .288. Even though Nunez did rebound in September with San Francisco, he struggled greatly in the middle of the season, hitting under .240 in both July and August.
Nunez finished hitting .288 with 73 runs, 16 home runs, and 67 RBIs. He will look to have a stronger performance with the Giants after working with them throughout Spring Training.
Nunez’s struggles with the Giants definitely don’t bode well for his Fantasy expectations this year. The problem with drafting Giants’ batters is how manager Bruce Bochy rests and rotates players frequently. The Giants had a lot of success in the playoffs with Conor Gillaspie at third base, so who knows how the at-bats are divided.
I’m also not very confident in the Giants’ lineup, and I think Nunez would have way more upside on another team. For these reasons, I’m passing on Nunez in Fantasy drafts this year. I will be looking for players with more upside like Jake Lamb or Yulieski Gurriel.
Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
I loved seeing Baez come up huge throughout the playoffs for Chicago on their World Series run. He’s proven himself as the most important utility player in the game of baseball. However, the fact that he’s a utility player hurts his Fantasy value. It’s not that I don’t like to have a utility player that can play more than two positions in Fantasy, it’s just that I don’t want to draft one before the last few rounds.
SCFE has Baez ranked as the 23rd third baseman and going 130th overall. As much as I love Baez and his production in that lineup, it’s hard to take someone in the 13th round that isn’t guaranteed to start five games a week.
Baez is coming off a breakout season, where he hit .273 with 50 runs, 14 homers, and 59 RBIs. However, there is tough competition all around the diamond for Baez. With Bryant at 3B, Russell at SS, Zobrist at 2B, and Schwarber, Contreras, and Zobrist in LF, Baez may be used as more of a pinch hitter. These are all important story-lines to follow throughout Spring Training for the Cubs. Until we get more clarification on Baez’s role, don’t draft him this early.
Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
Every year, Castellanos has a hot start but then plays sub-par the rest of the season. The Tigers’ third baseman has never hit his ceiling, despite hitting in a strong lineup. The rest of the lineup around Castellanos is quickly aging, as their window to win it all is long gone. The upside just hasn’t been there for Castellanos, who seems to be great at getting hits in short innings. Castellanos finished 2016 hitting .285, with 54 runs, 18 homers, and 58 RBIs.
Once again, Castellanos is projected to outperform these sub-par 2016 numbers. The issue is he has been hitting at the bottom of the lineup, which limits his Fantasy upside. SCFE has Castellanos ranked 180th overall, which is pretty fair. I’m personally drafting my corners earlier than the 18th round of drafts, but Castellanos still has some value. You should be looking for players with upside at this point of drafts. For these reasons, I’ll be avoiding Castellanos on draft day.
I hope that these reasons all make sense as to why these players could be third base busts. Follow the reasons I listed earlier for detecting busts at every position. Third base has a lot of depth relative to other positions, but it’s still important to look for upside and playing time.
All of the busts listed above are limited on at least one of these two factors. These should be warning signs in the middle of drafts, when the upside is there for the taking. Be sure and follow SCFEs rankings and platoon situations closely throughout Spring Training to see who is worth drafting and who is a third base bust.
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