Third base drops off after the first few rounds, but there might be some value in the mid-rounds and a source of power late.
YPNM: Your Problem, Not Mine, is a term I grew fond of while listening to MLB.com’s Fantasy 411 back in the MLB.com Radio days..
These target rounds assume a standard 12 team 5×5 format.
Round 1: Evan Longoria, David Wright
These two are fantasy monsters and in their prime years.
Round 2-3: Ryan Zimmerman, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis
The clear-cut second tier options.
Round 4-6: Zilch
See YPNM’s below
Round 7-15: Mark Reynolds, Pedro Alvarez, Casey McGehee, Aramis Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval
These look like they could be the prime value rounds for 3B.
I have Mark Reynolds projected for somewhat of a bounce-back this season. He played through injuries late last year, which definitely affected his numbers. In Baltimore, in an improved lineup, he could approach 40 bombs and 100 RBI. Another bounce-back candidate is Aramis Ramirez, who struggled with an injury early last season, but came around once healthy.
While I don’t have the highest hopes for Pedro Alvarez to hit much higher than .260 in 2011, his power potential is more than legit. He should approach 30 homers and 100 RBI hitting behind Tabata, Walker and McCutchen.
Pablo Sandoval may have lost weight, but it’s his dedication that could be the difference maker in 2011.
Round 16-20: Edwin Encarnacion, Alex Gordon, Chase Headley
Without the pressures and mental strain of booting balls around the hot corner, EDH can sit back and hit the long ball. He’s one of my breakout candidates for 2011. Both Alex Gordon and Chase Headley seem to be top-prospects that now have limited major league upside. However, there could be value in both should you take a flier in the late rounds.
Rounds 20-plus: Scott Rolen, Chipper Jones
If it comes down to the final couple of rounds, there is no risk in taking Rolen or Chipper. If they stay healthy, great. If not, they’re an easy cut.
Adrian Beltre – He’s been battling a calf strain this spring and is coming off of a career year. The last time he was sitting on a fat contract, he disappointed. I think he’ll be fine as far as third tier third base production, but I’d rather stay clear.
Jose Bautista- Yes, Bautista improved in the final months of the 2009 season. Yes, he carried this over to 2010 and actually got stronger as the season went along. No, I don’t think he can do it again. If he regresses to .240/35 HR, he could end up being close to Mark Reynolds production at twice to three times the price.
Ian Stewart – While I believe in his raw power, I’m not convinced he’ll get enough playing time in a crowded Colorado infield to hit 20-plus bombs. He has issues against left-handed pitching and is battling knee issues this spring.