Top 15 Fantasy Third Baseman for 2010: An Early Look

Where do you place David Wright among third baseman heading into 2010after going as high as #3 overall in 2009?  That is the biggest question, but it is far from the only one.  Let’s take a look at where he falls and all the rest in the extremely early going (keep in mind that these are going to be fluid throughout the offseason based on news, transactions and further research):

Tier 1:
1. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees

Tier 2:
2. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
3. Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
4. David Wright – New York Mets
5. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
6. Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox

Tier 3:
7. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
8. Aramis Ramirez – Chicago Cubs
9. Chone Figgins – Los Angeles Angels

Tier 4:
10. Gordon Beckham – Chicago White Sox
11. Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves
12. Michael Young – Texas Rangers
13. Mark DeRosa – St. Louis Cardinals
14. Jorge Cantu – Florida Marlins
15. Kevin Kouzmanoff – San Diego Padres


  • Evan Longoria may have struggled at times, but there is no arguing with his final numbers. It was hard to imagine him living up to the preseason hype, but he ultimately delivered and has the potential to take that next giant step forward in 2010. He’s a borderline first round pick (click here for an early look of the first round), but probably settles in to the first few picks of the second round.
  • Mark Reynolds scares me. I talked about him a bit when we looked at the Top 15 First Baseman (click here to view), but the speed is just not something I can fully buy into. He’s never shown it before, so to take such a quantum leap is hard to declare easily repeatable. As for the power, we all know it’s there but a 26.0% HR/FB? He has regression written all over him, but that’s a story for another day. The truth is, while he belongs where he is in the rankings at this point, I’d be hard-pressed to select him as high as it will be required.
  • David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman? The decision lies in which David Wright you think will show up. We’ll touch on this match-up later on in the offseason, but I have a hard time pulling the trigger on Zimmerman over Wright at this point.
  • Third base is not a position that you generally look to for speed, and that’s the reason that Chone Figgins rarely gets the accolades he rightfully deserves. Being one of just six players to steal over 40 bases should change all that.
  • Pablo Sandoval can hit. That’s something we know. Can he maintain his above average BABIP (.353) in the major leagues as well as his power stroke that some have questioned (HR/FB went from 7.7% to 14.0%). Those are the only things keeping him out of Tier 2. If he answers those decisively, this will be the last year you can get him at any type of a discount.
  • It has been so long since Michael Young has shown the same type of power he did last season, does anyone really believe he’ll do it again? Honestly, I’d be upset if I got stuck drafting him as my starter.
    There’s going to be a lot of changes outside of the Top 12, but for now Kevin Kouzmanoff sneaks on here with his solid second half (.274, 41 RBI).  There’s more than half a dozen options, including Casey Blake, Jhonny Peralta, Ian Stewart, Mike Lowell, Brandon Inge and Adrian Beltre, who could easily supplant him as the offseason progresses.
What are your thoughts on the early rankings?  Who is too high?  Who is too low?  Who was omitted that shouldn’t have been?

Previous Early Rankings:
First Baseman
Second Baseman

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.


  1. fiji.siv says:

    I agree on Reynolds – I’m going to talk him up in next year’s draft and then let somebody else take him.

    2009 made a Zimmerman-believer out of me.

    As you said, Wright’s one huge question mark.

  2. Jimmy says:

    Sandoval’s an interesting case. He had HRs in the 10s in the minors, and only 3 last year in his first season. While the 7% to 14% HR/FB jump seems high, we can’t fully base it off of one season because Sandoval definitely knows how to hit. You can’t put it past him to become a .320 20+ HR guy. He seems like one of those anomalies who could shock the conventional statistcal wisdom for several years. And his BABIP may always be above the league norm, even in the minors he’s had ones that were above the average.

  3. Andrew says:

    One thing that sticks out to me is 3B isn’t as deep as years past.

    I wouldn’t want anyone beyond Tier 3 as my starting 3B.

  4. Shawn says:

    Aramis Ramirez snubbed again. He has dealt with injuries but how can you rate Mark Reynolds and Sadoval a head of him. How about consistency over the years. He never gets respect because he doesn’t do things that attract attention but just produce. That seems to be something baseball has forgotten to report on. A prime example is Ken Griffey Jr.’s career. We hear about the “juicers” but what about Jr., truely the best player of his era and did it naturally. A true blue Cubs fan who also noticed your snub of Derek Lee. Come On!

  5. zach y says:

    I’m scared of Reynolds this year. He’s like Donavan McNabb in football: high risk and high reward. The only thing with my team is that i have evan longoria, ryan howard, ian kinsler, and matt holiday and i don’t know who to keep. i’m going towards howard because he’s been solid in the hr’s and rbi’s. Also whuz up with david wright? i’ve had him for a LOOOOOONG time and i’m not even gonna think of him this year.

    Who should i keep?

  6. Rotoprofessor says:

    Zach, if you can only keep one of those guys, it would be either Howard or Longoria, as they are the two potential first round picks. It would depend on your format, but I’d lean towards Howard myself with no other details.

  7. BLAZE says:

    I think i’d rather have Ian Stewart over Kouz/Derosa/Cantu. Stewart should hit 25-30 hr’s. His average was .228, but his babip was probably 30 points below what it should be. His line drive rate dipped and that’s probably the biggest issue for me. If he can get that back up, he should get back to atleast 260 in avg.

    But i see he’s cut his K% each year and the BB has increased in the MLB. His O Swing has gone down every year and the Contact% increased a bit last year. Im optimistic he can get back to 260, if he keeps improving like he has and starts hitting line drives again. However, he wont be on any of my teams b/c i dont like those kinds of avg’s. But he should be on this list. IMO

    Garrett Atkins signing with Baltimore should put him in-line at 3rd now and thus consistent ab’s for once instead of jumping around the diamond.

  8. BLAZE says:

    Im certainly gonna lock up a 3rd baseman early.

  9. BLAZE says:

    Actually id take Cantu over Ian Stewart. I guess he’s decent but i still have alot of hate for him after drafting him in 2006 after that awesome season at 2nd in TB. Still cant let that go for some reason.

    But Cantu is looking like the cleanup hitter, so the rbi’s will be there. If Maybin can figure it out in the 2hole then Coghlan/Maybin/Hanley should be a nice core to knock in.

    Cantu keeps improving on K’s/BB’s. Contact %’s keep climbing so he’s worth a flyer.

  10. jack says:

    Gordon Beckham doesn’t play third base.

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