We all know that third base is among the shallowest positions in baseball, so finding late-round options is a lot more important than for many other positions.
Let’s take a look at a few options that are currently going, on average, after the 18th round on draft day:
Placido Polanco – Philadelphia Phillies
He doesn’t offer much in the way of power or speed, so fantasy owners overlook the potential contributions he does offer. That’s not to say that he’s an option that I would focus on by any stretch, but late in your draft, there is a lot of value.
Polanco has long offered an extremely good average, with a career .303 mark. While he has been at .285 and .298 the past two seasons, he is only a few years removed from hitting .341 for the Tigers.
He rarely strikes out (7.2% strikeout rate for his career), so there is no reason to think that his average is going to go tumbling down in 2011.
He will also likely hit second in what should be a high-powered Phillies lineup, even with the loss of Jayson Werth. With his ability to hit for a good average, that is going to mean plenty of opportunities to score runs.
Granted, you would like to see him draw a few more walks (5.2% for his career), which would only increase his value, but at this point, we just have to accept him for what he is.
Don’t put too much stock in his 2010 numbers (.298, 6 HR, 52 RBI, 76 R, 5 SB in 554 AB), as he suffered from elbow issues throughout the season. He underwent offseason surgery to correct the issue and one would expect at least a slight improvement across the board. It may not be a significant increase in production, but he certainly will have value.
According to Mock Draft Central, his current ADP is 306.88
Jhonny Peralta – Detroit Tigers
He had a renaissance season once arriving in Detroit hitting .253 with 8 HR and 38 RBI in just 217 AB. Is he going to return to the days of hitting over 20+ home runs as he was doing from 2005-2008? It certainly is a possibility.
Just look at his HR/FB split from his time in Cleveland vs. Detroit:
- Cleveland – 5.6%
- Detroit – 10.7%
That Detroit mark is closer to what we saw at his peak (anywhere from 13-18%), so owners certainly should enter 2011 hoping for the best.
He will likely be hitting sixth in the Tigers lineup, with Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Magglio Ordonez all in front of him. That should provide him ample opportunities to pick up 80+ RBI.
He’s not going to hit you an elite average (.263 for his career) and he isn’t going to steal bases (9 SB for his entire career). If those are attributes you are looking for from your 3B, you should just keep looking.
However, if you are looking for a player with power and RBI upside, Peralta is a solid pick. Throw in the fact that he also has shortstop eligibility, and there is a lot to like in the later rounds.
According to Mock Draft Central, his current ADP is 329.95
Juan Uribe – Los Angeles Dodgers
Uribe has eligibility all across the infield, as he saw plenty of time at 2B, SS and 3B for the San Francisco Giants in 2010. That adds to his value before we even start the discussion.
Last season he hit .248, but there is reason for optimism there. He posted a .256 BABIP, which is the major culprit.
If he can replicate his improved strikeout rate (17.7% compared to a career mark of 19.3%), a significantly better average should definitely be in his future. Think about .265+, at worst.
There is no reason to think that his power is going to go anywhere with his move to Los Angeles. He has hit 20+ home runs in four of the past six seasons.
In the two seasons that he fell short he hit 16, though one of those seasons came in just 398 AB (the other was back in 2005). He has proven that he has power, and he should continue to do so in 2011.
Throw in plenty of RBI hitting in the middle of the Dodgers lineup and there is a lot to like late in your drafts.
According to Mock Draft Central his current ADP is 296.38.
What are your thoughts on these third baseman? Would you target any of them late in your draft? Are there any other third basemen you are targeting late?
**** Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here. ****
Make sure to check out our previous late round articles: