At one point in time, third base was an easy position to fill when it came to fantasy baseball. Those days are sadly over and now the talent at the position (at least from a fantasy perspective) has dwindled to a mere handful of players. Outside of the top five, I really don’t feel completely comfortable with anybody else in my starting lineup. Having a sense of security is what makes 3B a very important fantasy position to draft early on.
The Yahoo! experts released their top 10 rankings list for third base a few weeks ago but I don’t agree with many of their rankings. They seem to base most of their rankings simply off last season’s performances. You really should look at years past to judge a player’s value. That’s why Brett Lawrie probably shouldn’t be ranked in the top 10 and why Michael Young should be much higher.
Here are my top 10 third basemen for the upcoming 2013 fantasy baseball season. This list also doesn’t include Hanley Ramirez who should be ranked among shortstops.
I rank him: #1
Yahoo Experts rank him: #1
2012 stats: 161 games, 622 at-bats, 109 runs, 44 HR, 139 RBI, 4 SB, .330 average
Not only would I rank Miguel Cabrera as the best third basemen, but I consider him the best overall player going into the 2013 season. This guy should be drafted in your first pick if he is available.
I rank him: #2
Yahoo experts rank him: #2
2012 stats: 156 games, 604 at-bats, 95 runs, 36 HR, 102 RBI, 1 SB, .321 average
Beltre has hit around 30 home runs, over 100 RBI’s, and at or around .300 average for the past three seasons. This is some nice consistency to have at a shallow position.
I rank him: #3
Yahoo experts rank him: #3
2012 stats: 74 games, 273 at-bats, 39 runs, 17 HR, 55 RBI, 2 SB, .289 average
Don’t let his stats fool you, he missed a lot of time last season so his numbers are a lot lower than they should be. He will probably put up numbers closer to his totals from 2011 (30ish home runs and around 100 RBI). Just hopefully with a better batting average.
I rank him: #4
Yahoo experts rank him: #4
2012 stats: 156 games, 581 at-bats, 91 runs, 21 HR, 93 RBI, 15 SB, .306 average
Wright used to be a 20 HR / 20 SB player but lately his speed has declined. He stole just 15 bags last year and was caught stealing 10 times. At least he brought his average back up above .300.
I rank him: #5
Yahoo experts rank him: #6
2012 stats: 145 games, 578 at-bats, 93 runs, 25 HR, 95 RBI, 5 SB, .282 average
Zimmerman should put up 20-30 home runs and 80-100 RBI. He rounds out the top five at the position and is the last guy I really trust in my starting lineup.
I rank him: #6
Yahoo experts rank him: #9
2012 stats: 149 games, 570 at-bats, 92 runs, 27 HR, 105 RBI, 9 SB, .300 average
Ramirez cracked 100 RBI’s last season which is good. He also batted .300 which is good. he has a history of putting up these kinds of numbers, which is why I think he should be ranked higher than ninth at the position. But his average from 2010 still scares me.
I rank him: #7
Yahoo experts rank him: #10
2012 stats: 156 games, 617 at-bats, 81 runs, 10 HR, 70 RBI, 17 SB, .310 average
Prado’s numbers should improve now that he is playing at Chase Field – a ballpark known to favor hitters. He has hit .300 or higher four of the last five seasons and also stole a career high 17 bases last year.
I rank him: #8
Yahoo experts rank him: #7
2012 stats: 161 games, 604 at-bats, 95 runs, 31 HR, 115 RBI, 17 SB, .286 average
Headley had a breakout season last year with career highs in just about every major hitting category. Still, his numbers from the past four seasons weren’t really all that impressive. Was last year a fluke? Hard to tell…
I rank him: #9
Yahoo experts rank him: #8
2012 stats: 108 games, 396 at-bats, 59 runs, 12 HR, 63 RBI, 1 SB, .282 average
Pandoval only played around 100 games last season so its hard to judge his stats for what they are. Then again, he only played around 100 games the year before as well. Can fantasy owners even get a full season out of this guy?
I rank him: #10
Yahoo experts rank him: #20
2012 stats: 156 games, 611 at-bats, 79 runs, 8 HR, 67 RBI, 2 SB, .277 average
I’ve always liked Young for his batting average. He had a down year last season but I don’t think that should mean he falls way down to #20 at third base. It was only 2011 when Young was still batting .338 with 106 RBIs.