Matt’s Third Base Ranks

No introduction needed, I think the title says it all. As a refresher, you can view my complete ranks here.

Third Base is a crazy position this year. Free agents that weren’t patrolling the hot corner caused the position to become deeper than ever before, or at least it will be after a couple weeks of baseball and people pick up their eligibility tags. I won’t dive into each player in my ranks here, but if you have a question about someone I left out, ask in the comments.

Time for notes!

Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez are the two prime reasons that 3rd has jumped in depth, while Cabrera may have 3B by his name in title only, his bat plays anywhere. No introduction needed. HanRam on the other hand has tools that no one questions, but his head is a big question. On top of his game he is 2nd to none, but he lets emotions get the best of him and they really impact his performance. I’m nervous that despite whatever he says to the media he is not going to be happy about playing third and that it is going to lead to a lapse in performance. I don’t think he will be as bad as he was last year but I’m not going to gamble a high pick or large % of my auction budget on him.

David Wright is primed for a big year. I can feel it. One of two true 5 category players in the position, the only concern I have about Wright at this point is health. With a broken back last year, concussion the year before and him working through sore ribs now his durability is coming into question. But Wright is a gamer and unless he is in danger of severely injuring himself worse, he’ll play through pain, and usually at a fairly high level.

Brett Lawrie the other 5 category monster at the position. Through seven games this spring his triple slash is .579/.600/.842! Spring doesn’t mean anything though, but his 150 AB’s in the majors last year should. He showed power (9 HR, 8 doubles), discipline (.373 OBP) and speed (7 Steals, 1 CS, 4 triples). He is the only 3B that ZiPS, Bill James and RotoChamp project a 20/20 season from.

Pablo Sandoval had a great bounce back year batting  .315 with 23 HR’s despite missing more than a month with a broken wrist. Reports come in this spring that he looks good, but his weight it up, which was a concern in years past. However if he has slimmed down some but weighs more that just means he added muscle, and I don’t have a problem with that. I would draft him with confidence.

Alex Rodriguez is a player I’m staying away from. Despite the lineup he is aging, been getting hurt, and his batted ball rates are all moving in the wrong directions. If I’m wrong, great, it won’t bother me because I’ll have one of the guys ranked above him on my list who will be performing just as well if not better in A-Rod’s “bounce back” year.

David Freese needs to stay on the field. If he can do that he’s gonna produce. His 2010 and 2011 seasons combined are just about 1 full season. Over that span he has 14 HRs, 69 Runs, 91 RBI and a .297 AVG.

Sleeper: Daniel Murphy was top 5 in NL batting as of when he got hurt last year. Despite playing 2B this year, he has eiligibilty at 3B for this season. He won’t hit a lot of HR’s but he’s a .300 hitter who gets on base and is a doubles machine. He’ll be batting 2nd in the Mets lineup and with Wright, Ike Davis, a possibly resurgent Bay and the man child Camptown Races kid (or The Dude, if you prefer) batting behind him, runs should come in droves.