Third base is one of those positions this year that really drops off after the top 15 or so players. Being able to find value later on in your draft will allow your to save money by not having to shell out the big bucks for the upper-echelon guys.
Houston Astros’ third baseman Matt Dominguez is coming off a breakout season, yet he’s still being forgotten about in many fantasy baseball drafts. Fantasy owners who grab him late in their drafts will have a true “sleeper” on their hands.
» Matt Dominguez, 3B (current ADP: #259):
The Astros were terrible last year, losing 100+ games for the third straight season. There were a few bright spots among the filth, though, and third baseman Matt Dominguez was one of them.
Dominguez burst onto the scene last year, hitting 21 HR and collecting 77 RBI. He was second on the team (behind Chris Carter) in both categories.
His triple slash line of .241/.286/.403 was nothing to write home about, but then again, whose ever is when playing for the Astros? Jose Altuve was the only Astro with a minimum of 200 AB to crack .280 in the batting average column.
Dominguez first landed in Houston as part of the 2012 trade that sent Carlos Lee to the Miami Marlins. He was called up late in the season and put together a decent finish, batting .284 with 5 HR in just 109 AB.
In 2013 he became the Astros’ everyday third baseman, and supplied a lot of power for a team in need of it.
The 24-year-old Dominguez struggled to hit for power vs. lefties (4 of 21 HR vs. LHP) in 2013, but his overall numbers weren’t that dissimilar. He batted .244 vs. RHP, but hit just .009 points less vs. LHP (.235). Even his K-rate of 17% vs. lefties was barely worse than when facing right-handers (16%). His BABIP of .260 vs. left-handers (compared to .252 vs. RHP) also shows that he’s someone who just simply needs to work on his power stroke when matching up against southpaws.
Dominguez is huge steal if you’re looking for sneaky and cheap power in the mid- to late rounds of your draft.
There is very little competition at the major-league level for his spot at the hot corner, and most of the corner infield studs on the farm (Jonathan Singleton, Japhet Amador) are first basemen, so Dominguez will have a really long leash.
Matt Dominguez is currently being selected No. 259 overall (with an auction price of $1) and is the 24th 3B off the draft boards. When drafting him, it’s important to keep in mind that he’s a player best suited for a platoon and should only be started when there’s a right-handed pitcher on the mound. If you want some more bang for your buck, you can save some dough by waiting on him, rather than shelling out $6 for perennial disappointment Chase Headley or $7 for the oft-injured Aramis Ramirez.
2014 Projections: .260/.300/.426, 23 HR, 83 RBI, 63 R, 1 SB
» Missed any of my earlier picks? Please click here for links to all the sleepers I’ve covered from each team so far.