To help prep you for the upcoming fantasy baseball season, we are helping all fantasy owners get started on their research. Today is the Fantasy Third Basemen Rankings. Make sure you stay on top of everything so you are ready as soon as the 2012 season gets underway!
1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: He was probably the top first baseman before the Prince Fielder signing. Now that he’s moving over to the hot corner, he easily tops this shallow position.
2. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays: Proved that 2010 was not a fluke with 43 home runs last year. His 3B/OF eligibility is a bonus.
3. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays: Had a down year, but still mashed 31 HRs. His four-year average of 28.3 HRs and 100.3 RBI speaks for itself.
4. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers: He was limited to 124 games last year, but still managed 32 HRs and 105 RBI. Expect big things if he can stay healthy.
5. Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays: Sparkled in his 150 at bats, hitting .293 with 26 runs, nine HRs, and 25 RBI.
6. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox: The Greek God of Walks hit just .258 with 17 HRs. He has yet to play 150 games in a season and has missed 102 games over the past two years. When he plays he’s effective, but you’ll need a contingency plan.
7. Michael Young, Texas Rangers: The dude doesn’t age or slow down. You’re not going to get home runs from him, but expect a .300+ average and a solid number of runs and RBI.
8. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees: It’s hard not to consider A-Rod a top-ten third base option (mixed leagues), but he will turn 37 and hit just 16 home runs in 99 games. Plus, he was brutal during the postseason. Regression has clearly began.
9. Mark Reynolds, Baltimore Orioles: The average is going to be brutal (.238 lifetime hitter), but he has averaged 38.3 HRs over the past four years. Unfortunately the stolen bases have taken a hit.
10. Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals: He wasn’t entirely impressive, hitting .263 with a .675 OPS. He finished strong though, hittin g.352 with four HRs and 12 RBI in September.
11. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays: He will be used primarily at designated hitter, but will also get some time at both corner infield positions. He too can provide home runs, though he doesn’t tend to drive many runs in. He hit .272 last year, but regression in that category is likely for the career .260 hitter.
12. Danny Valencia, Minnesota Twins: He regressed from his 85-game debut in 2010 to post a .246-63-15-72-2 line. There is definite room for improvement, he’ll just need to work on his consistency.
1. Hanley Ramirez, Miami Marlins: He had a down year, and could struggle switching to third base, but his power/speed combo, plus SS eligibility make him an attractive option.
2. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals: Only played in 101 games last year, and saw his OPS did a full 100 points to .798, but he has shown that he’s a big time hitter when he can stay healthy.
3. David Wright, New York Mets: Only played 102 games and had a career low .772 OPS. He should bounce back though as he did in 2010. His stolen bases give him a bump.
4. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants: With a lot of third basemen missing significant time and/or experiencing a down year, it was nice to see Kung Fu Panda return to form. His .315-55-23-70-2 line in 117 games is encouraging. He hit .325 with a .963 OPS after the break.
5. Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers: He moved north to Milwaukee. He was healthy last year, playing in 149 games after combining for 206 in the previous two seasons. He has good power and will give you a decent average. He’ll miss Prince, but at least Braun avoided suspension.
6. David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals: He was a monster during the postseason for the Cardinals, setting the record with 21 RBI. He wasn’t too shabby during the regular season either, posting a .297-41-10-55-1 line in 333 at bats. He’ll need to step up his game with Albert Pujols moving on.
7. Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves: Chipper just keeps going. He will turn 40 in April, but is still productive. In 126 games Jones posted a solid .275-56-18-70-2 line. You have to be prepared that Chipper will miss some time, but he could give you some pop from the hot corner slot.
8. Ty Wiggington, Philadelphia Phillies: He will get his work at first base for the Phillies early on until Ryan Howard returns from injury. He will likely see time at third base and in the outfield as well. He doesn’t do much for average, but he should be able to provide some HRs and RBI.
9. Ryan Roberts, Arizona Diamondbacks: He plays third base, but has second base eligibility. He posted a solid .249-86-19-65-18 line. He was up and down though and his numbers tailed off at the end of the year.
10. Casey McGahee, Pittsburgh Pirates: He was acquired after Aramis Ramirez signed with Milwaukee. He will compete for time with Pedro Alvarez. Both struggled last year, and despite a horrific .191 average and .561 OPS, it is Alvarez’s job to lose. At 25, Alvarez is worth the risk. McGahee isn’t worth drafting unless he somehow wins a starting job.
11. Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates: See McGahee above.
12. Chase Headley, San Diego Padres: He gives you a decent amount of stolen bases for a third baseman, but does little else.
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