Fantasy Baseball 2012 Rankings: Top 15 Third Basemen

Eric StashinSenior Writer IJanuary 31, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 6: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays watches a fly ball during MLB action against the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre September 6, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

We all know that third base is among the shallowest positions in fantasy sports. Even with a few youngsters joining the mix (most notably Brett Lawrie), there is still a tremendous amount of risk involved in many of the options (i.e. Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis). 

Let’s take a look at how things currently stand as we head into the season:


  1. Jose Bautista–Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Evan Longoria–Tampa Bay Rays
  3. Adrian Beltre–Texas Rangers
  4. David Wright–New York Mets
  5. Ryan Zimmerman–Washington Nationals
  6. Pablo Sandoval–San Francisco Giants
  7. Brett Lawrie–Toronto Blue Jays
  8. Aramis Ramirez–Milwaukee Brewers
  9. Kevin Youkilis–Boston Red Sox
  10. Michael Young–Texas Rangers
  11. Alex Rodriguez–New York Yankees
  12. Emilio Bonifacio–Miami Marlins
  13. Mark Reynolds–Baltimore Orioles
  14. Mike Moustakas–Kansas City Royals
  15. Edwin Encarnacion–Toronto Blue Jays


  • Alex Rodriguez outside of the Top 10? Really? He’ll turn 37 years old during the 2012 campaign, has become an injury liability and no longer has the speed advantage that he once did. The chances of him missing a significant amount of time is enough of a reason to look to avoid him in all formats—especially given where you would need to draft him in order to acquire him.


  • Speaking of injury risk options, can Kevin Youkilis play more than 140 games in a season? He hasn’t achieved that since 2008, including playing in just 102 games in 2010.  Throw in the fact that his average plummeted (.258 in part due to a career-worst .296 BABIP) and you just have to wonder. I’m not recommending avoiding him, but there is a lot of risk involved in selecting him as your starter. Just be prepared with a viable bench alternative.


  • Mike Moustakas is a young third baseman with plenty of potential. While he struggled in his first taste of major league action, he also started to figure it out and excel in September. At a weak position, that’s more than enough to continue to give him a chance as a bench option. For my 2012 projections, click here.


  • Can David Wright recapture his glory years now that the fences of CitiField are being moved in? It’s not like he performed particularly well on the road in 2011, hitting .268 with nine HR and 35 RBI over 209 AB. You can argue that the old field had a mental effect on his production, but time will tell in that regard. There’s a chance that he performs like one of the elite, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if he struggles once again.


  • Brett Lawrie had his major league debut delayed due to injury, but once he arrived—he showed what all the hype was about. In 150 AB with the Blue Jays, he hit .293 with nine HR, 25 RBI, 26 R and seven SB. Could the power regress (he had a 17.0 percent HR/FB)? Sure, but it’s not like it is going to fall off a cliff, either. He has the ability to be a 20/20 force, something that is rare to find among third basemen. That gives him huge value at a position that is riddled with question marks. You can see my 2012 projection for Lawrie by clicking here.


  • Now is not the time to be giving up on Evan Longoria, who I think should still be considered for a selection at the tail end of the first round. To find out why, click here

Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: