Fantasy Baseball: 2011 Top 15 Third Basemen Rankings

Jan 17, 2011

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Here’s an early look at the 2011 Third Base rankings.
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1.  Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays:  Evan Longoria regressed last year (-4 runs, -11 HR, -9 RBI), but he improved his aveaged (+0.013) and SBs (+6). At 25 I fully expect him to bounce back and deliver monster numbers.
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2.  David Wright, New York Mets:  David Wright bounced back in a big way last year, hitting .283 with 87 runs, 29 HRs, 103 RBIs, and 19 SBs. I thought about putting him #1, but he doesn’t have the upside that Longoria has.
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3.  Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees:  A-Rod’s average dipped to .270 and with 78 & 74 in the past two year, it seems his days of automatically scoring 100 are over. My biggest concern is his age (he’ll turn 36 in July) and the lack of stolen bases (four in seven attempts).
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4.  Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals:  Zimmerman lost some protection when Adam Dunn left town, though Jayson Werth could fill the role. Still, he’s too good (.307-85-25-85-4) to leave out of the top four.
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5.  Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox:  You may have to use him at the corner infield or utility slot until his gains 3B eligibility, but so what. With an offense improved by the additions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, Youk has a chance to put together a pretty special season.
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6.  Jose Bautista,Toronto Blue Jays:  Do I believe the 54 HR power is real? I’d be surprised if topped 40 this year, but it’s not out of the question. He could easily lead all 3B eligible players in HRs this year.
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7.  Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers:  When Adrian Gonzalez was acquired by the Red Sox, Beltre’s fantasy value was up in the air. He landed on his feet with Texas. I’m not sure he can match his .321-84-28-102-2 line from last year, but he should be quite productive in Arlington.
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8.  Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants:  Kung Fu Panda was one of the biggest disappointments last year (.268-61-13-63-3), but he was going through a bitter divorce. You don’t have to ask Tiger Woods to know if that can affect the mental aspect of your game. I believe he’ll bounce back and be a good value pick in 2011.
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9.  Casey McGehee, Milwaukee Brewers:  McGahee had a pretty impressive rookie season (.301-58-16-66-0), but blew those numbers out of the water in 2010 when he hit .285 with 70 runs, 23 HRs, and 104 RBIs. He’s not a sexy pick, but he’s a solid one.
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10.  Mark Reynolds, Baltimore Orioles:  Reynolds struggles with his average (and a high strikeout rate), but last year’s .198 was ridiculous. He was injured last year though. Better health and a change of scenery could do him good. He’s averaged 34.7 HRs and 14 SBs over the past three years though. At 27, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
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11.  Michael Young, Texas Rangers:  Aging like a fine wine, Young has 27.2 percent of his career 158 HRs the past two seasons. His .284-99-21-91-4 line is steady like he’s been for the bulk of his career. At age 34, he’s a good candidate to slow a bit, but he should still be good for a .280-80-15-80-4 season as long as he adjusts to the move to DH.
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12.  Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs:  Ramirez is a high risk/reward pick because he produces when he’s healthy (25 HRs and 83 RBIs in 124 games last year). Unfortunately he’s missed 118 games over the past two seasons.
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13.  Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates:  Alvarez struggled to adjust to Major League pitching striking out 119 times in 347 at bats. He managed to hit 16 HRs with 64 RBIs though. He hit .311 with 15 runs, 5 HRs, and 26 RBIs in September, production he can build upon for 2011.
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14.  Martin Prado, Atlanta Braves:  Prado has 3B eligibility and should bring a .300 average to the table with a good amount of runs.  He won’t hit a ton of HRs or steal many bases, but he’s a good option to make up for some lower batting average players.
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15.  Chone Figgins, Seattle Mariners:  You may have to use him at 2B or MI until he gains 3B eligibility, but he’s a game-changer in the SB department. If you use him at 3B, you’ll need to get your power elsewhere.

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4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Rotoprofessor
    January 17th, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    I think these are your first rankings that I have some fairly major disagreements on, thoughm ost notably it is A-Rod over Zimmerman. If Zimmerman was healthy in ’10 we would likely be talking about his second straight 30/100/100 year, while A-Rod appears to be an injury waiting to happen.

    I could nitpick about a few other things, like Pablo Sandoval, but it is all preference.

    Nice job!!

  2. LestersLegends
    January 17th, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    I worry a little what the Nationals lineup will be like without Dunn. Why pitch to the guy? In that Yankees lineup, it’s hard not to image A-Rod with 30 HR and 110 RBIs.

    Pablo is totally a gut thing. I’ll have to see how he’s doing in the spring to see if he sticks up there. I do think he’ll have a weight lifted off his shoulders without the personal drama. Plus, having Buster there a full year should help as well.

    I did take some risks in these rankings though.

  3. Rotoprofessor
    January 18th, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    I would say some could argue that the lineup is actually deeper, with LaRoche & Werth there behind Zimmerman.

    Not that Zimmerman is Miguel Cabrera, but teams had no reason to pitch to him in 2010 and look at the numbers he put up

  4. LestersLegends
    January 18th, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Good point. Perhaps I ranked him a shade high because he’s A-Rod.

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