The third base rankings are loaded heading into the 2020 fantasy baseball season, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the 3B sleeper section on your draft cheat sheet. Finding the right undervalued players or potential breakouts in the mid-to-late rounds is how you maximize your draft, and fortunately there are several prime candidates at the hot corner. Because all are eligible at other positions (in fact, one isn’t even eligible at 3B yet), you can easily stock your team with a few of these guys and have the kind of interchangeable depth needed to win leagues.
As with most of our sleeper lists, the running theme is “playing time”. If the players below get regular at-bats, they will have been undervalued in your draft. If they don’t, then they’ll be little more than useful fill-ins in daily transaction leagues or DFS contests. But we all know that even if a player doesn’t appear to have a clear path to regular at-bats in March, that can change in a hurry, and the players below are all capable enough to produce as soon as they get the chance.
2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300
Fantasy Baseball 3B Sleepers
Position eligibility based on Yahoo default settings (10 games played or 5 games started)
Tommy Edman, Cardinals (also eligible at 2B and OF). Edman played enough last year (92 games) that he’s not a secret, but he still might be undervalued by a large swath of the fantasy community. The 24-year-old switch-hitter can play virtually anywhere on the field, and after batting .304, swatting 11 homers, and swiping 15 bases in the majors last season, it’s clear he can produce worthwhile fantasy numbers. With fewer third basemen stealing an appreciable amount of bases, Edman can provide unique value if you’re willing to wait in the draft for your 3B.
Yandy Diaz, Rays (1B). Much was made of Diaz’s noticeably more muscular physique last year, and he put it to good use by clubbing 14 HRs in just 79 games. A foot injury limited his playing time, but Diaz showed his upside. With a relatively high BB-rate (10.1 percent) and low K-rate (17.6 percent), Diaz has a good hitting profile that should translate to solid all-around numbers across a full season. Playing time is the only worry — and it’s a legit worry — because Diaz isn’t great with the glove and the Rays have a host of competent players who can play 1B/3B/DH. That said, if Diaz can stick in the lineup, he’ll far outproduce his draft position.
Yoshi Tsutsugo, Rays (OF). Tsutsugo is one of those players competing with with Diaz for playing time, even if indirectly. The 28-year-old lefty has been playing professionally in Japan the past 10 years, posting a .284/.382/.525 line with 205 career HRs. Even though he’s eligible at 3B and OF in Yahoo leagues, he could also play 1B and DH, so there will be plenty of ways Tsutsugo can get into the lineup. Whether he can stick there consistently is another thing, but if he can, he has plenty of upside.
Nick Solak, Rangers (2B). Solak impressed in his 33-game stint in the majors last year (.293/.393/.491 line), which isn’t a surprise considering he was dominating at Triple-A (.347/.386/.653). It is a bit disappointing he didn’t run much (seven total SBs last year) after swiping 21 bases at Double-A in 2018, but Solak made up for that by hitting 32 homers between Triple-A and the majors. He’ll have to compete for a starting job in spring training, but he has a good chance of being the opening day center fielder. If he can prove capable on defense, Solak will be a hot commodity by the time your draft rolls around.
Jon Berti, Marlins (SS, OF). Bereti doesn’t fit the mold of a typical sleeper. First starters, he’s 30 and doesn’t have a regular spot in the lineup, but the speedy utility player is still expected to be in the Marlins lineup most days. If he is, he’ll steal a good amount of bases (17 in 73 games last year) and pop some homers (six last season). It’s unclear if Berti will be much more than a one-category contributor, but even if he’s just stealing bases, he’ll still have value.
Austin Riley, Braves (OF). Riley got off to a torrid start last year before eventually fading down the stretch. He still finished with 18 HRs in just 80 games and will compete for a starting job this spring. He’s only eligible at OF heading into the season, but if he gets regular playing time, it will likely be at 3B, which is why we’re including him here. The 22-year-old slugger has the potential to put up massive HR and RBI totals, and while his high K-rate will always keep his average low, Riley is still being undervalued in drafts.
Other 3B-eligible players we’ve highlighted as sleepers elsewhere: Carter Kieboom, Nationals (SS), Scott Kingery, Phillies (2B), Ian Happ (OF)
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