I am going to start with some extremely early 2013 positional rankings, just so we can all get an idea of where people currently sit. Keep in mind these rankings are preliminary and before I have done any of my projections. That means that there is going to be a lot of room for fluctuation between now and draft day.
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
- David Freese – St. Louis Cardinals
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
- Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays
- Pedro Alvarez – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
- Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals
- Kyle Saeger – Seattle Mariners
- Keep in mind that there are some big names who will not have 3B eligibility entering 2013 like Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbo. That’s a lot of power exiting the position and makes things that much shallower.
- Does anyone still believe Adrian Beltre is just a contract year player? He’s hitting .315 with 35 HR, 98 RBI and 92 R on the season. Before we point to a 17.2% HR/FB rate, he was at 16.4% last season so there is nothing unbelievable there. Throw in a .310 BABIP (which is low given his 21.4% line drive rate) and a 12.5% strikeout rate, and there is a ton of upside and potential for Beltre to continue to produce like a superstar.
- Can Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman stay healthy? They both have tremendous ability, if on the field, but there’s a huge risk that they are going to continue to miss time. Value them as top options at a weaker position, but do so with a solid backup in place.
- Hanley Ramirez has been rejuvenated a bit since joining the Dodgers, hitting .265 with 10 HR and 4 SB in 57 games. On the season he does have 24 HR and 18 SB, so it is hard not to like his ability, even in a “down” year. Obviously we would like to see a better average, but a .285 BABIP makes you think that he can improve there as well. The potential is there to be a Top 3 option by year’s end and he is a player I would definitely be willing to roll the dice on.
- While Pablo Sandoval’s power outage suppresses his value heading into 2013, it is easy to imagine a huge bounce back campaign for him. If you miss the top names, I wouldn’t shy away.
- We’ve discussed Chase Headley’s magical season before, and as I have said I have a tough time buying into the sudden jump in HR/FB all the way to 21.6% (10.1% for his career), especially playing half of his games at Petco Park. There’s a major risk of regression here and I wouldn’t go into the year considering him an elite option. A good option, yes, but not an elite one.
- There are a lot of young options, both who made this list and who just fell short, like Brett Lawrie, Mike Moustakas, Will Middlebrooks and Manny Machado, who have the potential to breakout. We’ll cover them all in detail during the offseason, but as a reserve or corner infielder, these are the types of players you definitely want to be buying. The cost is probably going to be low, but the upside is tremendous.
Make sure to check out the rest of our extremely early 2013 rankings: