2023 fantasy baseball 1B, 3B rankings: Don’t sleep on Vinne Pasquantino, Gunnar Henderson

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Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. watches after hitting a three-run home run against Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Seranthony Dominguez during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Fantasy baseball draft season is here now that MLB Opening Day is only a few weeks away, and Home Field Sports has positional rankings beginning with first base and third base.

The corner infield spots tend to produce mainly power hitters that remain at the top of their game for several seasons, but there are several intriguing young options poised to emerge as some of the position’s elite.

We’ve got the top 20 first baseman and the top 20 third baseman ranked and highlight each position’s No. 1 option, top breakout candidate, bust candidate and a deep sleeper.

1ST BASE

No. 1 option

Vladimir Guerrero, Blue Jays

Vlad Jr. took a step back last season after a monster 2021, but he still put up quality numbers. The Blue Jays lineup is loaded once again, so Vlad should be able to get back to putting up the elite numbers that made him the No. 1 overall first base option now that he’s got another full season under his belt.

Top Breakout Candidate

Vinnie Pasquantino, Royals

Nicknamed ‘Italian Breakfast,’ Pasquantino burst onto the scene late last season and displayed an elite power stroke while also hitting for average. Pasquantino has yet to face MLB pitching for a full season, but he’s got enough upside to where he should continue to put up strong numbers for his current draft price with the potential to return early-round value.

Bust Candidate

Anthony Rizzo, Yankees

Rizzo managed to have a quality season in the power department, but his batting average nosedived compared to his career average. The Yankees have a deep enough bench to where Rizzo’s at-bats will drop if he doesn’t hit more consistently, so it’d be wise to look elsewhere for fantasy production at first base considering his best days are likely behind him.

Deep sleeper

Andrew Vaughn, White Sox

Longtime White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is no longer in the fold, so Vaughn appears ticketed to take over as the starter for the South Siders. Vaughn showed signs of blossoming into a reliable fantasy option after making all-around strides as a hitter last season and projects take another step forward for fantasy with a full season’s worth of at-bats.

TOP 20

1. Vladimir Guerrero, Blue Jays

2. Pete Alonso, Mets

3. Freddie Freeman, Dodgers

4. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals

5. Matt Olson, Braves

6. Jose Abreu, Astros

7. Vinnie Pasquantino, Royals

8. C.J. Cron, Rockies

9. Rhys Hoskins, Phillies

10. Nathaniel Lowe, Rangers

11. Ty France, Mariners

12. Christian Walker, Diamondbacks

13. Josh Bell, Guardians

14. Ryan Mountcastle, Orioles

15. Andrew Vaughn, White Sox (OF)

16. Anthony Rizzo, Yankees

17. Rowdy Tellez, Brewers

18. Jake Cronenworth, Padres (2B)

19. Jose Miranda, Twins (3B)

20. Triston Casas, Red Sox

( )- also eligible at said position

3RD BASE

No. 1 option

Jose Ramirez, Guardians

Ramirez is the definition of consistency, and he’s once again the top option at third base having shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Ramirez has recorded at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in four of the past five seasons and was on pace to do so in the abbreviated 2020 season.

Top Breakout Candidate

Gunnar Henderson, Orioles

Henderson is one of the hottest prospects in the game and has the skillset needed to be an immediate fantasy stud. He’s got plenty of power and enough speed to be a five-tool contributor, and while he could go through some growing pains being that he’s only 21, he’s got what it takes to continue the trend of young stars bursting onto the MLB scene.

Bust Candidate

Rafael Devers, Red Sox

Devers is one of the best third basemen in the game, but the issue is that the lineup around him has gone from strong to average at best. Devers’ runs scored and RBI totals were down last season and will likely dip again with the Red Sox failing to upgrade their supporting cast, and he doesn’t have enough power to justify his current draft price.

Deep sleeper

Josh Jung, Rangers

Gunnar Henderson is the first name that comes to mind as far as young third basemen, but Jung is another phenom to keep an eye on. Jung was forgotten about after undergoing surgery before the start of last season, but he’s got the inside track to a starting job and should be able to drive in plenty of runs in a strong Rangers lineup. Also, keep an eye on the Cardinals’ top prospect, Jordan Walker.

TOP 20

1. Jose Ramirez, Guardians

2. Manny Machado, Padres

3. Bobby Witt, Royals (SS)

4. Austin Riley, Braves

5. Nolan Arenado, Cardinals

6. Alex Bregman, Astros

7. Rafael Devers, Red Sox

8. Gunnar Henderson, Orioles

9. Matt Chapman, Blue Jays

10. Jose Miranda, Twins (1B)

11. Eugenio Suarez, Mariners

12. Max Muncy, Dodgers (2B)

13. Anthony Rendon, Angels

14. Alec Bohm, Phillies

15. Josh Jung, Rangers

16. Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates

17. Josh Rojas, Diamondbacks (2B)

18. Ryan McMahon, Rockies

19. Brandon Drury, Angels (2B, 1B)

20. Yandy Diaz, Rays

( )- also eligible at said position

Other positional rankings

2B/Shortstops

Catchers/DH

Outfielders

Starting Pitchers

Relief Pitchers

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