Time for some All-Star break fun: here are my very, very preliminary 2016 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options are likely to be exercised.
Along with the position rankings is a top 300 list for 2016. Click to see other preliminary 2016 rankings:
2016 Third Baseman Rankings
|2||Josh Donaldson||Blue Jays||2||2|
|12||Hector Olivera||Dodgers||33 2B||33 2B|
|14||Pablo Sandoval||Red Sox||14||13|
|15||Brett Lawrie||Athletics||18 2B||14 2B|
|20||Yasmany Tomas||Diamondbacks||86 OF||22|
|23||Matt Duffy||Giants||47 2B||20 2B|
|24||Martin Prado||Marlins||17 2B||25 2B|
|27||Yunel Escobar||Nationals||32 SS||26 SS|
|28||Derek Dietrich||Marlins||49 2B||31 2B|
|31||Luis Valbuena||Astros||24 2B||23 2B|
|39||Conor Gillaspie||White Sox||25||36|
|43||Alberto Callaspo||45 2B||50 2B|
|44||Garin Cecchini||Red Sox||49||NR|
o I’m not feeling so confident about this list, at least not beyond the strong top five. With Alex Rodriguez, Chris Davis, Carlos Santana, Ryan Zimmerman and Pedro Alvarez all no longer eligible at third, the depth has taken a major hit. Wright’s back makes him a question mark, Beltre and Longoria seem unlikely to reemerge as elite options and Gallo and Sano are both big swing-and-miss guys who could be slow to reach their full potential.
o Olivera has played mostly third in the minors so far and there should be more time for him at the hot corner than at second once he’s called up by the Dodgers, so I have him listed here for now. It’ll be fascinating to see how the Dodgers handle their infield situation this winter. Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins are free agents. They have the ability to go with Turner and Olivera at second and third, in either alignment, and top prospect Corey Seager at shortstop, but given their nearly unlimited budget, it’s hard to see them being content to go that route. If they re-sign Kendrick, Olivera will be a risky pick while having to compete with Turner for playing time.
o Ramirez is probably going to retire, which is why he’s listed way down at No. 40. If he changes his mind and decides to play another season, he’ll probably enter next season in the 22-28 range.