by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Generally viewed as one of the shallowest positions in the game, third base doesn’t look as bad as it once did. While 2014 is likely the final season you’ll get to utilize Miguel Cabrera here, there is ample talent behind him and more on the way (Miguel Sano, for instance). Let’s take a look at how things currently look:
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- Josh Donaldson – Oakland A’s
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
- Pedro Alvarez – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
- Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays
- Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
- Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
- Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
- We continue to wait and see what the health status of Manny Machado is. According to Bob Nightengale (via Twitter), “Manny Machado scheduled to see his doctor around March 15 to be cleared to play games and hopes to be ready by early to mid April”. Depending on when he’s cleared to play, he would likely jump into the 8th spot, with the potential to rise all the way to 6th should he somehow be ready for Opening Day. There’s going to be some risk due to his health, but as we saw in 2013 (.283, 14 HR, 71 RBI, 88 R, 6 SB) there also is a lot of reward.
- I wrote an article on Matt Carpenter, talking about why I probably won’t be owning him in 2014 and that he’s simply not a Top 5 second baseman (though some people want to believe that he will be). While the reasoning may be slightly different, the same thing applies at third base. He simply is going to be overvalued based on his runs scored from 2013, a number he is not going to replicate. To read the article on Carpenter, click here.
- Chase Headley was always going to be a risky option, and now he’s sidelined with a strained calf. While it appears like he isn’t going to miss any time during the regular season it’s an injury we need to continue to monitor.
- Who will be this year’s breakout 3B? There are plenty of options who can follow in the footsteps of Josh Donaldson, whether it be post-hype sleepers like Brett Lawrie or Nolan Arenado or a rookie superstar like Xander Bogaerts. Third base suddenly doesn’t look as shallow as it once did.
- Pablo Sandoval just missed making the list, though there have been reports that he’s entering camp in shape this season (the amount of weight he’s lost is different depending on the report you read). One of the more inconsistent options, if he is ready to play he could revert back to his 2011 numbers (.315, 23 HR). That makes him worth grabbing, though he’s tough to trust as your starter.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: