2013 Rankings: Top 15 Third Basemen

Once a black hole, third base suddenly doesn’t look so bad for fantasy owners.  Couple the addition of two of the premier hitters in baseball (Miguel Cabrera & Hanley Ramirez) with several high upside young talents bursting onto the scene (like Brett Lawrie, Mike Moustakas & Will Middlebrooks) and there suddenly is a lot of talent to choose from.  Who are the best options for 2013?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  2. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  3. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. David Wright – New York Mets
  6. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
  7. Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
  8. Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
  9. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
  10. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
  11. Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays
  12. Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals
  13. Will Middlebrooks – Boston Red Sox
  14. Martin Prado – Arizona Diamondbacks
  15. Michael Young – Philadelphia Phillies

Thoughts:

  • Does anyone still believe Adrian Beltre is a contract year player?  In two seasons since joining the Rangers all he has done is hit 68 HR with 207 RBI.  He has now driven in over 100 runs in three straight seasons and is going to be even more important to the Rangers lineup with Josh Hamilton in Los Angeles.  Look for another big season from Beltre.
  • Can Longoria stay healthy?  We all know that is the biggest question facing him at this point.  Over the past two seasons he has appeared in 133 and 74 games, respectively.  With a career .516 SLG there is no questioning the talent, but it’s hard not to consider him a risk.  Just keep that in mind before drafting him.
  • David Wright was paid as if he was one of the elite players in the game, but is he really?  It’s unlikely that he returns to the days of stealing 20+ bases and he has 35 total HR over the past two seasons (14 and 21, respectively).  Yes, he has the ability to hit for a solid average to go along with some power and some speed, but don’t overpay to acquire him.
  • Surprised to see Kyle Seager so high on the list?  I have already discussed why I prefer him more than someone like Todd Frazier, which you can read by clicking here.  With the fences of Safeco Field being brought in, he has the potential to reach 25+ HR and has already shown that he can steal 10+ bases.  With a 21.9% line drive rate, there is good reason to think he’ll improve on his .259 average making him a solid buy as a low-end option.
  • Both Brett Lawrie and Mike Moustakas have struggled in their initial tastes in the Major Leagues, but don’t let that deter you.  They both still have tremendous upside and are well worth the risk if you miss out on the top names.  Just make sure you pair them with another, more dependable option just in case.
  • Surprised David Freese didn’t make the cut (he actually is #16)?  There is just a lot of risk in him, considering his low fly ball rate (26.2% in ’12) and inflated BABIP (.359 BABIP for his career).  For more on Freese, make sure to check out our player profile by clicking here.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Who’s too high?  Who’s too low?

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Make sure to check out our 2013 rankings (all of which will be updated in the next few weeks):

Draft Day Strategy: How Big Of An Impact Can Your Closer's ERA Actually Make?
Regression Risk: Which Starting Pitchers Received The Most Run Support In 2012?

9 comments

  1. big o says:

    nit-picking … sandoval over headley
    and maybe over some of the more injury-prone players rated above him .

    • fiji.siv says:

      Agreed. Headley’s HR/FB over the last 4 years:
      2009 7.6
      2010 6.4
      2011 4.3
      2012 21.4

      I’m thinking 2012 might have been an aberration.
      If Sandoval can keep his hamate bone intact for 6 months he’ll be a top-5 3B.

  2. KenInToronto says:

    10-13 seem like pretty intriguing picks, would you consider 3B to be deep?

  3. carlito says:

    Zimmerman over Hanley everyday for me. This isn’t short stop anymore.

    • jmax says:

      Why? Hanley can put up the same numbers as Zimm and steal 20+

      • GT says:

        Sort of, Hanley’s been on a 2 year decline in just about every category. He has more potential to steal bases, but less potential for RBIs, HRs (maybe a wash), and a 30 point difference in BA.

        The truth is, a lot of people have been burned by Hanley especially in H2H playoff crunch time the last few years and its hard to be excited about him.

  4. carlito says:

    I think hanleys best years are behind him, Not a fan…

    • jmax says:

      Both guys are 28. Both guys are in their prime. Hanley was once considered a top 3 pick. Zimmerman has been good but not great.
      The potential of both players speaks for itself. Hanley is more likely to take that next step forward, especially if he cuts down on the k’s and gets back to where he usually was in that category. I don’t think Zimm does much more this yr than last.

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    Big o/Fiji – it is very close between Sandoval and Headley. I agree Headley’s power should regress some, but I don’t think t is goin to fall as far as his 2009-2011 levels. Plus, it’s not like Sandoval is a HR machine. Throw in te SB for Headley and that’s why we end up where we did.

    KeninToromto – it definitely is muc improved and not as shallow as it once was. Keep in mind names like David Freese and Tdd Frazier fell short of making the cut

    carloto/jmax – The Hanley/Zimmerman debate, for me, really comes down to the speed. They are both capable of 25/90/90, give or take. Whie Zimmerman should hit for a higher average, the SB more Han offsets it

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