Once a black hole, third base suddenly doesn’t look so bad for fantasy owners. Couple the addition of two of the premier hitters in baseball (Miguel Cabrera & Hanley Ramirez) with several high upside young talents bursting onto the scene (like Brett Lawrie, Mike Moustakas and Will Middlebrooks), and suddenly there is a lot of talent to choose from.
Who are the best options for 2013? Let’s take a look:
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
- Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
- Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays
- Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals
- Will Middlebrooks – Boston Red Sox
- Martin Prado – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Michael Young – Philadelphia Phillies
- Does anyone still believe Beltre is a contract year player? In two seasons since joining the Rangers, all he has done is hit 68 home runs with 207 RBI. He has now driven in over 100 runs in three straight seasons and is going to be even more important to the Rangers lineup with Josh Hamilton in Los Angeles. Look for another big season from Beltre.
- Can Longoria stay healthy? We all know that is the biggest question facing him at this point. Over the past two seasons, he has appeared in 133 and 74 games. With a career .516 SLG there is no questioning the talent, but it’s hard not to consider him a risk. Just keep that in mind before drafting him.
- Wright was paid as if he was one of the elite players in the game, but is he really? It’s unlikely that he returns to the days of stealing 20-plus bases and he has 35 total home runs over the past two seasons (14 and 21). Yes, he has the ability to hit for a solid average to go along with some power and some speed, but don’t overpay to acquire him.
- Surprised to see Seager so high on the list? With the fences of Safeco Field being brought in, he has the potential to reach 25-plus HR and has already shown that he can steal 10 or more bases. With a 21.9 percent line drive rate, there is good reason to think he’ll improve on his .259 average making him a solid buy as a low-end option.
- Both Lawrie and Moustakas have struggled in their initial tastes in the major leagues, but don’t let that deter you. They both still have tremendous upside and are well worth the risk if you miss out on the top names. Just make sure you pair them with another more dependable option just in case.
- Surprised David Freese didn’t make the cut (he actually is No. 16)? There is just a lot of risk in him, considering his low fly ball rate (26.2 percent in 2012) and inflated BABIP (.359 BABIP for his career).
What are your thoughts on these rankings? Who’s too high? Who’s too low?
Make sure to check out our 2013 rankings (all of which will be updated in the next few weeks):