A few weeks ago, Baseball Press kicked off our 2010 Fantasy Positional Rankings with catchers and first basemen, then we started our way around the middle infield with second basemen and shortstops. Finishing up in the infield, we focus on the third base position. Players are eligible for the position in 2010, if they played at least 10 games at that position in 2009. These are initial rankings heading into draft day and do not reflect the final rankings come October 2010. The statistics listed to each player are his FINAL 2009 numbers, not the projected 2010 stats.
|RANK||Player||TEAM||POS||Stats - 2009|
|1||Alex Rodriguez||NYY||3B||BATTING - AB 444 AVG .286 OBP .402 R 78 HR 30 RBI 100 SB 14|
|2||Evan Longoria||TB||3B||BATTING - AB 584 AVG .281 OBP .364 R 100 HR 33 RBI 113 SB 9|
|3||David Wright||NYM||3B||BATTING - AB 535 AVG .307 OBP .390 R 88 HR 10 RBI 72 SB 27|
|4||Kevin Youkilis||BOS||3B||BATTING - AB 491 AVG .305 OBP .413 R 99 HR 27 RBI 94 SB 7|
|5||1||Ryan Zimmerman||WSH||3B||BATTING - AB 610 AVG .292 OBP .364 R 110 HR 33 RBI 106 SB 2|
|6||1||Mark Reynolds||ARI||3B||BATTING - AB 578 AVG .260 OBP .349 R 98 HR 44 RBI 102 SB 24|
|7||3||Pablo Sandoval||SF||3B||BATTING - AB 572 AVG .330 OBP .387 R 79 HR 25 RBI 90 SB 5|
|8||Michael Young||TEX||3B||BATTING - AB 541 AVG .322 OBP .374 R 76 HR 22 RBI 68 SB 8|
|9||Chone Figgins||SEA||3B||BATTING - AB 615 AVG .298 OBP .395 R 114 HR 5 RBI 54 SB 42|
|10||3||Aramis Ramirez||CHC||3B||BATTING - AB 306 AVG .317 OBP .389 R 46 HR 15 RBI 65 SB 2|
|11||Gordon Beckham||CWS||3B||BATTING - AB 378 AVG .270 OBP .347 R 58 HR 14 RBI 63 SB 7|
|12||3||Adrian Beltre||BOS||3B||BATTING - AB 449 AVG .265 OBP .304 R 54 HR 8 RBI 44 SB 13|
|13||1||Chipper Jones||ATL||3B||BATTING - AB 488 AVG .264 OBP .388 R 80 HR 18 RBI 71 SB 4|
|14||1||Ian Stewart||COL||3B||BATTING - AB 425 AVG .228 OBP .322 R 74 HR 25 RBI 70 SB 7|
|15||1||Jorge Cantu||FLA||3B||BATTING - AB 585 AVG .289 OBP .345 R 67 HR 16 RBI 100 SB 3|
|16||3||Jhonny Peralta||CLE||3B||BATTING - AB 582 AVG .254 OBP .316 R 57 HR 11 RBI 83 SB 0|
|17||7||Edwin Encarnacion||TOR||3B||BATTING - AB 139 AVG .209 OBP .333 R 10 HR 5 RBI 16 SB 1|
|18||3||Garrett Atkins||BAL||3B||BATTING - AB 354 AVG .226 OBP .308 R 37 HR 9 RBI 48 SB 0|
|19||3||Alex Gordon||KC||3B||BATTING - AB 164 AVG .232 OBP .324 R 28 HR 6 RBI 22 SB 5|
|20||2||Casey Blake||LAD||3B||BATTING - AB 485 AVG .280 OBP .363 R 84 HR 18 RBI 79 SB 3|
|21||1||Kevin Kouzmanoff||OAK||3B||BATTING - AB 529 AVG .255 OBP .302 R 50 HR 18 RBI 88 SB 1|
|22||8||Mark DeRosa||SF||3B||BATTING - AB 237 AVG .228 OBP .291 R 31 HR 10 RBI 28 SB 2|
|23||4||Troy Glaus||ATL||3B||BATTING - AB 29 AVG .172 OBP .250 R 2 HR 0 RBI 2 SB 0|
|24||1||Scott Rolen||CIN||3B||BATTING - AB 137 AVG .270 OBP .364 R 24 HR 3 RBI 24 SB 1|
|25||new||Chase Headley||SD||3B||BATTING - AB 543 AVG .262 OBP .342 R 62 HR 12 RBI 64 SB 10|
|26||9||Brandon Inge||DET||3B||BATTING - AB 562 AVG .230 OBP .314 R 71 HR 27 RBI 84 SB 2|
|27||1||Brandon Wood||LAA||3B||BATTING - AB 41 AVG .195 OBP .267 R 5 HR 1 RBI 3 SB 0|
|28||2||Andy LaRoche||PIT||3B||BATTING - AB 524 AVG .258 OBP .330 R 64 HR 12 RBI 64 SB 3|
|30||Mike Lowell||BOS||3B||BATTING - AB 445 AVG .290 OBP .337 R 54 HR 17 RBI 75 SB 2|
|31||Mark Teahen||CWS||3B||BATTING - AB 524 AVG .271 OBP .325 R 69 HR 12 RBI 50 SB 8|
|32||7||Mat Gamel||MIL||3B||BATTING - AB 128 AVG .242 OBP .338 R 11 HR 5 RBI 20 SB 1|
|32||new||David Freese||STL||3B||BATTING - AB 31 AVG .323 OBP .353 R 3 HR 1 RBI 7 SB 0|
|33||1||Casey McGehee||MIL||3B||BATTING - AB 355 AVG .301 OBP .360 R 58 HR 16 RBI 66 SB 0|
|FA* = Free Agent|
The obvious choice for our overall top third basemen comes as no surprise with Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod is at the top of most lists headed into next season, but let's take a look at the rest of our top five. I like Evan Longoria at number two over David Wright just for the simple fact that I believe Longoria will have more HR and RBI in 2010. Either way, you can't go wrong with Longoria or Wright at the number two and three spots. Wright had an "off" season in '09 because he didn't slug his typical 30 HR and 100+ RBI, but don't forget just how awful the Mets were last season, with little help in the lineup for Wright, he did the best he could and only suffered in the HR and RBI columns.
Kevin Youkilis will be Kevin Youkilis. One thing you can count on from Youk is a solid .300 AVG, 20+ HR and 90+ RBI and if your league happens to reward for OBP, well even better, as Youkilis should be around the .390-.400 mark again.
The Nationals had another dismal season, but the production of Ryan Zimmerman didn't take a hit. Zimmerman had a career year in 2009 and while I don't expect him to hit 30+ HR in '10, he once again has the protection of first basemen Adam Dunn and should hit close to .300 AVG and 80+ RBI.
Sure, Mark Reynolds had an amazing year with 40+ HR, 100+ RBI and 20+ SB, but also struck out over 200 times and had a typical slugger's average of .260. Reynolds should have another solid year, but don't expect 40+ HR and 100+ RBI, but concentrate on HR totals around 30 and RBI totals of 85+ with another typical slugger's average between .250 and .260.
Pablo Sandoval was the feel good story of the 2009 season, who was drafted late in most leagues or picked up in April or May and didn't disappoint. Even though Sandoval had a very successful year this season, he's still a young hitter who hasn't played at the major league level for a long time. Sandoval didn't have much protection in the Giants lineup, but didn't need it as he slugged 25 HR and hit over .300. Will that trend continue next season? Sandoval should hit around .300 again in '10, but could slip in the power department.
With Michal Young shifting to third base last season due to the arrival of uber-talented SS Elvis Andrus, Young returned to his old ways by hitting for power. Prior to 2009, Young had only slugged 21 HR and hovered around a .300 AVG in the past two seasons, which left much to be desired in the power department. Last season, Young slugged over 20 HR and hit over .320, after being overlooked by many at third base. Young is one of last third basemen within the top 10 that can hit for average and power.
Chone Figgins offers owners a stat where many third basemen fall short, that stat being stolen bases. You can always count on 35+ stolen bases and close to 100 runs from Figgins year in and year out. While him shifting to Seattle, don't expect his stats to take a tumble to much in these categories. Obviously the Mariners may not run as much as the Angels, but 30 steals isn't a doubt with him. I'm a huge fan of stolen bases and believe speed will always win leagues and since it's a rare commodity with most players (especially at the 3B position), don't feel bad about taking Figgins before other sluggers.
Aramis Ramirez usually has around the same stat line of .290+ AVG, 20-30 HR and close to 100 RBI each season and could easily be flip-flopped in the rankings. Ramirez always has injury concerns, but when healthy, he's an offensive production force and fits nicely with first basemen Derek Lee.
Rookie standout Gordon Beckham will become eligible at 2B next season, but still falls into the 3B eligibility pool. Beckham looks to build on his rookie campaign and not only hit for power, but for average. He should hit around 20 HR and drive in around 75 while hitting for a solid average and giving owners a nice boost not only at 3B, but at 2B.
Just outside the top 10, I shift focus to one of my "buy low, bargain bin" guys for next season. Adrian Beltre will hit the open market this winter and looks to not only land on a winning team, but return to old offensive numbers. Maybe a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered for Beltre? Make no mistake, Beltre has the talent to hit 20+ HR and drive in 80+ RBI, but will he. He had an off year last year that was plagued by a freak injury, but has hit over 25+ HR each year prior to the the 2009 season. I am willing to bet bottom dollar that most owners will forget about Beltre and his 8 HR performance in 2009, so when they skip him over, go ahead and snatch him up.
Larry Wayne Jones Jr. is listed at the 13th spot, but could be a bust because of injuries. I guess you could say the same about any player, but especially with Chipper being so injury prone. Just like Aramis Ramirez, when healthy, Jones is a productive machine. Maybe Martin Prado can help out with rest issues as he's an infield utility specialist; giving Chipper time to heal up from nagging injuries.
I have Ian Stewart like Mark Reynolds is your typical slugger who will hit for power, but lacks in the AVG department and with the high HR totals, come strikeouts.
With the Top 15 3B ranked, it's time to look at some players who will be late round targets, but shouldn't be forgotten about and should post good numbers. I really like Jhonny Peralta for multiple reasons, but his power numbers are the main reason of attraction. Peralta like Beltre, had an off-year in the power department last season (11 HR), but has shown he is capable of hitting 20+ HR and having 90 RBI. The ranking for Garrett Atkins is currently for third base, but with Miguel Tejeda playing third for the O's this season, Atkins will soon be ranked with the first basemen.
With the departure of Mark Teahen, look for Alex Gordon to have a full time starting job in Kansas City. Hopefully Gordon can reward owners who take a chance on him in late rounds and shouldn't be avoided simply because of an injury that derailed his season last year.
Another player that seems to get lost in the shuffle, but can definitely post 20+ HR/70 RBI numbers is Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Athletics. Kouz plays on a bad team and is always around in late rounds or available on the free agent wire.
The curious case of Mark DeRosa still baffles owners with his hot and cold streaks, but I guess that comes with any hitter. He's probably still a lock to hit 15 home runs and score 90 runs.
Troy Glaus surprisingly signed with a NL team risking an injury at some point due to the lack of rest. Glaus has eligibility at third, but will acquire first basemen eligibility by mid April. You can take a risk on him being healthy and hitting 20 home runs, but that might be a BIG risk.
Brandon Wood may finally pay off for fantasy owners who have stuck with him year after year. With Figgins bolting north to Seattle, Wood will finally get the consistent at-bats needed to produce.
Another guy who could make an immediate impact is Andy LaRoche of the Pirates, but for how long? Super prospect Pedro Alvarez is poised to make his big league debut sometime in 2010, which means LaRoche could find himself looking for at-bats. While I think LaRoche is safe for most of the first half next season, just something to keep in mind.