It’s that time of year. Fantasy Baseball preparation for the 2022 season is in full gear, which means my first set of rankings is ready for release. I usually release these in November but kept tweaking them as more and more moves took place with the wild hot stove action. 

I will do a release like this for all positions this year but have added tiers. I’ll briefly discuss each tier in this article and more written work and podcasts throughout the preseason. Also, as I do every year, I will release my full Google sheets rankings with tiers later this preseason to help with your drafts.

We move to the third base position for the fourth set of positional rankings this season. It is a tricky position to navigate in fantasy baseball. It is deep with talent, but it is challenging to decipher good talent. 

The position is also loaded with some players coming off career years. You ask an important question about the success being true or whether we see some robust regression. There is a lot to like about the third base position to navigate the player pool correctly. 

The primer will get you ready for your upcoming drafts, but keep an eye on updates and episodes of Benched with Bubba that will help dig deeper into the position and specific players. For now, let’s take a first look at the 2022 fantasy baseball third base rankings. 

2022 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

Third Base
1- Jose Ramirez
2- Manny Machado
3- Rafael Devers
4- Austin Riley
5- Adalberto Mondesi
6- Alex Bregman
7- Nolan Arenado
8- Anthony Rendon
9- Ryan McMahon
10- Ke’Bryan Hayes
11- Yoan Moncada
12- Josh Donaldson
13- Kris Bryant
14- Justin Turner
15- Matt Chapman
16- Eugenio Suarez
17- Jeimer Candelario
18- Mike Moustakas
19- Eduardo Escobar
20- Luis Urias
21- Gio Urshela
22- Abraham Toro
23- Hunter Dozier
24- Patrick Wisdom
25- Evan Longoria
26- Alex Bohm
27- Luis Arraez
28- Brian Anderson
29- Josh Harrison
30- Josh Jung

Tier 1

Tier 1
1- Jose Ramirez
2- Manny Machado
3- Rafael Devers
4- Austin Riley

I mentioned the third base position was rather top-heavy, and Tier 1 exploited that theory. It is led by one of the top fantasy targets heading into the 2022 season in Jose Ramirez. He is coming off a 2021 season where he hit 36 home runs and stole 27 bases. JRam has hit 23 or more home runs in each of the last four full MLB seasons and has stolen double-digit bases every year since 2014. He is projected for another season with 30+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases, not to mention over 200 runs and RBI combined. JRam is a fantasy stud. One of the few third basemen that bring elite stolen base upside, the kind that resembles a middle infielder. There is also an excellent argument for JRam being the number 1 overall pick. I do not mind that at all. I still prefer Trea Turner as the top pick, but JRam is definitely in the discussion. If JRam falls to you after picking the first pick in the draft, you should probably click that DRAFT NOW button for JRam.

Many have Devers over Machado, but I push Machado slightly past Devers for his stolen base upside. They are both excellent picks. Both should hit over 30 home runs while also hitting for an excellent batting average. Machado stole 12 bases last year and is projected for ten this season. The Padres like to run, so he should be free to go if he’s feeling up to it. On the flip side, Devers will still be closer to five bases. They are very similar players, which makes it more like 2A and 2B, but for ranking’s sake, Machado is 2nd, and Devers is 3rd. 

One of the biggest questions regarding the top tier of third basemen involves Riley. He is coming off a monster season where he hit 33 home runs while hitting .303. The power is not a surprise; it was the average. In Riley’s previous two stints in the bigs, he hit .226 and .239. He also had a BABIP no higher than .280, but last year his BABIP was .368. Riley made some significant improvements in plate discipline and contact rates which look promising, but it is hard to believe the average will repeat. Riley is still a good draft pick for the power, but expect more of a .270 or so batting average with no steals. 

Tier 2

Tier 2
5- Adalberto Mondesi
6- Alex Bregman
7- Nolan Arenado

Now it gets a little more fun at the third base position. First things first, Mondesi. Yes, if he stayed healthy, he could be the top 3B option, but that’s a big IF. Mondesi will run for days and even brings a little bit more power than people expect. In just 35 games last year, he still stole 15 bases. The projections show just how good Mondesi is as they have him projected for 120 games with 15 home runs and 42 stolen bases. Those are Whit Merrifield or Starling Marte type numbers but only 120 games. I will not be reaching for Mondesi, but I understand those that do. Just make sure to have some decent replacement value on your roster for the times he is out this season. Also, early rumors out of KC say they want to be careful with him, so more days off and time at DH. 

If we see a bounceback this season, Bregman could be a 3B that sneaks back into Tier 1 consideration. He was battling injury most of the 2021 season and only hit 12 home runs in his 91 games. He had surgery to repair his wrist injury in the offseason and expects to roll for the 2022 season. Wrist injuries are always a concern for power, and we already know how “lucky” Bregman gets with his home runs as well. He currently has a great draft price that intrigues me, but I am avoiding it until we get more news on his surgically repaired wrist. 

Arenado may be boring to some, but he is your guy when it comes to reliable fantasy production at 3B. In his first season in St. Louis, he hit 34 home runs and saw while seeing his runs, RBI, and batting average all take a bit of a hit compared to his years in Coors. That slight hit makes him an early-round fantasy pick to a 6th or 7th round pick. The beauty of rostering Arenado is you can lock in a decent batting average, 30+ home runs, and 100+ RBI while still helping in runs. If you do not draft a Tier 1 3B, I am fine jumping on Arenado and his consistency. 

Tier 3

Tier 3
8- Anthony Rendon
9- Ryan McMahon
10- Ke’Bryan Hayes
11- Yoan Moncada

We jump into Tier 3 with Anthony Rendon. A player in years past that would have been in Tier 1 or at the top of Tier 2, but recent injury concerns have lowered the fantasy appeal. Rendon played in only 58 last season, after 52 games (nearly the full season), but he was playing injured the whole time. Over the previous two seasons, he has combined for only 15 home runs and no stolen bases. Last season he only hit .240, which also was a significant deterrent. He could be a steal if he stays healthy and returns to his 25+ home run abilities. However, I am still a bit concerned, and I am willing to miss out on Rendon unless he continues to fall in drafts. 

One reason I am waiting to wait on the third base position is my love for Ryan McMahon this season. He is coming his second straight full season with at least 23 home runs and a .250 average. McMahon even threw in five stolen bases each season. One of the more significant concerns in years past was regular playing time for McMahon, and that should not be a problem with Arenado leaving a year ago and now Trevor Story out of town. Look for another outstanding season out of McMahon at a very friendly ADP of 167. 

Many wanted Hayes to break out in 2021, but injuries limited him to 96 games. He hit six home runs while stealing nine bases. Unfortunately, his wrist injury seriously affected the power, and there is optimism he will be back to normal in 2022. Hayes brings 15+ home run power with 10+ stolen base upside to your fantasy lineups. Some prospect analysts even believe Hayes has 20/20 abilities. If he can stay healthy and tap into his pedigree, he could be quite the steal at third base. 

Yoan Moncada is the pain that will not leave many fantasy analysts sides. He had an excellent prospect pedigree and showcased that with solid fantasy seasons in 2018 and 2019. Then COVID hit Moncada hard in 2020, and he did not rebound well in 2021 with only 14 home runs and three stolen bases. Projections have Moncada returning to 20 home run upside, but the speed appears to be still vacant. If he is mainly a 20 home run bat with little steals and just an ok batting average, then Moncada will not have the elite fantasy value we once hoped for. Sure, that stat line is ok at my 11th third baseman, but I would instead take McMahon or maybe even gamble on later picks. If Moncada falls in the draft, I will pounce thought. He is quite a problem once again this draft season. 

Tier 4

Tier 4
12- Josh Donaldson
13- Kris Bryant
14- Justin Turner
15- Matt Chapman
16- Eugenio Suarez

Another reason I am good with passing on Moncada is I am willing to take my chances on Josh Donaldson. Sure he does not run much anymore, but he still hits for near 30 home run power. He has hit 24 or more home runs in seven of the last eight seasons and 30 or more home runs in four of the previous six seasons. Donaldson also has the “injury-prone” label, but that is not true as he has played 135 or more games in six of the last eight full seasons and 155 or more in five of those seasons. Donaldson will play 3B, maybe a little 1B, and a decent amount of DH. He will provide a similar stat line to Moncada with more power, leading to better run-producing stats. Do not pass up on the late-round value of Donaldson. 

Bryant is a DND for me right now. We do not know what team he will be playing for this season. Last year Bryant ran more than he has in quite some time, but I am not counting on that. The power has been inconsistent of late, and his batting average is average. McMahon, Moncada, and others will likely provide similar if not better fantasy stats when the season comes to an end, so do not pay the higher draft price on Bryant. 

Turner is boring and annoying with his yearly IL stints. But in the end, he always ends with a pretty reliable state line that brings a ton of fantasy relevance. He has hit 20 or more home runs in four of the last five full seasons while also hitting over .275 each season. He brings an outstanding average floor to your lineups while contributing home runs, RBI, and runs scored. He also comes at a nice draft-day price tag. Factor in Turner’s stat line for 130 or so games plus his replacements stats, and you will have one heck of a third baseman on your fantasy roster.

Chapman is one of those fantasy bats that is hard to give up on. The last couple of seasons have been very rough from a batting average perspective, hitting only .210 last season and striking out over 32% of the time the previous two seasons. The power was still in play last season with 27 home runs, while his quality of contact metrics was still strong. Chapman did battle an injury most of the season, which could have hampered his overall production. There are a lot of question marks surrounding Chapman, but if any player could take a massive leap in rankings come next season, Chapman is that player. 

Like Chapman, Eugenio Suarez has seen his batting average take a massive hit over the last two seasons. His power is still there, which is a plus, and hopefully, the end of the 2021 season is a positive going forward. Once he moved back to 3B from SS, the hit skills slowly returned, and he began to look a lot more like the Suarez of old. He is going later in drafts due to the average concerns, and they may be valid, but if you are feeling risky and need some power, then Suarez may be worth the risk. 

Tier 5

Tier 5
17- Jeimer Candelario
18- Mike Moustakas
19- Eduardo Escobar

The Candy Man put together a solid 2021 season, and he should be in line for another great 2022. Last season he hit 16 home runs, and in his only other full season in 2018, he hit 19 home runs. He also provided a nice .271 average, and that gives him back-to-back solid average seasons. However, Candelario may have more as he also hit 42 doubles in 2021. Sure Comerica Park hinders power and leads to more doubles, but converting just a few of those doubles to home runs could lead to a massive fantasy season at a low draft-day price. 

Moustakas could be one of the better draft day values or could be a complete bust this season. Moose had an injury-riddled 2021 season where he only played 62 games. However, we know what Moose can do with playing time, and with the NL likely gaining the DH, Moose could see as much time as he can handle. Over his last three full seasons, he hit 28 home runs and hit over .250. If he can stay healthy in 2022, he will be a massive steal and value for your fantasy team. 

If you like consistently boring, then Escobar is your guy. Escobar has not hit 20+ home runs while hitting over .250 in his last four full seasons. He even accomplished this task playing for the DBacks the previous season in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. The move to the Mets may not help in that respect, but he will have a much better supporting cast to help with his overall fantasy production. Escobar is a solid option if you are hurting for third base in your draft or just want a CI. 

Tier 6

Tier 6
20- Luis Urias
21- Gio Urshela
22- Abraham Toro

Urias had a breakout 2021 season at age 24. He hit 23 home runs while stealing five bases and hitting .249. He played all over the diamond, which also gained him 2B, SS, and 3B eligibility which is outstanding. Urias is projected to be the everyday 3B heading into 2022, and that stability could garner even more fantasy production. I love targeting Urias for his MPE, as well as the massive upside he brings in the power department while also throwing in some steals. If everything continues to click for Urias, he could be a Top 10 3B next year and fly on past players like Moncada.

Urshela is boring, but he is quite a reliable fantasy asset when healthy. He was banged up last year and only played in 116 games, and that was after 132 games in 2019. He hit 14 home runs last season after 21 in 2019. Urshela will hit for a decent average and will be hitting in the ever potent Yankees lineup. There is always an upside with Urshela, but the ceiling is in question based on health and regular playing time on a loaded Yankees team.

Toro could be a fantastic value come draft day as he took off last season once he was traded to the Mariners. Toro finished the season with a .239 average, 11 home runs, and six stolen bases, but once traded to the Mariners on July 27, he hit .252 with five home runs and three stolen bases. Additionally, he showcased excellent plate discipline by walking 8.7% of the time and, more importantly, only striking out 13% of the time. As a result, Toro is projected for 15 home runs and six stolen bases which is a solid floor for a player with more upside than that. 

Tier 7

Tier 7
23- Hunter Dozier
24- Patrick Wisdom
25- Evan Longoria

Dozier has continuously shown he has an excellent power upside and started to showcase some speed in recent years. The problem is Dozier has had trouble staying healthy. He played in 144 games last year but was banged up over those games. Dozier still hit 16 home runs and stole five bases, but it was a rocky season. Projections have Dozier hitting .235 with nearly 20 home runs and six steals. If he can stay healthy and in the lineup while also increasing the contact skills, Dozier could be an excellent value on draft day. 

If you are desperate for power later in your drafts and do not mind a batting average drain, then Wisdom is your guy. A 30 home run upside with a chance to get to 40, but he may hit .220 or worse, which is a significant deterrent for me. So wisdom is a DND for me, but some are just desperate enough for power to give Wisdom a chance. 

Longoria is an excellent pick in DnH formats as he has been quite productive when healthy. However, it’s just a big if. Longo is a lot like Justin Turner, as you know what you will get from him when he plays, and that is a 15+ home runs and a .250 average. Turner has a bit more power and a better average, but Longo at 180 picks later definitely has his appeal when looking for 3B roster depth. 

Tier 8

Tier 8
26- Alex Bohm
27- Luis Arraez
28- Brian Anderson
29- Josh Harrison
30- Josh Jung

Many are much higher on Bohm than I am entering 2022. He is coming off a season where he played in 115 games, hitting seven home runs, stealing four bases, and hitting for a .247 average. Bohm hit for a higher average throughout the minors, but the power has been lacking since he left college. The quality of contact metrics rate out well, but the overall production has not arrived. Therefore, I will again pass on Bohm while others draft hoping everything clicks this season.

Arraez is boring, but it isn’t all bad as he is boring with an excellent batting average. If he leads off, he will also bring great run-producing stats. Arraez is not my focus on draft day unless your team needs batting average help.

Anderson has yet to produce a significant fantasy season, yet fantasy managers keep going back to the well. Last season he was injured often and only played in 67 games. He has not played more than 126 games since 2018. The Marlins have many moving pieces in Miami, making Anderson’s playing time even a question. He could give you 15 home runs and a decent average, but he could also be a platoon player and not play enough to make your active roster. 

I love Harrison and his MPE. He has yet to sign, so I am hesitant about my ranking for now. He brings 15 or so home runs with some steals and an average of around .250. Harrison will fly up draft boards and my rankings if he gets signed by a team that will provide regular playing time. 

Last but not least is Josh Jung. The Rangers prospect is a stud that could supply a ton of power to the Rangers’ lineup. He has shown power and an excellent batting average throughout the minors. There’s a chance he starts the season with the Rangers, and that could result in 20 home runs and all the goodies that come with it. Keep an eye on his status throughout Spring Training. If it appears he may start with the big club, then he will fly up my rankings. 

Conclusion

The third base position is an interesting one. You have the studs up top, but some nice pieces are also down the draft board. It is all about navigating the good and bad throughout the 3B ADP. Hopefully, this primer helps keep an eye out for updates and other episodes of Benched with Bubba to help get you ready for your Fantasy Baseball drafts.