Top 15 Third Basemen For 2010: Take Three

Who remembers the days when 3B was a deep position?  Well, those are long behind us, with owners now hoping to get a hold of one of the top options in fear of what they may be left with.  That’s not to say the later options are bad, but they certainly carry risk.  It’s amazing how things have changes, so let’s take a look at my current rankings (based on my projections):

  1. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
  2. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  3. David Wright – New York Mets
  4. Kevin Youkils – Boston Red Sox
  5. Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
  6. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
  7. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
  8. Aramis Ramirez – Chicago Cubs
  9. Chone Figgins – Seattle Mariners
  10. Michael Young – Texas Rangers
  11. Adrian Beltre – Boston Red Sox
  12. Kevin Kouzmanoff – Oakland Athletics
  13. Jhonny Peralta – Cleveland Indians
  14. Ian Stewart – Colorado Rockies
  15. Gordon Beckham – Chicago White Sox

Thoughts:

  • I’ve already discussed why I think Kouzmanoff is a great sleeper for 2010 (click here to view) and the move to Oakland doesn’t change my thoughts.  Granted, he’s going to lose a bit no longer hitting behind Adrian Gonzalez, but Kurt Suzuki should be on base more than enough to allow him to drive in runs.  Someone on that team needs to get RBI, so my projection remains unchanged.  I know I’m higher on him than most, but I would consider him a late round flyer in all formats.  I wouldn’t necessarily take him as the 12th third basemen, but that’s where the projections placed him.  It does help to show the state of the position.
  • Aramis Ramirez is a solid option once the top names are off the board.  His September performance (.300, 4 HR, 18 RBI) should help alleviate any fears people have that he is on the decline.
  • Adrian Beltre’s value should be helped by his move to Boston.  While I wouldn’t expect him to rediscover his 40 HR stroke (that 2004 season seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it), he should be the player he has proven capable of from 2006-2008.  That means mid-20s HRs and a solid average.  Given the state of the position, that’s not too bad.
  • Michael Young’s potential value shouldn’t be completely written off, though the chances of him replicating his 2009 renaissance seem farfetched.  The power is going to fall (he hit 22 HR after hitting 35 total from ’06-’08), but his average potential gives him an edge over other low-end options.
  • I’ve discussed Jhonny Peralta as a solid bounce back candidate (click here to view) and certainly wouldn’t shy away from him in deeper formats.
  • Even in a shallow position, Gordon Beckham’s numbers translate better to second base and I wouldn’t want to draft him as my starter.  Click here to see more of my thoughts on him.
  • What is there to say about the Top Seven options?

What are your thoughts on the rankings?  Who’s too high?  Too low?  Who was the biggest omission?

Make sure to place your order for the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here.

Make sure to check out our other early rankings:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

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Quick 2010 Projection: Roy Oswalt

14 comments

  1. TY says:

    Ian Stewart should be 8th on this list.

    Potential for 30+HR and 10+sb’s…. average will suck, maybe .260, but 30/10 with potential for more, gotta roll with him over some of the blah blah guys….

    If you’re going to put Youk ahead of Reynolds how do you not put Zimmerman ahead of reynolds then too? or both behind reynolds is what I would do…. I doubt reynolds repeats, i wouldn’t pay for a repeat, but he can easily put up 30/10, he can easily bat .220 as well, which is his negative…

  2. carlito says:

    you guys over rate youkolis. zimmerman is better.

  3. Ian says:

    I agree with the first 2 commenters. Zimmerman, then Youk, then Reynolds.

  4. Rotoprofessor says:

    I’m going to have to do an article comparing Youkilis to Zimmerman in the near future, as there certainly appears to be a good debate there.

    To me, the two players are extremely close, so I don’t think it is a straight forward answer. What is everyone’s reasoning for Zimmerman over Youkils?

  5. ClayHenry says:

    I agree that Youkilis is extremely overrated, in my opinion. I would rather have ARam, Reynolds, Zimmerman, and Sandoval.

  6. TY says:

    I like zimmerman better for the upside. Personally I think they’re very even as well and should be drafted almost back to back, in a keeper league Zimmerman is the no brainer better pick.

    I would go with zimmerman over Youk due to age factor and I think zimmerman has a little but more of a power upside. Youk will be 31 this year, zimmerman 25. Zimmerman hit 33HR’s last year, Youk has never hit more than 29. Youk’s major advantage I would have to say is that he plays for the red sox, but this isn’t a normal boston team so I wouldn’t exactly say thats a HUGE positive. There’s no bay, no manny, and papi is not the same papi… its a totally different team.

    ClayHenry- maybe you haven’t examined the 3B pool this year, I wouldn’t say Youk is overrated, finding a 25-100 and .300 hitting 3B is not easy in 2010. Reynolds is OVERRATED. Aram shouldn’t even be in this discussion, maybe you meant AROD? You must not have owned ARAM last year, he’s just a tweak away from missing 40 games again. He’s 32 coming into this year and has been on the DL for a stint in each of the last 3 seasons. He hasn’t been healthy and super impressive since 2006. His ceiling right now is what you’ll get from Youk for sure.

    I like Zimmerman out of all these guys for the time being….

  7. Droid says:

    Kung Fu Panda should be number 4. He rakes and will surprise this year after losing 30 lbs. Watch for some steals this year!

  8. Tim Lawrence says:

    David Wright is the overrated one on this list, I think. The power drain last year was for real – If you look at his individual homerun data in 2008 you could see that a good portion of them were barely clearing the fences. Add to that the fact that Citifield plays 25-30 feet longer in 2009, and you have the recipe for a power drop-off. Another thing that is scary is Wright’s contact rate was 9% less in 2009 than 2008 – His abnormally high BABIP in 2009 propped up his batting average. I wrote about this on my own site ( http://www.dynastymine.com/?p=86 and http://www.dynastymine.com/?p=7). Not saying that Wright isn’t solid – he is. He’s no longer a 30 HR threat, and if he doesn’t correct his approach, he’ll struggle to hit .300 going forward too. His SB will start to decline soon (running is a young man’s hobby…). I rate Wright 6th behind ARod, Longoria, Zimmerman, Reynolds, and Sandoval. Wright may prove me wrong, but there is statistical evidence to be nervous about drafting him in the first few rounds.

  9. TY says:

    Tim- what do you say about wright having ZERO protection?

    Beltran, Delgado, and Reyes did nothing for him all year because they were injured. He was on his own. Pitchers could pitch him however they liked, instead of having reyes threatening to steal and he’s getting more fastballs he’s got no one on and they can work him however they like with offspeed pitches. Instead of having beltran and delgado behind him for protection he’s got fernando tatis? and some other bums?

    I agree he won’t hit 30 with the new park, but 20-25 is doable. I’ll take a 3B that can hit 20HR, drive in 100RBI, steal 20 bases and bat .300…. with potential for more.

    Sandoval isn’t totally proven and Reynolds could bat .220 this year just as easily as he batted .260. I’d rather have panda than reynolds personally.

  10. Jimmy says:

    Tim/Ty as much as that statistical stuff about Wright is obviously fact, Wright is still really only entering his prime right now. To think that the falloff is for real is possible, but he’s still ONLY 27 years old. I’d never rank Reynolds/Pablo over him right now. Talk about holes in your swing for Reynolds. The amount he strikes out is just scary. And for Sandoval, who will he be driving in? Is his power for real? And look at his BABIP .. extremely high. He hits a lot of groundballs but is lucky that his BABIP is that high considering he has no speed. Add in the fact WRight still hits more line-drives than Sandoval does and I’d say Wright is still the safer bet.

  11. TY says:

    JIMMY- i’d take wright all day long… i’d go arod, longo, then wright….

  12. Miles says:

    Jorge Cantu’s numbers last year were 67 – 16 – 100 – 3 – .289

    He qualifies at 3B in some leagues I’m in next year and I would much rather take my chances with him next year than your 11-15 ranked players.

  13. Dennis D says:

    And if you really want to take a gamble you Troy Glaus still qualifies at 3rd base but will play 1st for the Braves.

  14. Mike R says:

    Rotoprofessor – Why do down on Jorge Cantu? You’re draft guide basically says that his HR/FB rate last year of 7.4% is more accurate as opposed to the 12.3% he put up in ’08. However, I have to disagree, more often then not his HR/FB is up around 12%, last year he got drilled in the wrist early in the year and it was obvious that it sapped his power.

    Add on top of that the fact that his eye at the plate seems to be improving as indicated by his BB/K and it looks like hes primed for a solid year. Not to mention hes batting fourth in an interesting line-up with decent bats behind him to drive him in. If he can crank out a few more homers he can easily eclipse 100 RBI’s. In head to head leagues I would think a top 10 3B finish for Cantu is in the cards. I’ve scooped up Cantu in the late rounds of just about all of my drafts.

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