Fantasy Baseball 2021 Sleepers - Third Base
We’ve almost made it all of the way around the infield as we now take on the third base position in this edition of Nate’s Fantasy Baseball Sleepers. We’ve previously been over catchers, first and second base sleepers. You can find those articles below.
Sleepers are players with low average-draft-positions who can be drafted late but will have productive seasons to help their respective fantasy managers. In this series, we will be giving you three sleepers for every position (C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, SP & RP.)
I’ve previously talked about how important it is to strike on first basemen early on in your fantasy drafts and that’s how I feel about the third base position as well. Many third base bats allow a lot of power and can put points up in a hurry. There’s also a big divide between the top guys and the lower tier, making the need to grab one early in drafts that much more important.
Below you will find a few third base sleepers I like for the 2021 season. Like previously mentioned, I wouldn’t count on these guys being your starting third baseman, but finding a sleeper late in the draft as a backup for one of the more important positions in fantasy baseball is a must. Each player offered is currently being drafted as early as 232nd and 30th among third-base eligible players.
Also please note, the 2021 predictions found below are generated by Nate himself. Let’s get into this!
Austin Riley (Atlanta Braves)
Position Rank: 30th
2020 Stats: .239 BA, 188 AB, 45 H, 24 R, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 7 2B, 1 3B, 16 BB & 0 SB
2021 Stats: .242 BA, 509 AB, 122 H, 65 R, 22 HR, 73 RBI, 19 2B, 2 3B, 43 BB & 0 SB
The fact that Austin Riley is considered a sleeper is criminal. Riley is also two positions eligible with outfield eligibility to go with his third base spot. I love that when it comes to sleepers, especially backups as I suggest here in taking a third baseman early in the draft before looking for a sleeper later on. Riley brings a good amount of pop off his bat. He hits deep in this Braves’ lineup so that limits his at-bats a bit but in a lineup as good as Atlanta’s, he’ll be fine. I’m not sure if I should be saying this, especially after preaching the need for drafting a third baseman early, but I’m almost willing to make Riley my starting fantasy baseball hot corner.
Edwin Rios (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Position Rank: 46th
2020 Stats: .250 BA, 83 AB, 19 H, 13 R, 8 HR, 17 RBI, 6 2B, 0 3B, 4 BB & 0 SB
2021 Predictions: .252 BA, 301 AB, 69 H, 47 R, 29 HR, 62 RBI, 22 2B, 0 3B, 15 BB & 0 SB
Are you looking for a little more power out of your backup third baseman? Here it is. Rios is projected to get 200 less at-bats than Riley, but hit seven more homeruns and 11 less RBIs. I think this stat line is a bit light for Rios as I expect him to be the Dodgers’ everyday third baseman for the defending World Champions. On top of all of this, he’s going to hit for a good average, going over .250. If he can get more than the 300-ish at-bats we project, you’re getting an easy steal here late in your drafts, which could very well turn into a top 10 at his position at the end of the season. Don’t say I didn’t warn you; draft Rios!
Carter Kieboom (Washington Nationals)
Position Rank: 54th
2020 Stats: .202 BA, 99 AB, 20 H, 15 R, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 1 2B, 0 3B, 17 BB & 0 SB
2021 Predictions: .236 BA, 378 AB, 76 H, 57 R, 0 HR, 34 RBI, 4 2B, 0 3B, 65 BB & 0 SB
When it comes to plate discipline, you won’t find someone at this point of the draft better than the 23 year-old Kieboom. You’re not getting power out of Kieboom, there’s no doubt about that, but you’re getting a good amount of hits, runs and a very high amount of walks. I expect him to exceed the projected .236 batting average my formula produced for him here in his first full season in the major leagues. He’ll have an everyday spot in this Nationals’ lineup and that’s only going to help him improve. This could be a very good season for the new Nationals’ third baseman.