Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings – Third Base

Here are the detailed player rankings for the third basemen. Seemingly in a heated competition with shortstop to be the most talent depleted position in fantasy baseball, the viable producers are few and far between.

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1) Evan Longoria- Probably the easiest call I have made so far in my player rankings, due to my serious man love for Longoria. This guy is a stud, and has the peripherals to support it. His HR total left something to be desired from a top flight pick last year, but that was due to an abnormal drop in HR/FB%. A fully healthy Longoria will fix that, and produce record highs across the board.

2) David Wright- He made 2009 look even more ridiculous after last season, and ever more painful to owners (like me) who owned him in ’09. 2009 was simply caused by an alarming dip in HR/FB% which he quickly corrected last season. All signs are positive heading into 2010, and if the Mets lineup can actually stay healthy, Wright will produce right in line with Longoria.

3) Alex Rodriguez- I am baffled by websites that have him ranked as the fifth or sixth third baseman, and depending on what league you are in, he could be a steal. Remember, this is still Alex Rodriguez we’re talking about here, who still pummeled 30HR’s and stole double digit bases despite on and off injuries. If he has a few more healthy seasons left in him his production can still place him as the number one fantasy third baseman.

4) Ryan Zimmerman- Streaky hitter who was bothered by injuries last season. Nothing flashy, but will produce stat stuffing numbers. The only thing that keeps him out of the same tier as the top three is his lack of stolen bases.

5) Jose Bautista- Absurd breakout season last year makes him everyone’s favorite bust candidate, but I not on the full bust train just yet. He claims a change in his mechanics was reason for his power surge, and showed it not only last season, but at the end of 2009 as well. Clearly he was swinging for the fences last year, as he hit at a 54% fly ball rate, but his HR/FB ratio was not above his norm. He also managed to decrease his strikeout percentage from his 2009 season. Also, he was actually unlucky batting average wise, as he had one of the more unlucky BABIP in the game. I’m not saying he’s going to hit 54 HR’s again, but if he keeps hitting fly balls at such a high rate, they’re going to leave the building. Don’t buy all the bust talk just yet.

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6) Aramis Ramirez- He’s earning the label injury prone for good reason, but I think he’s tougher than people give him credit for. Still managed to swat 25 HR’s in much less than a full season, and batting average was simply deflated by an unlucky BABIP. A season at full health will mean a season of fantasy viability.

7) Casey McGehee- If I recall correctly, he was a very streaky hitter last season, but his overall stat line ended up being quite valuable at a shallow position. His peripherals show that he can do it again, and at his age there is even hope for further growth across the board.

8) Adrian Beltre- Still has yet to find a suitor for his talents, but won’t have that problem in fantasy. At a shallow third base position, Beltre is more than serviceable, but buyer beware: that .325 batting average that leaves you with visions of sugar plumbs dancing in your head is not to stay. Look for his average to revert back to its typical range, which is around .265.

9) Mark Reynolds- How quickly times change. Went from fantasy darling, to fantasy outcast in a matter of one year. Now residing with the Orioles, it remains to be seen how Reynolds will respond in his new fantasy landscape. It’s hard to trust a batter who whiffs in 43% of his at bats, but he was very unlucky last season with a terribly low BABIP. His average should jump back to his .245 self, and the power and speed still remains. Look for a stat line that splits the middle of 2009 and 2010.

10) Michael Young- I am calling the beginning of the end here. His strikeout rate has been on the rise for seven consecutive seasons, and as he ages, I suspect the power will start to sap if he still wants to keep his average up. He does play on an offensive machine so his runs and RBI’s should stay healthy, but he won’t be contributing in the SB department. I’m not saying he’s done for good, but I think this season will be a beginning of a decline.

Check out the rest of the third base rankings at MSF Fantasy Sports.

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Statistics provided by FanGraphs



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