Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Third Base
We’ve been seeing warmer weather, at least here in the Northeast. It feels like spring and that means baseball is right around the corner. We’ve now seen some of the bigger names of the MLB’s free agency find new homes with the likes of Freddie Freemans going to the Dodgers, Seiya Suzuki to the Cubs, Kris Bryant to the Rockies and Kyle Schrwaber to the Phillies. There are still a few big names left to sign such as Carlos Correa , Trevor Story and Nick Castellanos as well as some decent depth and rotation type players.
Just as he has done in years past, Nate will bring his favorite sleepers per position of the upcoming fantasy baseball season. For each position he will offer three sleepers, with outfielders, starting and relief pitchers seeing five suggestions. He’ll take into consideration both points and category leagues in his suggestions.
So far in this series we have covered four positions and just one of them has been deemed important to draft early by myself (first base.) Well, we’re onto the second of those important positions in my opinion in third base. It’s alright to wait on catcher, second base and shortstop, but the difference that the top end of the third base position can give you compared to the bottom is drastically different. Don’t wait on the position, draft it early.
But, you still need bench players and the draft may fall in a way that you are finding yourself selecting third base late. Here are my three favorite third base sleepers for the 2022 season.
Josh Donaldson (New York Yankees)
Position Rank: 19th
2021 Stats: .247 BA, 457 AB, 73 R, 26 HR, 72 RBI, 0 SB & .827 OPS
Josh Donaldson isn’t someone you’re drafting to boost your batting average, although just below .250 for a guy who hit 26 homeruns a year ago is not bad at all. He’s moved to the New York Yankees where he could find himself hitting around players such as Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo and Giancarlo Stanton. He should have better numbers than he did a year ago in Minnesota. If you’re getting anything over 25 home runs and 70 RBIs in the 15th round of 12 man drafts, that’s what I call value.
Alec Bohm (Philadelphia Phillies)
Position Rank: 29th
2021 Stats: .247 BA, 380 AB, 46 R, 7 HR, 47 RBI, 4 SB & .647 OPS
There’s no question that Alec Bohm struggled last year. Heck, he was optioned to Triple-A. But, he'll be back as the Phillies' everyday third baseman this year. Bohm struggles on defense, mightily. He had 15 errors in 105 games at third. That’s not good. With the now universal DH entering the National League, there’s an outlet for Bohm to continue focusing on hitting without the stress and failures at third base bringing him down. The Phillies also brought in Kevin Long to be their new hitting coach, who worked with Manager Joe Giardi in New York as well as spending the last five seasons in Washington, where he helped lead them to a World Series. Long may be able to get the most out of Bohm as a hitter. Let’s just hope he’s improved as a defender. You’re only investing a 24th round selection in Bohm in 12 man leagues.
Josh Jung (Texas Rangers)
Position Rank: 38th
2021 Stats: N/a
A stress fracture a year ago derailed Josh Jung from making his major league debut. Now, in 2022, he is primed to break onto the scene. The Rangers have done a great job spending money to improve their team, most notably bringing in the likes of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. However, they signed Brad Miller to seemingly be a placeholder at third base for the inevitable arrival of Jung. Jung is a guy a lot of the fantasy community is in on and that’s due to the position being paper thin. He should take the starting third base job sooner rather than later as Miller has proven to be one of the best bench bats in the league, but his production drops when he’s an everyday player. Jung has flashed his power in both college and Triple-A ball. Last season he hit 19 homers in Triple-A. You’re finding this guy in the 28th round of 12 man leagues. He’s worth the risk.