The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of Zinkie and Leach's third basemen discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.On this week's pod, Zinkie and
The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of Zinkie and Leach's third basemen discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.
On this week's pod, Zinkie and Leach break down the fantasy third-base landscape heading into draft season. We'll pick up the discussion with Leach talking about the premier third basemen heading into 2017.
Leach:Nolan Arenado, Kristopher Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado. Those are four guys who will go in the Top 10 of a lot of drafts. Then, oh boy, you get to Tier 2 and none of those guys are sniffing the first round. I like Arenado a little more than Bryant. I think he's the guy who could have a "What in the world are we seeing?" kind of year. Bryant's power level could be like none of the others. Arenado is one of those guys that could be No. 1 pick value at the end of the year.
Zinkie: It's close, but I give the edge to Bryant. I prefer both in my drafts to Jose Altuve. They are both just as good of an option as Mookie Betts. Betts is great, but Bryant could hit 45 or 50 home runs. Arenado the same thing. Arenado keeps getting better as a hitter. Those guys are terrific picks. They have a high ceiling and floor.
Leach: Arenado still looks like he's developing as a hitter and developing his strike zone. It does make you wonder if he takes a step forward. With Donaldson, he's dealing with a calf injury. He was somewhat compromised last year, and you wonder if that is going to happen again this year and he likely hits .260. He and Machado are interesting. The ceiling for Donaldson is a little higher. The floor for Machado is a little higher. More risk reward for Donaldson as opposed to Machado, who you know what you are getting.
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Zinkie: I prefer Donaldson, but not by much. I don't have durability concerns. He is a gamer and can play in 150 games. The last four years he's played in 155 or more games. He's someone who is willing to play hurt. The games and numbers will be there. You said it. The steals aren't coming back for Machado.
Leach: It's my worry that he'll play through anything. Donaldson is one of those guys that you just wish he would take 10 days off. He'll play through anything and he plays compromised as a result.
Zinkie: I don't mind Tier 2 guys. I'm a fan of drafting the best player. It would be nice to get a Tier 1 guy. If I miss Tier 1, forget it for four or five rounds and go to Tier 2.
Leach: I like [Adrian] Beltre more than [Todd] Frazier. [Kyle] Seager I think is quietly underrated in Tier 2. I don't like Frazier. I see the home runs, but the fall off in batting average, I don't think he'll age well. He just turned 31. I just can't shake the feeling that the batting average stays down. He hit .225 last season.
Zinkie: I like Matt Carpenter, assuming he's healthy. If I look past that, his skill set is impressive. I'm not scared off by [Alex] Bregman. I expect Frazier to hit for a low average. For an owner who has a lot of high average players, Frazier would work. He may not have a whole lot of RBI opportunities.
Leach: I like a lot of the Tier 3 guys. I'm OK with missing out on Tier 2 guys.
Zinkie: I'm totally with you. We've sung the praises of Justin Turner, and I think Jose Ramirez can repeat what he did last season. I've been asked a lot what position I think is deepest, and a lot of times I say third base. I'm comfortable with skipping Tier 3. It really is a position where if you get one of the top guys, great. If not, you can wait, fill your other spots, and then see what's left. So many good options. It has become deeper than first base.
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