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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL THIRD BASEMAN RANKINGS: AN EARLY LOOK

With fantasy football pretty much now in the rearview mirror as we head to the Super Bowl Week 16, fantasy baseball action will ramp up big time here.  Let's check out the first installment of third baseman rankings for the upcoming season.

1.  Miguel Cabrera:  Enjoy him at third while you can because Cabrera will lose eligibility there after the season since he is moving back to 1B full time.
2.  Edwin Encarnacion:  Power as good as anyone in baseball and Encarnacion can also steal 5-10 bases.
3.  Evan Longoria:  Managed to finally stay healthy in 2013 as Longoria slugged 32 home runs.  Keep in mind though his average can be shaky and he no longer steals any bases so Longoria is a three-category guy who is a bit overrated given where he will be picked.
4.  Adrian Beltre:  On production alone Beltre should be over Longoria but the Texas 3B could see a dropoff at any time given he is turning 35.  Has smacked 30 home runs in three straight seasons.
5.  David Wright:  On a per game basis, Wright was back to his 201o rates as he hit 18 home runs and stole 17 bases in only 430 at-bats.  Could easily go 20/20 if he stays healthy.  Best power/speed guy at the position.
6.  Manny Machado:  All signs are now pointing to Machado being ready for Opening Day off his knee surgery.  All of last season's doubles will start turning into home runs as soon as this season and than look out.
7.  Ryan Zimmerman:  Finishes seasons as hot as anyone but getting to that point is pock marked with DL stints and cold stints.  Numbers always get there at the end though.
8.  Pedro Alvarez:  Career .235 average overshadows the extreme power he brings. 
9.  Josh Donaldson:  One of the best values of 2013, Donaldson can hit .310 with 25 home runs and 90 RBI with no one paying attention.  Will come cheaply again given the fact many will want to see him to do it again.
10. Kyle Seager:  If Seager could somehow manage to hit .290 than 22 home runs and 9 steals from 2013 would look much more interesting.  Still very solid player who doesn't get the pub.
11. Aramis Ramirez:  The injuries returned for Ramirez in 2013 and he is aging fast at 36.  Still when he was on the field, Ramirez hit home runs and drove in runs at his normal clip.  Maybe you can squeeze one more decent year out of him.
12. Chase Headley:  Went completely bust last season which I told you he would since 2012 was a complete outlier season with the power.  Has decent wheels and can hit 15 home runs but average is never great and Petco Park remains a drag. 
13. Pablo Sandoval:  After teasing us with possible top tier ability, Kung Fu Panda has settled into the "nice player but not great player" mode.  Doesn't do enough of anything to move the excitement meter.
14. Cody Asche:  Some compare the Phillies' third base prospect to David Wright with his ability to hit for some power and take some bases.  That's all I need to hear. 
15. Xander Bogaerts:  You want to play him at shortstop where the Red Sox future star has his most value.
16. Brett Lawrie:  Still waiting for Lawrie to fulfill his potential.  Starting to look like another PCL-fueled fake.
17. Martin Prado:  You really want to do better than the unflashy Prado.
18. Jedd Gyorko:  Play Gyorko at second base where his 25 home run power looks great.
19. Todd Frazier:  Power didn't show itself last season like we thought it would.
20. Nolan Arrenado:  Any hitter playing in Colorado has our attention.
21. David Freese:  Just another guy now.  One who no one wants.
22. Will Middlebrooks:  Has decent home run ability but strikeouts stunting his overall growth.

There you have it.  As always let us hear your thoughts.

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