Fantasy Ranking: 3B

Third base is one of the deeper positions in fantasy baseball. The top 6 guys on this list will likely be drafted before the sixth round and for good reason- the lowest OPS among those six in 2010 was .847 posted by Alex Rodriguez (who happens to be a three-time MVP). The 12th guy on our list received some MVP votes in 2010 so it is ripe with talent top to bottom.  Here are our rankings at third base.

1. Evan Longoria- the face of major league baseball and a major reason why Tampa Bay has managed to win the AL East two out of last three years despite the fact that their payroll is a fraction of what you might find on the Yankee bench in any given year. Longoria is in the prime of his career; he's an OBP, RBI and run scoring machine and he even stole 15 bases in 2010.

2. David Wright- the questions were swirling around Wright last year... Where did his power go?  Would the new stadium sap all of his power?  Well, Wright answered the questions by hitting 29 HR to go along with 103 RBI's (despite the fact his team struggled to find any consistency). Wright is still very young and his ceiling is as high as anyone on this list.
3. Ryan Zimmerman- arguably the most underrated player in baseball, Zimmerman has been one of the most consistent players at any position on one of the least successful teams in the game.  He's even underrated in his own city- with all of the offseason talk surrounding Werth, Strasburg and Harper, it seems that everyone has forgotten Zimmerman.  I expect a big year out of Zimm.
4. Alex Rodriguez- he plays in one of the best hitters parks in baseball, he has plenty of talent around him and he's got first-ballot numbers.  It's hard to pass on A-Rod at any point in your fantasy draft.
5. Kevin Youkilis- who posted the highest OPS on our 3B list in 2010? Youk at .975 but he was injured and missed a lot of time. If he's healthy, you can bank on +.400 OBP and +.300 BA.
6. Adrian Beltre- he has earned a reputation as arguably the greatest contract-year player of all-time.  Finding a job in Arlington amidst growing excitement and talent should benefit Beltre but he's gotta prove that he can do it in a non-contract year.
7. Pedro Alvarez- eyebrow raising home run totals in a half year of work. Playing for the Pirates doesn't help his draft projectability but the Pirates have a lot of nice young talent and should score some runs (their biggest problem is finding guts to toe the rubber).
8. Casey McGehee- wildly inconsistent 2010 but when he was hot, he was driving in runs as good as anyone and hitting +.300.
9. Aramis Ramirez- prior to 2010, Aramis was considered a can't miss player but Aramis wasn't bad in 2010, he stunk. There are a lot of nice young players around Ramirez so he'll have opportunities to return to form and could prove to be a valuable pick here.
10. Michael Young- among the active leaderboards in hits, the perennial all-star has begrudgingly been forced into a utility role with the team that Young has called home his entire career. A trade may or may not happen so Young is an unpredictable commodity- could go as high as seventh in the right setting.
11. Pablo Sandoval- 2010 was not the year of the Panda despite his team's Championship run. Not sure what I would have considered to be less likely; SF winning a 'chip or Sandoval hitting .260 but the fact that both happened in the same year is pretty crazy. Will he return to form as the +.330 hitter he was?
12. Scott Rolen- the 'soon to be' 36 year old was awesome in 2010 and is an important cog in the new Reds machine.

Danny Valencia- arguably the best third baseman in the AL central. Will score plenty of runs and is still an exciting commodity.
Mike Moustakas- a top prospect expected to make his debut this year. There's a chance he could win the starting job in spring training. Real power and solid contact numbers at every level.
Placido Polanco- posted tremendous first half numbers before getting bit by the injury bug.
Ian Stewart- starting 3b in Colorado for now but with Ty Wigginton behind him, the leash will be short.


Copyright © 2012 FOR BASEBALL JUNKIES.