It’s amazing how top heavy third base has become. Yes, there are some players putting up big years, but do we really trust them to be able to replicate them in 2011? Let’s take a look at how things currently look heading into next season for those of us who are rebuilding (remember, these can, and probably will, change dramatically by the end of the season):
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
- Adrian Beltre – Boston Red Sox
- Michael Young – Texas Rangers
- Casey McGehee – Milwaukee Brewers
- Ian Stewart – Colorado Rockies
- Aramis Ramirez – Chicago Cubs
- Scott Rolen – Cincinnati Reds
- Kevin Kouzmanoff – Oakland Athletics
- Placido Polanco – Philadelphia Phillies
- Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
- Kevin Youkilis is not included on this list, having played just one game at 3B this season. Barring an injury to Adrian Beltre, I just don’t see him getting enough games to be eligible in most formats for 2011.
- Other players who are not listed due to likely losing eligibility at the position include Troy Glaus, Chone Figgins & Martin Prado.
- It has become clear that Alex Rodriguez just isn’t the same player that he once was. Yes, he’s still among the best 3B in the game, but he’s no longer significantly better then the rest of the field. In fact, there certainly could be an argument made to put Ryan Zimmerman ahead of him, but I’m not quite there yet. He is still hitting .281 with 9 HR and 48 RBI on the season.
- David Wright has turned things around in a heartbeat and is once again looking like one of the elite hitters in the game. That certainly has to make owners happy.
- While Pablo Sandoval & Mark Reynolds haven’t quite lived up to expectations for 2010, they have played well enough to hold their preseason spots on this list. Plus, just look at the dropoff after the top six. I’d much rather take the risk on players like them, with tremendous upside, then the rest of the mess behind them.
- Thus far, Pedro Alvarez is proving those concerned about his ability to make contact look like geniuses. Until he improves there, he’s going to be a low-end option, at best, since he isn’t likely to show the power of someone like Reynolds while hitting for a poor average.
- I like Placido Polanco, but he doesn’t hit for power and he doesn’t steal bases. Out of my 3B, I would like him to produce something in one of those categories. Without that, he’s a low-end option, at best.
- Michael Young is proving that he is back to being the type of player he was prior to 2006 and that 2009 was no fluke. Given how weak the position is, he has entrenched himself as a viable option in all formats.
- Jose Bautista’s spot is not a mistake. Yes, he showed a lot of power early, but he’s fallen off and it’s hard for me to believe that he will come close to hitting for significant power from here on out. Barring a resurgence later on, I wouldn’t consider him a Top 15 option for 2011, though he would be in the Top 20.
What are your thoughts on these rankings? Who is being overvalued? Who is being undervalued?
Make sure to check out our other extremely early 2011 rankings: