Third base has a wealth of talent and risk, and those two things often intermingle. When the likes of Kris Bryant, Gio Urshela and Josh Donaldson can be had outside the top 10, it’s easy to drool over the amount of quality at this position. But with those players and others in the double-digit range, you can envision how any high expectations could be dashed. There are gems to unearth even further down the ranks, so here are three third basemen to target in the late stages of your fantasy baseball drafts.
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
A couple of years ago, Seager’s career appeared to be on an understandable decline. He was 31 years old, his strikeout rate was increasing while his barrel rate was a mere 5.1 percent. However, he perked up a little bit in 2019, hitting 23 homers in just 106 games. Then his value ascended even further during the shortened 2020 season, thanks in part to a refined approach at the plate. He swung at a career-low 23.8% of pitches outside the zone, which helped Seager post career-bests in walk rate (12.9%) and strikeout rate (13.3%). His bat still had plenty of life as Seager hit nine homers in 60 games, and he also doubled his barrel rate from that forgettable 2018 campaign. Even more encouraging, he stole five bases last year, and the offensively-challenged Mariners plan to be more aggressive on the basepaths this summer. A 20-homer, 10-steal season is very realistic for Seager, who probably won’t be drafted among the top-20 third basemen.
Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
Turner is very much a known commodity, but it seems as if people are just scared to draft him right now solely because he does carry a significant amount of injury risk. He hasn’t played more than 135 games since 2016 and missed nearly a third of the 2020 season. But please don’t lose sight of what Turner does when he is on the field. His average slash line since 2017 is .307/.397/.513. And yet, he is being selected outside of the top 20 at the position on average. Be happy to take Turner in those later rounds, survive the 30+ games that he will inevitably miss and reap the rewards whenever he is active.
Brian Anderson, Miami Marlins
Anderson will provide upwards of 25 homers, a few steals, 30-plus doubles and a batting average near .270, assuming his strikeout rate calms down back to 2019 levels. But he has been on the board near pick No. 250 in recent NFBC drafts. He’s in the prime of his career, there’s nothing in his profile that portends a statistical falloff, and he will continue to bat in the middle of the Marlins’ lineup. He’s a safe choice, but at his current ADP, you should cherish that dependable production.