Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Third Base

Overall rankings will consist of the player’s value in a points format, earning points for each H, R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, basically a formula of Total Bases + RBI + Runs = Total Value.  Here are the rankings for 2B, projections are italicized:

1a. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

.302/.447/.608, 24 2B, 2 3B, 43 HR, 103 RBI, 9 SB in 513 AB

.308/.454/.603, 29 2B, 1 3B, 38 HR, 112 RBI, 6 SB in 509 AB

Joey Bats should maintain 3B eligibility in some formats.  It’s doubtful that he’ll play more than 10 games at 3B unless Brett Lawrie gets hurt or goes all Travis Snider on the Blue Jays, deciding he can’t hit anymore.  Bautista has 97 HR the last two seasons and his lineup is getting better around him.  He could hit 50 HR again if he isn’t walked 132 times like he was last year.

1b. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

.344/.448/.586, 48 2B, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 2 SB in 572 AB

.327/.431/.596, 49 2B, 37 HR, 121 RBI, 1 SB in 579 AB

He’s listed here due to the trial that Jim Leyland believes is going to work.  He’ll have 3B eligibility once he plays there and he will be the top 3B, along with Bautista.  You can’t go wrong with either of them, and Cabrera’s arrival to 3B makes the position strong once again…along with:

2. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins

.243/.333/.379, 16 2B, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 10 SB in 385 AB

.305/.380/.505, 37 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 85 RBI, 35 SB in 594 AB

Sure, he’s been declining/injured, but the guy is still just 28-years-old.  Ramirez is an elite level talent when he is playing to his abilities.  With Jose Reyes coming aboard and Logan Morrison becoming a top offensive talent, he has a lineup that he can become the catalyst within again.  This may be an over-the-top ranking, but even in a ballpark that we don’t know how it will play, you know that Ramirez is going to work to prove that 2011 was not who he is.

3. Adrian Beltre, Rangers

.296/.331/.561, 33 2B, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 1 SB in 487 AB

.311/.346/.594, 39 2B, 38 HR, 121 RBI, 1 SB in 591 AB

Why so high on the projections?  Because Beltre only played in 124 games last year and he posted his ridiculous power numbers.  A full season with Cruz, Kinsler, Hamilton, Napoli, and Young around him, if he stays healthy, would allow Beltre to join into a 1c role with Cabrera and Bautista.

4. Evan Longoria, Rays

.244/.355/.495, 26 2B, 1 3B, 31 HR, 99 RBI, 3 SB in 483 AB

.293/.401/.521, 33 2B, 2 3B, 38 HR, 113 RBI, 2 SB in 576 AB

Longoria struggled to get the ball where others weren’t last season, posting a BABIP of just .239 in 2011.  His career average is now .301, counting 2011.  He’s in for a huge return to glory.  Nevermind the fact that he is just 26, Longoria is already a top player in baseball.  If you have him in a keeper league…keep him.  He’s very likely to pass 40 HR in 2012.

5. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals

.289/.355/.443, 21 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 3 SB in 395 AB

.296/.361/.489, 42 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 91 RBI, 5 SB in 581 AB

If the shoulder holds up…No wonder third base looked so weak without Cabrera and Ramirez – Everyone else who mattered was hurt for portions of 2011.  Zimmerman is still within tier-one of 3B, but he isn’t capable of the outlandish numbers that the top five can put up.

6. Pablo Sandoval, Giants

.315/.357/.552, 26 2B, 3 3B, 23 HR, 70 RBI, 2 SB in 426 AB

.309/.361/.561, 36 2B, 3 3B, 27 HR, 98 RBI, 2 SB in 591 AB

Kung Fu posted solid numbers after healing from his wrist injury last year, developing and showing power that should excite his owners.  His body may continue to make people uncomfortable in “gambling” on him, but he posted his 2011 totals in 109 starts and 117 total games.  With Posey back and Belt replacing older junk on the Giants roster, he should become the heart of the order in San Francisco in 2012.

7.  David Wright, Mets

.254/.345/.427, 23 2B, 1 3B, 14 HR, 61 RBI, 13 SB in 389 AB

.281/.366/.485, 34 2B, 3 3B, 23 HR, 88 RBI, 15 SB in 564 AB

Move the fences in all you want, there isn’t going to be anyone to knock in when Wright comes up.  Davis and Duda are solid, but the Mets are going to struggle.  Wright is going to continue to be an injury risk due to his back issues.  He could very well be traded to a better team/ballpark, but you can’t count on those things.  He should be solid again, but it is doubtful that he is ever elite.

8. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

.276/.362/.461, 21 2B, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 4 SB in 373 AB

.281/.366/.488, 32 2B, 2 3B, 26 HR, 91 RBI, 6 SB in 539 AB

He’s aging and declining but you can see that in 99 games in 2011, he was still productive.  You may want to handcuff him like a fantasy football running back with Eduardo Nunez, just in case, but ARod still has a couple of solid seasons in him…or the Yankees and their fans better hope so, given his absurd contract.

9.  Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays

.293/.373/.580, 8 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 7 SB in 150 AB

.281/.349/.508, 34 2B, 6 3B, 24 HR, 91 RBI, 22 SB in 567 AB

Based on last season, Lawrie could be a 30 2B, 15 3B, 34 HR, 26 SB, .953 OPS guy.  It’s a small sample size, but that is probably his peak season.  He isn’t there yet.  He’s going to be valuable immediately and he will continue to improve, but don’t expect a 30/30 season in his first full year.  He’s an incredible athlete and should be fun to watch.

10. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers

.306/.361/.510, 35 2B, 1 3B, 26 HR, 93 RBI, 1 SB in 565 AB

.286/.354/.484, 28 2B, 1 3B, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 1 SB in 547 AB

Aramis had what I like to call a “contract year” (make sure you’re doing the Chris Farley as Matt Foley quotations with your fingers while you say that back).  Ramirez will be turning 34 in June and was signed for $12 million per season for three years with a mutual option for a fourth year.  The Brewers won’t want or need that fourth year.  Ramirez had issues staying healthy in the past and something tells me that this is going to end up like a Carlos Lee deal – he’ll end up at first base before the end of this deal, if not in 2012.  He won’t come close to replacing Prince Fielder, but the Brewers had to do something.

11. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox

.258/.373/.459, 32 2B, 2 3B, 17 HR, 80 RBI, 3 SB in 431 AB

.279/.398/.488, 38 2B, 2 3B, 24 HR, 96 RBI, 4 SB in 576 AB

12. David Freese, Cardinals

.297/.350/.441, 16 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 1 SB in 333 AB

.284/.339/.446, 25 2B, 2 3B, 18 HR, 74 RBI, 2 SB in 519 AB

Don’t be one of those guys who thinks that he is who he was in the postseason.  Billy Hatcher once had an awesome postseason, too.  Freese is 29 in April.  He is what he is and he isn’t going to get a whole lot better – an injury prone, late-blooming hitter who strikes out too much.

13. Mark Reynolds, Orioles

.221/.323/.483, 27 2B, 1 3B, 37 HR, 86 RBI, 6 SB in 534 AB

.231/.334/.491, 31 2B, 1 3B, 38 HR, 96 RBI, 5 SB in 547 AB

Reynolds can mash when he makes contact.  He’ll probably play more first base in 2012 than anything, and he may not even qualify for 3B in some leagues if you have position changes in season.  Reynolds will keep what he does best…strikeout and occasionally hit a homeless man outside of Camden Yards with a massive longball.

14. Chipper Jones, Braves

.275/.344/.470, 33 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 2 SB in 455 AB

.301/.366/.484, 36 2B, 2 3B, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 3 SB in 501 AB

I can’t get over Larry calling out Jason Heyward for not playing hurt.  When ol’ Larry and Heyward are on the field together, magic will happen.  Look for one last solid season before Chipper disappears into the sunset.

15. Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks

.249/.341/.427, 25 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 18 SB in 482 AB

.257/.346/.439, 27 2B, 2 3B, 24 HR, 71 RBI, 16 SB in 543 AB

Roberts posted solid values last season across the board.  If you have a 5 X 5 league and can deal with his average, picking him late will allow you to focus on pitching/closers earlier.

16. Mike Moustakas, Royals

.263/.309/.367, 18 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 2 SB in 338 AB

.286/.331/.411, 24 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB in 566 AB

The guy was 22 for all of last season and struck out in just 14% of his AB.  He wasn’t overmatched, he just didn’t have a lot of luck.  He may not become an immediate All-Star, but he is going to begin hitting.

17. Chase Headley, Padres

.289/.374/.399, 28 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 44 RBI, 13 SB in 381 AB

.293/.376/.402, 34 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 61 RBI, 17 SB in 536 AB

18. Danny Valencia, Twins

.246/.294/.383, 28 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 72 RBI, 2 SB in 564 AB

.268/.324/.401, 31 2B, 3 3B, 17 HR, 76 RBI, 1 SB in 549 AB

19. Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians

.255/.284/.415, 13 2B, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB in 212 AB

.261/.301/.411, 21 2B, 14 HR, 69 RBI, 3 SB in 401 AB

Chiz may not start the year as the 3B in Cleveland.  That would be a shame since the other option is Jack Hannahan (barf!).  He is going to struggle against LHP and he may always be that guy.  He is someone that you’ll want to look ahead for matchups, like you should do with Matt Joyce if you own him.  Chisenhall has enough pop in his bat to be valuable while posting unimpressive AVG and OBP numbers.

20. Wilson Betemit, Orioles

.285/.343/.452, 22 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 46 RBI, 4 SB in 323 AB

.270/.334/.435, 26 2B, 3 3B, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 5 SB in 476 AB

I’ve always thought Betemit could put up solid numbers if he played every day.  He has enough power in his bat to offset the huge strikeout totals he would post, too.  He may be playing 3B everyday in Baltimore if the O’s do put Reynolds at 1B, so he is worth a look in deep leagues.

The Rest:

Alberto Callaspo, Angels; Mark Trumbo, Angels; Scott Rolen, Reds; Juan Francisco, Reds; Placido Polanco, Phillies; Ty Wigginton, Phillies; Ian Stewart, Cubs; Pedro Alvarez, Pirates; Casey McGehee, Pirates; Brent Morel, White Sox;

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