Let me explain something: I'm as all-in on Ke'Bryan Hayes as a fantasy baseball analyst*, Pirates fan, Houston native and baseball junkie can be. Yeah, like the sweet taste of sugar hidden in WingStop's fries seasoning, you might find some bias in that sentence somewhere.
But I trust my eyes. My eyes tell me Hayes is special. He's capable of hitting for a high average, swiping 10+ bags, driving the ball out of the yard - his hard hit% would have been 7th if he qualified in 2020 - and being as much of a five-category contributor as a Pirate can be, which I suppose isn't nearly as much as some other third basemen. At the end of the year, I might ask myself, 'why the hell did you only rank him 12th among 3B?!" We'll see. Past history, team context, risk assessment matter. And with that ... unique opening, let's get to the third basemen rankings for 2021:
(Note: if you're wondering why these are way-too-late, read the shortstop rankings)
I was extremely high on both Devers and Rendon entering last season, and I think I would have been in the ballpark had a full season happened. Rendon was slowed entering camp and Devers was scorching-hot when the season ended.
Moncada admitted having COVID-19 affected him all season. Remember, he was a fringe MVP candidate in 2019 and used to steal a ton of bases in the minors despite consuming an ungodly amount of Twinkies.
According to data at SwingGraphs.com, Muncy is a small bat path adjustment away from getting back to himself. I don't have any shares yet, but I want at least one.
There might not be a better bet for batting average in fantasy baseball than McNeil. In the future, Bohm could join that list. Like Hayes, he's a special, natural hitting talent. I'm not sure when/if the big power comes, but he did have some bad luck in a small '20 sample with power.
I find it hard to believe the Indians would acquire Gimenez and start him in the minors or not play him everyday. He's really, really good defensively and can hit too.
Generally, I avoid Rockies players like I avoid large gatherings in 2020 and 2021. However, McMahon is definitely more interesting now that Arenado was traded.
Can Wendle actually start as nearly an everyday player? He'd be a sneaky good source of two of the most difficult things to find in fantasy baseball this season - batting average and steals.
I'll be honest: no one on this list really excites me. I'm done falling for Yandy Diaz and his Zeus-like biceps. Brosseau seems locked into a platoon. Maybe Marwin Gonzalez is the most interesting because the current Red Sox roster construction suggests he could be the type of utility guy who plays five times a week.