Two Late Round Fantasy Options for 2010 – Third Basemen

We all know that third base is one of, if not the shallowest position for fantasy owners in 2010.  Does that mean that there isn’t any sleeper options available after Round 18 (an ADP after 216)?  Of course not.  Let’s take a look at two players who could be worth targeting late in your draft:

(Since we’ve already taken an in-depth look at Kevin Kouzmanoff, which you can view by clicking here, he is not being included on this list but is a great option in the later rounds.)

Garrett Atkins – Baltimore Orioles
How far do we downgrade someone for one poor season?  While he hasn’t come close to matching his tremendous 2006 season (.329, 29 HR, 120 RBI, 117 R), it’s not like he was a horrendous option either, especially as a corner infielder.  In 2009, the wheels completely fell off, leading to a pathetic .226, 9 HR, 48 RBI, 37 R line in just 354 AB, losing his job to Ian Stewart.

He has found new life in Baltimore and the fact of the matter is that he just can’t possibly be as bad as he looked in 2009.  A lot of his struggles came courtesy of a well below average BABIP (.246) and a line drive rate that simply fell off a cliff:

  • 2006 – 22.0%
  • 2007 – 24.5%
  • 2008 – 22.1%
  • 2009 – 16.4%

His other peripherals were extremely believable, so you’d have to expect a rebound, at least to his 2007 and 2008 levels.

Concerned that he was simply a product of Coors Field?  Let’s look at his numbers away from home from 2006-2008:

  • 2006: 307 AB, .313, 14 HR, 47 RBI, 60 R
  • 2007: 307 AB, .254, 15 HR, 58 RBI, 37 R
  • 2008: 313 AB, .233, 12 HR, 44 RBI, 34 R

The average is concerning, but he actually hit more home runs on the road in both 2007 and 2008, so there is all around reason for optimism.  Would I draft him as my starting option?  Absolutely not, but as a corner infielder in deeper leagues, he’s certainly worth considering.

Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
Long expected to be a breakout player, Encarnacion’s 2009 campaign was sabotaged by a fractured left wrist.  It took a long time for him to recover, but we saw a glimpse of what was possible in September when he hit .274 with 5 HR and 16 RBI (as well as hitting 2 HR in just 11 AB in October).

While the average the past two seasons is a concern (.251 and .225), they have come courtesy of below average BABIP (.264 and .245).  I would expect him to rebound, at least a little bit, there.

He’s already shown signs of the power potential we’ve all heard so much about, with his 26 HR campaign in 2008.  He actually replicated the HR/FB in 2009 (12.8% vs. 12.4%), so there is a lot of hope that if he can stay healthy, he can be a cheap source of power late in your draft.

He’ll be 27-years old on Opening Day, the time when many hitters figure things out and begin to shine.  Is it a lock that he finally puts things together for an entire season?  Of course not, but if you are a believer in the 27-year old theory, it’s certainly a positive that is worth considering.

Honorable Mention:

  • Brandon Wood, Los Angeles Angels
  • Troy Glaus, Atlanta Braves
  • Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

What are your thoughts on these two players?  Will either of them be worth drafting?  Who is the late round 3B you’re targeting?

If you would like to see a free preview of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (available for just $5), click here.

Previous Late Round Option Articles:

2 comments

  1. fiji.siv says:

    I’ll definitely be looking for Encarnacion late in the draft. After his injury-shortened 2009, his ROI should be really nice in 2010.

  2. TY says:

    if you have either of these guys as your starting 3B you might as well delete your team….its over

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