Monday, February 4, 2013

Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Third Basemen

Article by Jeremy McCabe
SportsWiseGuy Writer

AL MVP Miguel Cabrera

The hot corner is one of the toughest positions in baseball. Unlike previous years, the third base position has a lot of depth in this season’s class. You can definitely wait this year to take a third basemen if you don’t want to take a big name. This list will feature some playoff heroes, and some superstars. Let’s get crackin’.   
10- Aramis Ramirez
    This 14-year old vet, had a typical Aramis Ramirez year in his first year with the Brewers. Hitting behind Braun surely helped Ramirez. He drove in 100 RBIs for his seventh season in his career, hit 25+ home runs for his tenth year, and had his sixth career .300 year. Ramirez is a big bat at third, who had a career high 50 doubles a year ago. If Braun is expected to have the season he is supposed to have, Aramis will get plenty of chances to increase his numbers during the season. And hopefully, that means more wins for Ramirez fantasy owners. Don’t hesitate to take the 34-year old this season.
9- David Freese
    2011 postseason hero David Freese cracks the top ten. Freese’s 2012 campaign was his first in which is played in over 100 games, he actually played a career high 144. He was a major run producer in the St. Louis lineup in 2012, blasting 20 long balls and driving in 79, and I expect big things again from the 29-year old in the new season. I acquired Freese last year in a trade as just a throw in and he started third everyday on my team. David Freese hit sixth for most of the year last year, but had the likes of All-Stars Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, and Yadier Molina in front of him. I expect David to break his career highs in home runs, RBIs and average this season and to be a huge contributor in the Cards lineup.
8- Ryan Zimmerman
    The third baseman for the defending NL East Ryan Zimmerman is entering his eighth season this year. In six of Zimmerman’s seven big league seasons, he has hit at least .280. Now that Ryan’s Nats are winning, this year should be a coming out party for the 28-year old vet. Zimmerman is expected to hit once again behind Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper, and for fantasy owners, knowing Bryce will be in front of him brings all of us joy. Ryan has been the face of the Nationals since he started playing every day in 2006. Zimmerman has had at least 20 home runs in every season he plays more than 106 games. Zimmerman is a middle of the order threat and will help your fantasy team.
7-Chase Headley
    2012 Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner Chase Headley gets placed in the number seven slot. The third baseman had career highs in almost every single offensive category. His 115 RBIs led the National League last season, and for being on a not so good San Diego team, that is very impressive. His 13 home runs at PETCO last season is a sign that someone could still put up huge numbers on that team. He also matched his career high with 17 stolen bases, which is an above average number of steals for a third baseman. His .874 OPS last season was not only his career high, but it wasn’t even close. His previous high was .773, which is over .100! I don’t expect Chase to quite have the year he had last season, but if he is anything close, he will be a steal as the number seven third baseman.
6-Hanley Ramirez
    Once again I could be cheating with this pick, but Hanley will be eligible for third base this season, or should be. The former Rookie of the Year can do everything. He had 21 steals last season between the Marlins and the Dodgers, but that doesn’t compare to his back to back 51 steal seasons in 2006 and 2007. Hanley is coming back! His 21 home runs and 92 RBIs last year were his most since 2009, when he had 24 bombs and 106 RBIs. Hanley is on an NL contending LA Dodger team and will have numerous opportunities to pad his stats. This career .298 hitter will show that he can hit .300 again and steal 30 bags. I had Hanley on my team last year, but he played shortstop for me, which will be a possibility for all of you out there. You need to take the risk with Hanley Ramirez.
5-Pablo Sandoval
    The MVP of the 2012 World Series cracks the top five. Pablo had an outstanding postseason and will look to further his successes in 2013. Pablo is a career .303 hitter who missed some time last season with injury. The defending champion Giants look to their number three hitter Sandoval for production and so am I. Pablo hasn’t played 120 games since 2010, but hit .315 with 23 home runs in 2011 in only 117 games. So Pablo shows you that he can still produce, even if he misses some time. Pablo has the power and the contact to be able to hit over .300 and 30 home runs.  His performance in Game 1 of the World Series was remarkable and is giving him momentum in the upcoming 2013 fantasy drafts. Pablo is a special talent and will have an excellent season on an excellent team.  
4-Adrian Beltre
    Adrian Beltre has been a catalyst for the Texas Ranger offense the last two seasons. Adrian recorded his third straight 100 RBI season and last year was his second best season of his career. Here are all the stats that he recorded last year which were his 2nd highest in his career; 36 homeruns ranks second, 95 runs scored, he tied his second highest average with a .321 mark, a .920 OPS, 194 hits and a .359 OBP. His 2004 season totals will forever be untouched, 48 homeruns and 121 RBIs with a .334 average. Without Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre will slide right into the number three spot in the dangerous Texas lineup and will try to have another remarkable season. Having any Ranger on your fantasy team is a good sign. Having Adrian Beltre on your team will improve your team dramatically.
3-David Wright
    One of the all-time great Mets, David Wright, fresh off his juicy new eight-year contract is poised to lead the Mets into the 2013 season. This six-time All-Star is a career .301 hitter and plays in a ballpark that benefits Wright’s opposite field hitting. Hurting Wright’s stats is the lack of lineup that other people on this list have. Wright last season had his highest hit total since 2008 (178).  Wright still had a fantastic season last year with 21 home runs and 93 RBIs with an outrageous .391 OBP. David could put all the contract talks behind him and play ball. Wright doesn’t steal as much as he used to, he attempted 25 steals but only converted 15. In 2007, he stole 34, but that is not David’s game anymore. Wright will hit at least .300 and hit 20 homeruns. He will get on base via walk, or hit which always give you opportunities for runs. Don’t overlook Wright because he plays on a mediocre team, a great player will get his stats.
2-Evan Longoria
    Evan (not Eva) Longoria is a stud in every definition of the word. The former Rookie of the Year and two-time Gold Glove winner had an injury plagued season last year, only playing in 74 games. He still found a way to hit 17 home runs. In his four previous years, he averaged 28 home runs, and exactly 100 RBIs. Longoria is a great talent, and he is the face of the Tampa Bay Rays. Longoria gives any fantasy owner the power, average, and anything else you could ever want from a third baseman. Healthy, Longoria is one of the best overall players in the game right now. The only reason that Longoria is before Wright is because Evan‘s pop. Wright could very easily hit 20-25 home runs this year, but Longoria has the ability to hit 30-35. Longoria is a fantasy dream for any owner.
1-Miguel Cabrera
    No introduction is needed for this player. Reigning MVP and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is the best third baseman in the game today. When his big 6’-4”, 240 frame enters the box, he uses his intimidation factor to get inside your head. The only offensive stat category he didn’t finish first in the AL with was runs, and he finished second. In nine full seasons, he is a career .318 hitter, which is almost unbelievable, but I’m literally looking at the stat now. In his nine seasons, he is averaging 34 homeruns, and118 RBIs. I would take those numbers every season. Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in the game and numbers alone, no other compares. But last season was the best of them all, setting career highs in hits (205), home runs (44), and RBIs (139). Miguel isn’t only the number one third basemen, but some consider him the number one overall pick in upcoming fantasy drafts, which would not be stupid.

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