Despite the power of Mark Reynolds, the potential of Brett Lawrie, the storied efficiency of Kevin Youkilis and the legend of A-Rod, ranking Longoria as the division's best third baseman is an easy choice.
Though Longoria struggled at the dish last year, posting a .244 AVG, he was able to smash 31 home runs and get on-base at a .355 rate. That he only struck out 93 times is an indication that his average will return to the .275 - .295 range that he is used to before long.
While his main competitors—Rodriguez and Youkilis—are on the decline, Longoria is still improving and is poised to have a career year in 2012.
He ranks as the best third baseman in the AL East entering the 2012 campaign.
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