2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Third Basemen

These 2014 Fantasy Baseball Third Baseman Rankings will be updated occasionally, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out WalterFootball.com’s 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2014 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

By Bill Williams

  1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
    Your reigning real life and fantasy MVP; Cabrera is the best hitter in the game. He will be moving to first base this season, so enjoy his last-season qualifying at third base while you can. It’s even better because he is less likely to injure himself at first base. Stud.

    Projections: 100 R 40 HR 115 RBI 2 SB .314 AVG .411 OBP

  2. David Wright, New York Mets SB+
    One of the best dual-threat infielders in the league, Wright will be undervalued coming into this season. Many will forget that he missed two months last year, which makes his close to 20-20 season even more impressive. Wright is a great contact hitter who always gives maximum effort while on the diamond.

    Projections: 82 R 25 HR 93 RBI 20 SB .297 AVG .379 OBP

  3. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays HR+
    You will draft Longoria for his home-run power at the third-base position. He has 40-home-run potential, but I really have begun to worry about his batting average. It has jumped all over the place the past three seasons, but that could be due to injuries he sustained in previous years. The average and high strikeout rate prevent him from being in the top-two 3B. Last year was also the first full season he has played in quite some time, so there’s always a health-risk question here, too.

    Projections: 84 R 30 HR 95 RBI 2 SB .270 AVG .351 OBP

  4. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers BA+ HR+
    For the first time in his career, Beltre took more than 40 walks for the first time in five seasons. He has been the model of consistency, but at 34, his power numbers might start to decrease. Playing in Texas has helped keep those numbers up, but I expect a bit of a slip this year. It won’t be enough for him to fall out of the top five at this position, but still sufficient to warrant his ranking on this list. Beltre should still provide excellent RBI numbers to go with a superb batting average though. Projections: 80 R 25 HR 94 RBI 2 SB .304 AVG .350 OBP

  5. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
    Zimmerman may be the second-safest play behind Beltre at the third-base position, as he has no health or age issues that he is dealing with. A small concern is that Zimmerman’s batting average has fallen each of the past three seasons, though his on-base percentage has stayed pretty steady. This means he is just trading a couple hits for walks. It doesn’t help a lot in fantasy circles, but it will keep his run total steady. Zimmerman provides plus potential at every stat except steals. Draft him with confidence.

    Projections: 80 R 22 HR 85 RBI 4 SB .272 AVG .344 OBP

  6. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles Dynasty+
    I am going to have Machado higher than just about any other site you will see. Many are worried about his offseason knee surgery, but he’s already taking batting practice and fielding grounders. Machado may miss a week or two of the season, but it doesn’t damper my outlook on him. He has shown consistent growth over his first two seasons and is still only 21 years old.

    If you don’t land Machado, try to trade for him after the first month while he’s basically going through his spring training. The kid has plus power and a great stroke.

    Projections: 70 R 19 HR 75 RBI 11 SB .289 AVG .339 OBP

  7. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals Position+ Runs+
    Carpenter is a solid play for you at third base. His numbers were ridiculous in St. Louis (batting of .360)! The sneaky part about drafting Carpenter is his ability to also play third base, which in deeper leagues is highly valuable due to position scarcity. He led the league in doubles last year. So if your league counts those, stock up for Carpenter. He sits atop a potent Cardinal lineup and should be a top second-base option for the next few seasons.

    Projections: .75 R 13 HR 80 RBI 8 SB .295 AVG .344 OBP

  8. Josh Donaldson, Oakland A’s
    I think we�ve already seen Donaldson�s ceiling in terms of what he did last year. I expect moderate drops in all his categories across the board. However, the contact rate and on-base percentage are definitely legitimate. Playing in Oakland really hurts his home-run numbers, but he still should end up on top of the second tier of third basemen. Although last year was Donaldson’s first full season in the big leagues, know that he is 28 years old, so more growth is probably not coming.

    Projections: 76 R 18 HR 72 RBI 5 SB .270 AVG .340 OBP

  9. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies Dynasty+
    Arenado is a top prospect in MLB. He performed very well over the course of last season, and one would anticipate a slight uptick in his numbers from last season. Arenado has plus-power potential, but it has not been seen yet. However, he has an excellent contact rate and plays in one of the best hitters’ parks in the league. His lineup spot is secure, and he should get many opportunities to drive in runs.

    Projections: 61 R 18 HR 71 RBI 3 SB .284 AVG .325 OBP

  10. Chase Headley, San Diego Padres
    Headley will be drafted much lower than the 10th-overall third baseman in your draft. Feel free to scoop him up if you need an extra corner infielder or just want to roll the dice that he returns to form. In 2012, Headley hit 31 home runs with 115 RBI. He got hit by a bunch of injuries last year and played through them the best he could.

    Headley will be in the lineup opening day for the Padres and expect his numbers to rebound nicely. He also is in his contract year that may land him a trade out of San Diego and into a better situation.

    Projections: 69 R 20 HR 70 RBI 10 SB .260 AVG .340 OBP

  11. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
    Seager has quietly been an excellent producer at third base for the Seattle over the past few seasons. He has eerily similar numbers from the past two seasons that give one an excellent benchmark for his production. Seager improved his walk rate tremendously in the second half of 2013 and is reaching the prime years of his career. An improved offense around him should only help with his production.

    Projections: 71 R 19 HR 70 RBI 8 SB .262 AVG .332 OBP

  12. Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates HR+ K- BA-
    I really dislike Pedro Alvarez in terms of fantasy. The only way you should even consider taking him is if your first baseman is the high-average, low-home-run type. If you think you can stomach losing a lot of batting-average points, boost Alvarez way up these rankings because he has 40-home-run potential. If your league also includes strikeouts, I�d avoid him at all costs.

    Projections: 66 R 36 HR 83 RBI 2 SB .230 AVG .299 OBP

  13. Martin Prado, Arizona Diamondbacks Postion+ K+ BA+
    The Devil wears Prado is simply one of those underrated fantasy-baseball guys. He qualifies at three positions this year (2B, 3B, OF) and will put up solid, yet unspectacular numbers every season. Expect him to near .300 again this year with his typical ok numbers in all other stats. Prado will be lower ranked in other positions, but at second base, he is easily in the second tier. Prado also, amazingly, has more RBIs in his career then strikeouts, which is absolutely unheard of.

    Projections: .75 R 13 HR 80 RBI 8 SB .295 AVG .344 OBP

  14. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants
    Kung Fu Panda is entering into the prime of his career. He has excellent potential, but his weight issues and injury problems have really stunted his development. Sandoval destroys right-handed pitching but really struggles against lefties, where his power almost becomes non-existent. Regardless, he should put up decent overall numbers in a solid major-league lineup. His ballpark does him no favors though, and he becomes a risky proposition if he doesn’t get his weight problems in order. One of my favorite things to watch is Sandoval’s annual attempt to steal a base.

    Projections: 68 R 18 HR 76 RBI 0 SB .275 AVG .340 OBP

  15. Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers BA+
    No one ever doubts whether Ramirez can hit. He is one of the best pure hitters around. What has him ranked so low on my list is his long injury history combined with his mid-30s age. Ramirez could very well outperform my rankings and approach top-five status at the position. However, he is just as likely to jam up his knee again and miss the majority of the season. I’m gonna give Ramirez projections based upon him staying healthy – buyer beware.

    Projections: 67 R 21 HR 79 RBI 1 SB .276 AVG .349 OBP

  16. Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds K-
    Frazier has put up back-to-back seasons with 19 home runs and close to 70 RBIs. Don’t expect that number to change because that is what he is. His walk rate really jumped up last year, so hopefully he can continue that trend. The Reds’ lineup could be sneaky good if Frazier can approve on his contact rate and lower his strikeouts. His lineup spot is solid batting behind Jay Bruce, which should provide Frazier plenty of opportunities to produce.

    Projections: 67 R 21 HR 74 RBI 8 SB .248 AVG .320 OBP

  17. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox Position+ Dynasty+
    Bogaerts is really a short stop slated at third base due to playing more games at that position last season. He is an elite prospect and should produce solid numbers for Boston this year. He has excellent gap power, and time will tell whether that transitions into home-run power. Bogaerts is only 21, so the sky’s the limit. Beware that pitchers now have some tape on him though, so he may go through some growing pains as the league adjusts to him. Will Bogaerts learn to adjust back?

    Projections: 70 R 11 HR 64 RBI 5 SB .270 AVG .333 OBP

  18. Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
    Moustakas was once deemed to be the cornerstone that the Royals were going to build around. OOPS. He has struggled mightily, but the potential is still there. You can see it when he swings that he could hit 20-30 home runs easily – if he could just square up the ball. Moustakas can�t hit lefties though and may end up in a platoon soon if he’s not careful. You can buy low on potential, but make sure you have a backup plan ready if its needed. Moustakas’ walk rate improved dramatically towards the end of last season, so fingers crossed, he’s starting to put it all together as he is still just 25.

    Projections: 60 R 15 HR 64 RBI 3 SB .258 AVG .318 OBP

  19. Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays
    Lawrie has a great source of power in his legs, but has no loft on his swing. Thus, he hits a lot of hard grounders, which isn’t bad playing on the turf in Toronto. Lawrie has amazing tools, but can’t seem to stay healthy, which has prevented him from putting it all together. He has 20-home-run potential and a spot near the middle of the Blue Jays’ lineup which lands him in the mid-tier at third base. Solid backup for your team.

    Projections: 66 R 17 HR 69 RBI 13 SB .275 AVG .332 OBP

  20. Wes Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox
    Middlebrooks has true breakout potential this season. Unfortunately at one point, he was doing so poorly last year that he was sent down to the minors. When Middlebrooks returned, he showed his true power stroke. The reason for the breakout is that he was one of the most unluckiest hitters in all of baseball. Middlebrooks had an insanely low .221 average per ball put into play. Beware that he doesn’t walk much, and I’m slightly concerned he may end up being a strikeout machine. But if you’re in a keeper league, Middlebrooks is a good roll of the dice late.

    Projections: 58 R 18 HR 70 RBI 3 SB .259 AVG .301 OBP

  21. Matt Davidson, Chicago White Sox HR+ BA-
    Say hello to Pedro Alvarez, Jr. If you read what I said above on Pedro, you will know my feelings on Davidson. The only thing that separated them is that Davidson will walk more and strike out less. He will be going through his first full season and has the raw power to hit 30-40 home runs. The White Sox are likely to be rather pitiful this year, so they will likely let Davidson learn in the bigs. The former first-round pick will soon be performing in home-run derbies if he can get his average anywhere near .260.

    Projections: 61 R 21 HR 68 RBI 1 SB .240 AVG .302 OBP

  22. Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves
    Johnson gets the bust label because someone is going to look at his numbers from last year and go crazy bidding on him. What that person won’t realize is that Johnson got extraordinarily lucky last season with a .394 batting average of balls put into play. This does not mean that Johnson is a bad player however. He is a solid big leaguer with plus power against left-handed pitching. Johnson will put up a solid average and may end up qualifying up at first and third base.

    Projections: 61 R 15 HR 70 RBI .3 SB .275 AVG .320 OBP

  23. Man Dominguez, Houston Astros OBP-
    Now, we hit the section where the guys get ranked because they have starting jobs. Dominguez is just an average third baseman if you can deal with a slight hit to your batting average. He has 20-home-run power, and could hit upward of 25. His lineup spot is secure. Definitely a fringe own if you need a little power.

    Projections: 60 R 14 HR 64 RBI 0 SB .247 AVG .297 OBP

  24. Cody Asche, Philadelphia Phillies
    Ashce got the job last year based on his defensive skills, and he didn’t make a fool out of himself at the plate. Expect more of the same here. Only draft him in deep leagues.

    Projections: 65 R 15 HR 65 RBI 4 SB .250 AVG .302 OBP

  25. Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers
    Boston fleeced Detroit into taking this kid after he came out of the gates hot last season. Once Iglesias got to the Tigers, his game went downhill fast. Little pop, little speed, little reason to own.

    Projections: 58 R 5 HR 53 RBI 11 SB .276 AVG .322 OBP

  26. Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins
    Plouffe was once a much more valuable commodity as he played multiple positions. Now as just a third basemen, he loses a bunch of value. Plouffe is more of a line-drive hitter with little plate control.

    Projections: 55 R 16 HR 60 RBI 0 SB .246 AVG .302 OBP

  27. Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland Indians
    Chisenhall was once a ballyhooed prospect for the Indians. He is the epitome of what is referred to as a AAAA player – destroys minor-league pitching but struggles in the bigs. Chisenhall starts the season as Cleveland’s third baseman.

    Projections: 56 R 12 HR 56 RBI 4 SB .261 AVG .300 OBP

More 2014 Fantasy Football Articles:
Fantasy Football Rankings

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 8/27 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/4 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/4 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings - 5/18 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 8/22 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 2-QB - 8/21 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 8/14 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 8/12 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 3-WR - 8/7 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 7/31 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 3-WR - 7/24 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 7/17 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 7/10 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - PPR - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 2-QB - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - TD - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Custom - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Spreadsheets - 8/28 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Articles:
2014 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Training Camp - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: It's All About Value - 9/1 (Kenny)
2014 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 8/31 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Busts - 8/31 (Walt)
2014 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Quarterback Targets - 8/30 (Walt)
FanDuel $1 Million Contest - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator - 8/30 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Round-by-Round Strategy - 8/17 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 3/28 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: Overdrafted Players - 2/16 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: First-Round Bust History - 2/14 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 2/14 (Walt)

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12

Injured/injury risk
Potential bust
Potential sleeper