by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Third base is often viewed as a weak position, but for how much longer? The emergence of Josh Donaldson in 2013 certainly helped, as did both Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts shifting over to the hot corner. Throw in some of the best prospects in the game on the way and the position has a bright future. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how things currently look:
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers (30-years old)
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays (28-years old)
- Josh Donaldson – Oakland Athletics (28-years old)
- David Wright – New York Mets (31-years old)
- Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles (21-years old)
- Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox (21-years old)
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers (34-years old)
- Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins (20-years old)
- Kyle Seager – Minnesota Twins (26-years old)
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals (29-years old)
- Pedro Alvarez – Pittsburgh Pirates (27-years old)
- Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies (23-years old)
- Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays (24-years old)
- Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs (22-years old)
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants (27-years old)
- Chase Headley – San Diego Padres (29-years old)
- Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers (35-years old)
- Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals (25-years old)
- Will Middlebrooks – Boston Red Sox (25-years old)
- Maikel Franco – Philadelphia Phillies (21-years old)
- This is likely the last season you are going to be able to use Miguel Cabrera at 3B, but is there any way not to have him sitting atop these rankings? He’s one of the premier hitters in the game, just have an alternative in place for 2015 and beyond.
- I know there is going to be those who are skeptical of Josh Donaldson, but exactly where in his numbers is there signs of a regression? His .333 BABIP (20.6% line drive rate)? His 14.2% HR/FB? He’s coming off a year where he hit .301 with 24 HR and while maybe he falls short of those numbers (though not by much), there’s just as good of a chance that he continues to grow and develop. Just entering his prime, there’s a lot to like.
- Adrian Beltre is one of the better offensive third basemen in the league, but how much longer can we expect him to produce at a high level? The short-term nature of his production keeps him outside the Top 5 for dynasty owners.
- Xander Bogaerts is entering 2014 with 3B eligibility (and not SS) in most formats, so he comes in on these rankings. We will have to wait and see where his long-term position is going to be, but wherever it is he is going to be one of the potentially elite options for a long time to come. In fact, the debate between Bogaerts and Manny Machado will certainly be an interesting one to look at moving forward. Just keep in mind that he may not hold 3B eligibility long-term.
- Generally we don’t push prospects quite as high as we did Sano, put he’s primed to make an impact in 2014 and could quickly emerge as one of the elite power hitters in the game. Strikeouts could prove to be an issue, but time will tell.
- Will Mike Moustakas or Will Middlebrooks ever put it all together? They are certainly still young enough that dynasty owners are going to want to roll the dice on them, as long as it’s in a reserve role.
- Remember, Nick Castellanos isn’t going to be 3B eligible to start 2014, which is why he’s not on these rankings.
*** Make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide and be entered to win an autographed David Price mini bat! The guide comes complete with projections of over 600 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day). For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league! For more information and to place your order, click here. ***
Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: