Top 15 Third Basemen For 2011

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Third base is one of the toughest positions to predict as we head into 2011.  Even at the top of the rankings there are a ton of questions, but as you get into the middle of the pack you really just don’t know what to expect.  Let’s take a look at how things currently look, but it is almost a certainty that these get shuffled as the offseason progresses:

  1. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
  2. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
  3. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
  4. David Wright – New York Mets
  5. Michael Young – Texas Rangers
  6. Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
  7. Aramis Ramirez – Chicago Cubs
  8. Adrian Beltre – Boston Red Sox
  9. Pedro Alvarez – Pittsburgh Pirates
  10. Martin Prado – Atlanta Braves
  11. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
  12. Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
  13. Casey McGehee – Milwaukee Brewers
  14. Scott Rolen – Cincinnati Reds
  15. Ian Stewart – Colorado Rockies
Thoughts:
  • A shallow position got a lot shallower in 2010, with people like Kevin Youkilis and Chone Figgins losing eligibility.
  • Can Jose Bautista possibly replicate his 2010 success?  It certainly appears to be highly unlikely at this point.  I’ll really dig into my thoughts on him as we get closer to drafts, but I have a huge fear that he could go “homer happy”, given his 54.5% fly ball rate in 2010.  With the tremendous number of strikeouts, if the ball starts to fall short, his average is going to suffer.  It was a magical year, but with there being a good chance he falls to the 35 HR range and the potential for him to struggle with his average, he’s not a Top 5 option for me.
  • Can Alex Rodriguez stay healthy?  That’s the big question, though we know he’s going to produce even in limited at bats (125 RBI in 522 AB in ’10).  He’s getting older, so his days as one of the top 3B are probably limited.  Still, with his upside, it’s hard to argue selecting him for one year.  If he’s healthy he could be the top third baseman in the league, but he hasn’t played in more then 138 games in the past three years and is now 35-years old.  Still, it’s hard to pick against him.
  • From #7 through 12, you can almost jumble them any way you want depending on your risk tolerance.  Can Pablo Sandoval and Mark Reynolds rebound?  Will Adrian Beltre repeat his success?  Will Pedro Alvarez take the next step?  There are certainly a lot of question marks.
  • I gave my projection of Michael Young recently, supporting why he’s a Top 5 option.  Make sure you read it for yourself by clicking here.
  • If Ryan Zimmerman had stayed healthy in 2010, we could be talking about his second consecutive 30/100/100 season.  That probably would change your opinion on him, wouldn’t it?  Of course, the potential loss of Adam Dunn has to be taken into account, bringing down his value slightly.  The debate between him, Rodriguez and David Wright is going to be one that goes on all offseason.  We will surely revisit this in the coming weeks, but Zimmerman definitely has the potential to leapfrog Rodriguez in these rankings.  In keeper leagues, it’s an easy call.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Whose too high?  Whose too low?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:

1 COMMENT

  1. I’d go Longo, Wright, Zimm then Arod.

    Wrights stolen bases do it for me over zimmerman. I play H2H and Roto, so league type doesn’t matter. Wright might not hit 30HRS in Metco, but he’s a versatile 5 cat guy, where as zimm’s not going to get you any sb’s.

    I would not risk a 1st or 2nd round pick on AROD. Not worth it. Sure he could produce #1 overall rankings, but the odds of that happening? SLIM. He could also have a bad hip all year, bat .270 and keep on his downward trend. Not my cup of tea. I’d rather start with two as “for sure” players as i can get…. Arod wouldn’t be one of them.

  2. its amazing how shallow this position has become. after the top four its a bunch of garbage. michael young is good but he is a losing stock in that he has no upside and the only way he can go is down. If I missed on the top four I would go with Alvarez due to the upside….Reynolds will ruin the average and Beltre is a bum when not looking for money.

  3. TY, it’s hard to argue and I really debated how things on top should be lined up. We are going to find everyone ranking those three differently and I can almost say that it’s a lock that I move around my order as the offseason progresses. It’s certainly a fluid situation.

    The thing is, even 135 games of A-Rod could mean 35 HR and 120 RBI, so it’s really an open debate as where to rank them

    Mike, I don’t think going Alvarez would be a bad move at all. The top four are elite. I do like Young, because he’s solid and you have a good idea of exactly what you are going to get (and at 3B, that has significant value). After that, it really starts to become a preference thing.

  4. I think it’s imperative to get one of the top 8 if possible, preferably one of the top 4, because man does it get ugly here late. I agree with your praise of Zimm. Here’s to hoping he lasts until the back end of the second round…

    I own Alvarez in my keeper league, so I hope he’s this good. That being said, I think Prado is still pretty clearly better.

  5. Thoughts on Prado’s line for 2011? Legitimate 100/15/75/.300 again since a lot of experts said pre-2010 to look for a breakout year? Or will Infante leadoff followed by Heyward then Prado and therefore shift to 75 runs and 100 rbi?

    Appreciate the blog Eric!

  6. Any idea where Adrian Beltre lands? Obviously he is not going back to Boston so does that mean we will see a regression. Beltre is known to sign big contract and mail it in so a repeat of his days with the Mariners has to be in the back of many fantasy owners minds. Are there any ballparks/lineups that would be a good fit for Beltre and his fantasy value?

  7. It’s a real wild card right now, but I still have to believe he ends up with the Angeles. There just isn’t another landing spot that makes sense, given the team needs (outside of maybe Oakland). From a fantasy perspective, we had all better hope it’s LA.

  8. Does the Gonzales move to Boston, pushing Youk to third, put Youk back into the mix here, or is he still not cracking the top 15?

  9. Andrew, the problem is that he isn’t eligible at 3B yet, otherwise he would absolutely be ranked. In fact, he’d be #5 if he had the eligibility.

    If you have the room to do so, he’s worth drafting and stashing on your bench until he’s eligible to be put there.

  10. Yeah where is Placido Polanco he should be in the top ten he hit .298 last year and had crazy fantasy numbers before he got hit in the elbow by Hudson

  11. I will actually be updating the 3B rankings this week and Polanco will be included, though I don’t see him as a Top 12 option. He’s more of a reserve since he doesn’t bring much power or speed to the table.

  12. I’d definitely take Youk at third over most of the guys after the top few and just start him at a utility or CI spot until he’s in third. I’d rather start someone sketchy at 3rd for 10 games than start Michael Young there all season.

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