Fantasy Baseball 2012 Rankings (AL-Only): Top 12 Third Basemen

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Fantasy Baseball 2012 Rankings (AL-Only): Top 12 Third Basemen
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Third base is generally considered a weak position, but in AL-only formats, it doesn’t look so bad. 

While he may not be an ideal option, would only complain about a potential 20-plus HR hitter in Edwin Encarnacion? 

What about a potential 30-plus SB option like Chone Figgins? While there may be good options (especially once Miguel Cabrera gains eligibility), that doesn’t mean there aren’t some options that are better than others. 

Let’s take a look at how things currently look:

  1. Jose Bautista: Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Evan Longoria: Tampa Bay Rays
  3. Adrian Beltre: Texas Rangers
  4. Brett Lawrie: Toronto Blue Jays
  5. Kevin Youkilis: Boston Red Sox
  6. Michael Young: Texas Rangers
  7. Alex Rodriguez: New York Yankees
  8. Mark Reynolds: Baltimore Orioles
  9. Mike Moustakas: Kansas City Chiefs
  10. Edwin Encarnacion: Toronto Blue Jays
  11. Chone Figgins: Seattle Mariners
  12. Sean Rodriguez: Tampa Bay Rays

Thoughts:

  • Both Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rodriguez have proven how talented they are, but both carry significant injury risks at this point in their careers. They are high risk, high reward, but could prove well worth it. I’d prefer to take the gamble on Youkilis, myself, since the Yankees will give Rodriguez significantly more time off throughout the season. In other words, consider Eduardo Nunez could ultimately prove to be a viable sleeper.
  • Is there any doubt that Brett Lawrie is the future of the position? However, while everyone may want to write off Mike Moustakas given his slow start to his Major League career, he may not actually be too far behind. I’ve given my projection of him for 2012 (click here to view), so make sure to check that out. The bottom line is that Moustakas has a history of starting slowly at a level before figuring it out. In September ’11, he hit .352 with 4 HR and 12 RBI. Yes, there was some luck, but it could easily be the start of things to come.
  • Now that it appears Chone Figgins will be playing every day and hitting leadoff, he has suddenly re-entrenched himself as a viable fantasy sleeper. Remember, he posted a pathetic .215 BABIP last season. He also had stolen at least 40 bases five times in six seasons from 2005-2010 (and at least 30 every year from 2004-2010). He simply needs some improved luck and he should be a viable option in all formats.
  • Evan Longoria struggled in 2011, hitting .244 with 31 HR, 99 RBI and 78 R. However, does that mean that he no longer should be viewed as one of the elite players in the game and a potential first-round pick? Absolutely not, which I discussed here. The fact is that he suffered from a .239 BABIP after never posting a mark below .309. With an improved average will come more runs scored. Considering he already had the power and RBI, there's no reason to think that he won’t rebound.

Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings:

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