Moving right along with my 2013 Fantasy Baseball feature "Guys I Like/Hate More Than You", today brings up the always volatile third baseman where injuries have struck here more than any non-pitching position the last two years. Let's see who makes the cut this season.
Fantasy Baseball Third Baseman I Like More Than You:
David Wright: In the interest of full disclosure, I am a New York Mets fan at heart as painful as that can be. Wright however has been a fantasy baseball monster in the past and even though he is not longer the first round pick he once was due to Citi Field's dimensions, he still is fully capable of a .300/100 RBI/25 HR/15 SB season which is still fantasy baseball gold.
Aramis Ramirez: I call Aramis "Old Reliable" as he has always turned a nice profit due to the fact he never gets drafted as high as he should. Even though he is now 34 years old which is getting a bit up there, Ramirez comes off one of his best seasons in 2012 with 27 HR and 105 RBI and .300 average. No slippage just yet and he continues to be drafted later than he should.
Will Middlebrooks: Love the potential of this kid who could have blown us all away if he had stayed healthy the second half of 2012. In only 267 at-bats, Middlebrooks cleared the outfield fence 15 times and he even has some underrated speed that he hasn't fully unleashed yet. The average could be sketchy for a year or two due to his bloated K rate but the power is above average and 25 home runs is almost a lock if he stays in once piece. The best part is that the injury and missed time last season helped to keep his draft price somewhat down so a nice profit could be made with his bat.
Todd Frazier: Could be the cheapest 30 home runs in baseball. And yes I said 30 home runs. Frazier was in the running for NL Rookie of the Year last season before a late fade but 19 home runs in 422 at-bats showed some serious pop. He also qualifies at first and third base. Save a late round pick for this developing kid.
Fantasy Baseball Third Baseman I Hate More Than You
Ryan Zimmerman: This has nothing to do with Zim's ability but instead it is all about his ongoing penchant for spending time on the DL. You can almost set your watch to Zimmerman falling on the DL at least once a season and I hate investing in that kind of player knowing I am not going to get a full slate of at-bats. The guy can hit with the bets of them at the position but not knowing how long that DL stint will last leaves me looking elsewhere.
Martin Prado: Nice average but not enough juice in the power department to make worth using at third base.
David Freese: There is surely a home for a guy who could hit .300 with 20 home runs but I want a little more sizzle from my third baseman in the way of a bit more pop and a few steals thrown in. Also Freese is another medical frightfest.
There you have it. As always let us hear your thoughts.