Here’s the first look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends Third Base Rankings:
1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
(2013 Stats: .348 BA, 44 HR, 137 RBI, 103 R, 3 SB)
Although Miguel Cabrera is playing first base this year, he maintains third base eligibility in most fantasy baseball leagues. Regardless whether you use him at first or third base, he's the premier player at his position.
Seriously, what more can be said about Cabrera after his second straight MVP-winning season?
If Chris Davis (53 HR, 138 RBI) didn’t have his breakout season last year, we’d be talking about Cabrera as a back-to-back Triple Crown-winner. Cabrera’s career average looks like this: .321 BA, 33 HR, 115 RBI, 97 R, 3 SB.
Playing first base could help Cabrera avoid nagging injuries and, dare I say, be even more effective.
2. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
(2013 Stats: .315 BA, 30 HR, 92 RBI, 88 R, 1 SB)
Over the past four years, Beltre is hitting .314 with an average of 31.5 home runs, 100.3 RBI and 87.3 runs scored. The Rangers figure to have a potent offense with the addition of Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo this year, too.
3. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
(2013 Stats: .269 BA, 32 HR, 88 RBI, 91 R, 1 SB)
Evan Longoria bounce-back season in 2013 and should be able to improve his batting average this year while still providing ample runs, home runs and RBI.
4. David Wright, New York Mets
(2013 Stats: .307 BA, 18 HR, 58 RBI, 63 R, 17 SB - 112 games)
David Wright has career averages of .301 BA, 22 HR, 88 RBI, 85 R and 18 SB. If he can stay healthy in 2014, he’s the most-balanced third baseman in the game. Have a decent backup plan if you do decide to draft him, however.
5. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
(2013 Stats: .275 BA, 26 HR, 79 RBI, 84 R, 6 SB)
Ryan Zimmerman hasn’t played in 150 games since 2009, but he has averaged 146 over the past two seasons.
In the six seasons in which Zimmerman played at least 140 games, he has averaged 25.5 home runs, 94.3 RBI, 92.5 runs and 5.3 steals while hitting .284. You’ll want a decent backup with Zimmerman as well.
6. Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics
(2013 Stats: .301 BA, 24 HR, 93 RBI, 89 R, 5 SB)
Josh Donaldson exploded onto the scene last season. He’s not a top-five choice, but you can’t overlook last year’s success.
7. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
(2013 Stats: .283 BA, 14 HR, 71 RBI, 88 R, 6 SB)
Manny Machado (knee) should be ready for Opening Day, which should help the phenom to build upon the solid line he posted in his first full season.
8. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants
(2013 Stats: .278 BA, 14 HR, 79 RBI, 52 R, 0 SB)
The Kung Fu Panda has reportedly shed some weight this offseason as he enters his contract year.
Over the past five years, however, he has hit .295 while averaging 17.4 runs and 73 RBI. Money can be a motivating factor.
9. Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates
(2013 Stats: .233 BA, 36 HR, 100 RBI, 70 R, 2 SB)
Pedro Alvarez has averaged 33 home runs and 92.5 RBI over the past two years, but you’ll have to live with his .235 lifetime batting average.
10. Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers
(2013 Stats: .283 BA, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 43 R, 0 SB)
Aramis Ramirez is another player with a lengthy injury history, but when he’s healthy, he can hit.
Over the past seven years, he has hit .292 while averaging 22.6 home runs. 86.7 RBI and 70.1 runs, despite playing just 125.3 games per year. Have a backup plan with him as well.
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