Top 15 Third Basemen For 2011

Third base is one of the shallowest positions, as the rankings are littered with regression risks and question marks.  While there hasn’t been major movement in the third base rankings, there are still a few things to note as we approach the start of the season.  Let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:

  1. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  2. David Wright – New York Mets
  3. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
  4. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
  5. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
  7. Pedro Alvarez – Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Martin Prado – Atlanta Braves
  9. Michael Young – Texas Rangers
  10. Aramis Ramirez – Chicago Cubs
  11. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
  12. Mark Reynolds – Baltimore Orioles
  13. Casey McGehee – Milwaukee Brewers
  14. Placido Polanco – Philadelphia Phillies
  15. Juan Uribe – Los Angeles Dodgers

Thoughts:

  • Kevin Youkilis is not on these rankings, only because he will not be eligible at 3B on draft day.  It’s not going to take long, however, so he obviously is worth considering.  If he was eligible, he’d come in fifth so draft him accordingly.
  • Michael Young’s spot on the rankings is tenuous, at best.  He’s going to see time at 1B (Mitch Moreland), 3B (Adrian Beltre) and DH (Mike Napoli), but exactly how much time is anyone’s guess.  Should he get traded, things would look significantly differently.  At this point, however, I wouldn’t blame anyone for bypassing him altogether.
  • Can Mark Reynolds rediscover his old form in Baltimore?  He’s likely going to be a great source of power, but he’s still going to bring a subpar average with him.  To me, he’s a borderline option.  Make sure to check out my projection for him by clicking here.
  • Part of me is still on the fence on who the #2 option should be, David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman.  Wright’s speed gives him a slight edge, but people would be viewing Zimmerman a lot differently if he had not missed time due to injury in ’10.  Don’t be surprised if he goes .300/30/100/100 in ’11.
  • Even with expected regressions from Jose Bautista and Adrian Beltre, they are still among the better options at the position.  That says a lot about the depth and question marks filling these rankings, doesn’t it?
  • Are you a believer in Pablo Sandoval’s weight loss, helping to lead to a resurgence?  Time will certainly tell.

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Make sure to check out our 2011 rankings:

7 comments

  1. Bobby A says:

    Nice post, agreed on Wright and Zimmerman. I guess I’m more of a believer in Aramis and Sandoval; I’d probably bump them ahead of Alvarez because the have power potential and very good contact skills.

  2. Micah C says:

    I agree that Wright’s speed gives him the edge, but there is something about Zimmerman that I love as a baseball fan. He is just a great all around ball player. I try to reach for him in drafts because I like to watch him play. May not be the best tactic for fantasy, but I’m always happy to have him on my team.

  3. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Is Pedro Alvarez getting too much hype going into this season? I mean last year the guy had a K-rate of 34.3% AND a BABIP of .341 and it still only lead to a .256 average!

    If you regress those numbers for a typical sophomore slump, then the K-rate goes up, the average goes WAY down, his already low OBP will drop even lower, and he might even become unusable as an everyday 3B.

    He is a total “Buyer Beware” player on draft day

  4. MJ says:

    I agree with Nick. I wouldn’t touch Alvarez with a ten foot pole….or unless I already had a solid starting third baseman in front of him. He is the type of player that will take years to figure it all out before he becomes a useful fantasy option.

  5. C BASS says:

    Michael Young still looks too high here regardless of whether he gets traded during the season. He’s getting up there and simply doesn’t have the power number potential that Aramis, Sandoval, Reynolds, and Mcghee have. Does his batting avg. alone keep him above those guys?

  6. Andy says:

    Not a believer in McGehee? I think rating Alvarez, Young and Reynolds ahead of him is crazy. I consider him a top ten option, I’m a bit more bullish on him than some. Good walk and K rates lead me to believe his average is just as likely to go up as it is to take a dip. His fly ball rate was a bit down in 2010 and in 255 less AB’s in 09 he only hit 7 less homers than he did in his breakout last year. That leads me to believe he is the real deal. His stat line from last year can take the pepsi challenge with Longoria pretty favorably and you have him ranked 13th?

  7. Rotoprofessor says:

    Andy – I am not a big believer in McGehee, honestly. I said it awhile ago as part of a Rotoprofessor Roundtable (http://rotoprofessor.com/baseball/?p=7903), but I’ll repost it here:

    “The major concern I have with McGehee is his RBI potential. He was great last season, but it is hard to imagine him simply getting as many opportunities as he did in 2010. Prince Fielder was awful with runners in scoring position, hitting .233 with 2 HR and 47 RBI (in 2009 he hit .296 with 13 HR and 93 RBI). All Fielder has to do is come in between those two extremes and McGehee’s RBI should easily drop by 10 or 15, if not more. If Fielder somehow reaches his 2009 marks, McGehee’s RBI will fall even further. The runs are also a concern, hitting fifth in the order behind Fielder and Ryan Braun, as are the home runs (24 home runs in the Pacific Coast League in 1,046 AB). You put it all together and you get a low-end option, at best, and more someone that I’d rather have as a reserve. There just isn’t enough upside in his numbers.”

    As far as Young goes, it’s certainly a fair concern. As I said in the post, if you are nervous about him, it’s certainly fair to just skip on by him and move further down the rankings. It certainly won’t hurt you.

    It also is fair to be concerned about Alvarez, but he certainly has as much potential as anyone. My projection has him with a strikeout rate of 30.5%, but if he can hit over .250 (very possible), with 25+ HR and 90+ RBI, is anyone going to complain?

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