Third base is one of those positions where you don’t necessarily need to have a list of sleepers on your draft cheat sheet, but you’ll likely be glad you have one ready. Because many solid, mid-tier fantasy 3Bs (and even some upper-tier, if you play on Yahoo) are eligible at other positions, you never know when they’ll come off the board. If you play in a deep league or one with a CI spot, that could leave you scrambling in the middle or late rounds as you watch potential breakouts get snatched up between your picks.
Most of the players listed below will only be considerations in deeper leagues, but some, like Alec Bohm and Ke’Bryan Hayes, will get drafted in shallow leagues, too. Unfortunately, not many steal bases, though there are speedier 3B-eligible guys who primarily play other positions (see the bottom of the list).
DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: 2021 Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet
Ultimately, you will be hoping to get power and run-production from these players, and while that’s always welcome, it can seem relatively easy to find, which is why we said you might not think you need a sleepers list. But if one of these players really breaks out — or even just gets hot for a two-week or month-long stretch — you will be happy they’re on your radar.
Fantasy Baseball 3B Sleepers: Breakout third basemen, late-round sleepers
Position eligibility based on Yahoo’s default settings
Alec Bohm, Phillies (also eligible at 1B). Bohm impressed with a .338/.400/.481 line in 44 games last year, and while his .410 BABIP figures to noticeably drop, the talented 24-year-old infielder can hit for a solid average and decent power. In Philadelphia’s lineup, run-producing opportunities will follow, giving Bohm plenty of potential value in deeper leagues.
Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates. Hayes is another BABIP darling from last year (.450) who ended his debut stint in the majors with a .376/.442/.682 line in 24 games. Those numbers are going to jump out to anyone, and while they might not represent Hayes’s true upside, they still show the 24-year-old righty has plenty of talent. If his bat continues to develop, he should post a solid average, moderate power, and around 10-15 steals. That’s worth something in deep leagues, but be careful not to overdraft.
Ryan McMahon, Rockies (1B, 2B). With a career .237/.318/.423 line in 301 games, it’s easy to overlook MaMahon, but the 26-year-old infielder hit 24 HRs in 2019 and nine in 52 games last year. He has power, at least at home (.269/.344/.510), and a breakout wouldn’t be a shock as he enters his prime. The average will never impress, but given his versatility and power/run-producing potential, McMahon is a nice player to own.
Carter Kieboom, Nationals (SS). Kieboom hasn’t shown much in his 44 games in the majors (.181/.309/.232), but at just 23, he still has time to find his swing. His minor league numbers (.287/.378/.469) portend to eventual major league success, and he should get every chance to succeed (or fail) this year.
Ty France, Mariners (2B). France has been tearing up spring training, so the secret might be out on him, but the 26-year-old infielder still has more upside that most realize. He crushed Triple-A pitching in 2019, hitting .399/.477/.770 in 76 games before cooling off with the Padres after his call-up (.234/.294/.402). He found his stroke again last year (.305/.368/.464) in 155 at-bats, which somewhat quiets the concerns that he’s a “Quad-A” player. France should get everyday at-bats, be it at 2B, 3B, or DH, and while he might not hit more than .270, he can certainly supply homers and RBIs.
Mike Brosseau, Rays (1B, 2B). Brosseau doesn’t have a set place to play, but given his versatility, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him find his way into Tampa’s lineup most days. He impressed last year with a .302/.378/.558 line (though it did come with a .412 BABIP), and that followed a season where he hit 22 HRs in 124 games between Triple-A and the majors. At 27, a full-fledged breakout seems a bit unlikely, but with his multi-position eligibility, solid power, and decent average potential, Brosseau is a worthwhile bench option in deep leagues.
Yoshi Tsutsugo, Rays (OF). The problem with predicting Rays players will “break out” is you never know how often they’ll be in the lineup. They have too many similar players — versatile platoon-types — to really feel confident about any who aren’t already established. Tsutsugo hit just .194 and struck out 27 percent of the time in his first season in America, so it’s easy to write him off, but the 29-year-old lefty also walked at a high rate (14.1 percent) and clubbed eight HRs in 51 games. Given the difficult adjustment period he surely went through last year, there’s hope Tsutsugo can find the stroke that helped him become one of Japan’s elite power hitters — if he gets regular playing time, of course.
Luis Urias, Brewers (2B, SS). If it wasn’t for a torrid stretch in the minors in 2019 where he hit a bunch of homers in a week’s span — including five in a 24-hour stretch — we might not be holding out hope for Urias, but he’s just 23 and clearly has a lot of upside. He’s struggled in the majors (.226/.315/.320), but he’s shown the ability to take walks and not strike out much in the minors, which is intriguing for someone his age. We don’t expect monster numbers this year, but given his multi-position versatility and favorable home park, Urias is someone to watch early on.
Other 3B-eligible sleepers written about elsewhere: Andres Gimenez (2B, SS), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (C, SS), Jon Berti (2B, SS, OF), Willi Castro (SS), Nick Solak (2B, OF), Dylan Moore (2B, SS, OF)