Today we’re looking at sleepers and draft day values at the hot corner. Once the usual suspects are drafted, and even the middle tier guys, the opportunity is there to get these guys late in drafts.
They may not finish in the Top 10 at the position, but you can look for these guys to challenge some of their counterparts to be in the Top 20-25 rankings by end of the year. The best part is you are not using a high draft pick on these players. All of them listed can be acquired at pick 200 or later.
Some had really good years in 2015, but their 2016 season was cut short by injuries. And that is why they make the list. In their absence, Kris Bryant came onto the scene. Others, like Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado kept rising up the ranks to become elite.
With 2016 in the rearview mirror, they are looking to regain what they had, and some are looking to establish themselves as corner stones of Fantasy franchises.
Now we will take a look at some names that may have been lost among all of the elite names at the top of the third base rankings.
2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Sleepers
Third Base Sleepers
Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
Moustakas had a breakout year in 2015 where he batted .284/.348/.470 with 22 home runs and 82 RBIs. Moustakas was on pace to have yet another productive 2016 season until it was ended by a torn ACL. Moose had 27 games played where he hit .240/.301/.500 with seven home runs and 13 RBIs.
Now recovered from the ACL injury, he is going to be 100% for the start of the season. With all the depth at the hot corner these days, Moustakas seems to get lost in the shuffle. The Moose can be drafted around the 200th pick in many drafts right now.
Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
Just like Moustakas, Nick Castellanos was having his own breakout season before injury derailed him for the second half. Even with the injury, in 110 games played, Castellanos still managed a .285/.331/.496 with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs. Projected to hit sixth in the Tigers lineup this year (behind Justin Upton), he could see more RBI opportunities if Upton gets back to normal.
Entering his age 25 season, look for Castellanos to take another step forward in his development. Going around or after pick 200, Castellanos could go for .270/.320/.470 with 20 home runs and about 80 RBIs.
Jung Ho Kang, Pittsburgh Pirates
After coming back from injury in mid-May, Jung Ho Kang hit a productive .255/.354/.513 with 21 home runs and 62 RBIs. The home run numbers are encouraging. The problem with Kang at the moment is his off the field issues. Not only did Kang lose SS eligibility, but he is not expected to be in spring training any time soon.
Kang got arrested in December and was charged with leaving the scene of an accident near a Seoul subway station. Not only that, there are also accusations of a sexual assault. It is possible the trial for the DUI resolves itself and Kang could be back on the Pirates later in the year. As of now he is a late draft and stash or waiver wire pick up, depending on the size of your league.
Travis Shaw, Milwaukee Brewers
Coming over to the Brewers in the Tyler Thornburg deal, Travis Shaw slots in as Milwaukee’s everyday third baseman. Shaw batted .242/.306/.421 with 16 home runs and 71 RBIs in his first full year in the majors. Now, calling Miller Park his new home, the left handed hitter should have no problem delivering Fantasy value for the rebuilding club.
After hitting 16 home runs in 2016, it is not hard to imagine Shaw making it to the 20-25 home run range. He’s not going to hit for a great average, but he should be able to stay in the lineup with the Brewers, who are playing for nothing this year. With an ADP close or north of 300, Shaw could be a nice grab late in drafts.
Matt Duffy, Tampa Bay Rays
After his 2015 breakout, the 2016 campaign did not go as planned for Matt Duffy. Even still, with Duffy’s new team, the Rays will be moving him to SS giving him some extra flexibility with Fantasy teams this season. He was ultimately shut down with nagging injuries. Duffy still managed a .258 average with a .668 OPS, five home runs and eight stolen bases. With his new team, expect about the same average. He could however, reach double-digit home runs and somewhere in the range of 15-20 stolen bases.
Trevor Plouffe, Oakland Athletics
After not playing for almost half the season with three different injuries, Trevor Plouffe still managed to hit. In Minnesota last year, Plouffe went .260/.303/.420 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs. Since being traded to the Athletics, he will be playing primarily third base this season. But he could also chip in with some first base, giving him some more appeal. He isn’t going to be elite by any stretch of the imagination. But drafting someone with solid numbers late for a CI spot or filling in for an injury to a stud, you could do a lot worse than Plouffe.
There are some sleeper players at third base to set your sights on at your Fantasy Baseball draft this year.
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