By Derek of The Sportmeisters
Here we are. After just about two months in the season, I thought I would bust out my preseason rankings and adjust them a bit to show how right or wrong I am.
1. David Wright – New York Mets
2. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
3. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
4. Aramis Ramirez – Chicago Cubs
5. Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves
6. Garrett Atkins – Colorado Rockies
7. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
8. Michael Young – Texas Rangers
9. Adrian Beltre – Seattle Mariners
10. Chone Figgins – LA Angels Of Anaheim
11. Mike Lowell – Boston Red Sox
12. Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
13. Edwin Encarnacion – Cincinnati Reds
14. Mark DeRosa – Cleveland Indians
15. Brandon Inge – Detroit Tigers
1. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
2. Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
3. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
4. David Wright – New York Mets
5. Michael Young – Texas Rangers
6. Chone Figgins – LA Angels Of Anaheim
7. Brandon Inge – Detroit Tigers
8. Mike Lowell – Boston Red Sox
9. Casey Blake – Los Angeles Dodgers
10. Mark DeRosa – Cleveland Indians
11. Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves
12. Scott Rolen – Toronto Blue Jays
13. Andy LaRoche – Pittsburgh Pirates
14. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
15. Pedro Feliz – Philadelphia Phillies
Wow, what a difference! A-Rod and Aramis Ramirez are not on this list largely due to their injuries. Let’s go over each player and why I have them ranked so high.
1. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays – .322 BA, 38 R, 13 HR, 55 RBI, 2 SB
Fluke? I don’t think so! Longoria has followed up his phenomenal Rookie year with a great start. He leads the Majors with 55 RBI and has 13 home runs to go along with his .322 batting average. He has been the Rays most consistent hitter and the numbers will continue when he returns from his hamstring injury in a few games.
2. Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks – .259 BA, 32 R, 13 HR, 32 RBI, 11 SB
Reynolds has never been known for his speed, but already has double-digit stolen bases (11) to go along with his double-digit home run total (13). While he won’t light the world on fire with his average, he will produce 25+ home runs and could even reach 20 stolen bases, so keep him active.
3. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals – .322 BA, 40 R, 11 HR, 37 RBI
This is just the kind of start that fantasy owners had hoped for when they drafted Zimmerman. He started the year with a 30 game hitting streak and is hitting .322 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI.
All signs point to Zimmerman returning to 2006 numbers (.287 BA, 20 HR, 110 RBI) and fantasy owners couldn’t be happier to hear that.
4. David Wright – New York Mets – .321 BA, 31 R, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 12 SB
Wright has been a bit of a disappointment so far this season. While he is hitting .321 and has 12 stolen bases, his three home runs and 30 RBI are not what fantasy owners expected when drafting him in the first round.
Don’t panic, however, as he will turn it around and in no way should he be benched.
5. Michael Young – Texas Rangers – .332 BA, 31 R, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 4 SB
It looks like the transition over to Third Base hasn’t affected Young one bit. He is currently hitting .332 and has made only three errors. He also has seven home runs and four stolen bases. You can expect around 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases to go with his .300+ average at the end of the year, so keep him active, either at Third Base or Shortstop.
6. Chone Figgins – LA Angels Of Anaheim – .303 BA, 34 R, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 20 SB
Figgins has been quite good so far. He is hitting .303 with an On-Base Percentage of .381, which is pretty good for a leadoff hitter. Not to mention he has 20 stolen bases. You can almost guarantee 40+ stolen bases and he should stay around that .300 average, so keep him active.
7. Brandon Inge – Detroit Tigers – .270 BA, 32 R, 12 HR, 33 RBI, 1 SB
It looks like the move back to Third Base has done Inge a world of good. After playing four different positions last year and only hitting 11 home runs in 347 At-Bats, Inge has played exclusively at Third Base and has already hit 12 home runs in just 175 At-Bats.
Expect his power numbers to continue and go ahead and start him, especially since he still has Catcher eligibility.
8. Mike Lowell – Boston Red Sox – .298 BA, 25 R, 8 HR, 35 RBI
Looks like Lowell still has something left after all. After offseason hip surgery, most people thought that Lowell was finished. However, I had him ranked 11th in my preseason rankings and said he would be a late round steal if he can stay healthy.
So far, I was right. He has a .298 batting average with 35 RBI to start the season and is on pace for 25 home runs and 110 RBI. Keep him active as long as he’s healthy.
9. Casey Blake – Los Angeles Dodgers – .295 BA, 27 R, 9 HR, 35 RBI
Blake has been a bit of a surprise this year. Starting off very strong with nine home runs and 35 RBI, Blake benefited from the protection of Manny Ramirez and has picked up some slack since his suspension. He is on pace for 26 home runs and 108 RBI so go ahead and keep him active while he’s hitting.
10. Mark DeRosa – Cleveland Indians – .265 BA, 35 R, 8 HR, 34 RBI
DeRosa has been on and off so far this year. He was coveted in most drafts due to his multiple position eligibility and his power outburst from last year. He had 21 home runs last year and is currently on pace for about the same amount. Keep him active due to his position eligibility.
11. Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves – .322 BA, 24 R, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 1 SB
Jones has been injury prone the last few years and was a risky pick in all drafts, but the possibilities of a full healthy season from a guy who hit .365 in just 439 At-Bats was just too good to pass up for most people.
He has already missed a few games due to injury, but is still hitting .322 with 23 RBI. If he stays healthy, he should reach 20 home runs and of course he will hit around .330. Keep him active as long as he is healthy.
12. Scott Rolen – Toronto Blue Jays – .301 BA, 27 R, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 2 SB
Rolen has been hot recently, with six hits in his last 19 At-Bats. He may not have the same power pop due to previous shoulder injuries, but is hitting .301. He isn’t your best option as your starting Third Baseman, but you could stash him on the bench and use him as long as he is hitting.
13. Andy LaRoche – Pittsburgh Pirates – .297 BA, 19 R, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 2 SB
The other LaRoche doesn’t get talked about much in fantasy. There’s a reason for that as he isn’t much of a fantasy player. He is having a decent year so far, hitting .297 with 25 RBI. However, that is not what you want from a fantasy Third Baseman. He isn’t worth owning, unless you need a Third Baseman due to an injury.
14. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants – .301 BA, 19 R, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 2 SB
Sandoval has a lot of potential. He is the Giants Third Baseman of the future and can also play First Base and Catcher. He hasn’t been spectacular this year, but has been pretty good.
If he has the multiple position eligibility, he has been even more valuable due to the lack of depth at Catcher. Start him with caution, however, as the Giants don’t have a lot of protection for him.
15. Pedro Feliz – Philadelphia Phillies – .298 BA, 19 R, 2 HR, 28 RBI
Feliz is the benefactor of a monster lineup in front of him. Hitting behind Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, and Ibanez will help almost any player, but you have to be able to produce also and Feliz has with a .298 batting average and 28 RBI. He’s not your ideal fantasy Third Baseman, but might get you 12 home runs and 90 RBI by season’s end.
There are my rankings for the Third Base position after the first two months. Any arguments or questions, feel free to email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.