St Louis Cardinals

Brian Barden on the Fantasy Radar

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 06:  Brian Barden #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals stands as the Pittsburgh Pirates are at bat during Opening Day on April 6, 2009  at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Christopher J. FarinoContributor IApril 23, 2009

Sometimes it is not the top prospects in Major League Baseball who get off to hot starts and find themselves on the fantasy radar.

St. Louis Cardinals' rookie third basemen, Brian Barden, hasn't made too much noise in the minors and has had just a slightly better than average minor league career.

The 28-year-old rookie is another member of the increasing list of older rookies making it in the big leagues. In fact, his teammate, Ryan Ludwick, took a similar route to the majors and broke out in 2008.

Will Brian Barden be the same type of breakout older-rookie like Ludwick? That is asking a lot and isn’t likely, but he is off to a great start and just might fill a hole at third base for your fantasy team.

He only has 23 at bats, so this is way too early to prognosticate, but batting .391 and hitting three home runs with the 23 at bats is a darn nice start.

The power numbers he has displayed seem a bit more than what he has shown in the minors.

In 2008 AAA Memphis, he hit just nine home runs with his 411 at bats, while batting .285. Though minor league power numbers often increase in the majors, it is hard to project him for more than 20 home runs, if indeed he is the real deal.

Barden spent much of 2004 and all of 2005, 2006 and 2007 in AAA, where he hit as many as 16 home runs.

With Troy Glaus currently on the DL and likely to return to the DL, at some point in the season, he could see a lot of time at third base in 2009.

In addition, he has already played shortstop and second base and could easily beat out Khalil Greene, Skip Schumaker, and Brendan Ryan in the infield, if he continues to hit.


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