Fantasy Baseball 2013: Top 10 Third Basemen
The “hot corner” is a top-heavy one for sure, with three players that could end up being first-round fantasy baseball 2013 picks next season – if they can stay healthy all of 2012. They call it the “hot corner” because the liners coming from right-handed pull hitters can take the head off of a daydreaming infielder on the left side. In fantasy baseball 2013 play, they can call this the thin corner, considering first base has a much deeper base of stars.
As a matter of fact, old third basemen that can still hit are usually moved over to first base in the later years. It’s where Fantasy sluggers go to die. So the third base position usually has good-glove/good-bat players, but those are few and far between. If you don’t get one of the top seven players at this position, you could be moving players in and out of this lineup spot all year.
Here are the 10 best fantasy baseball options at third base in 2013.
The position drops off considerably in the back end of probably fantasy baseball 2013 starters. Lawrie ranks 10th because of his potential, but even that isn’t good enough to overcome mediocre power and average average.
His middle-infield eligibility might be gone for now, but he can still be played at third base and in the outfield, which is still pretty darn versatile! He’ll slot into the two-hole in Arizona, and if you’re not a big home-runs fan, he’ll give you a good amount of everything else.
The odds of Ramirez climbing up the rankings aren’t too great, but the guy is one of the most consistent hitters at the position, even if he hasn’t hit over 30 homers in any of the past six seasons. He will register 90-plus RBI, 25-plus homers and a batting average close to .300.
Headley should be considered the most likely player to climb into the top-three at this position among everyone outside of the top three. The Padres moved in the fences a little in Petco Park, and Headley had one of the hottest finishes of any player last season, hitting 19 homers in his final 220 at-bats.
You’re always going to get a good batting average and some decent power numbers from Zimmerman, but you’re also going to get to watch him rehab some injuries. He has averaged about 33 missed games per year over the past three seasons.
Lots of change happened for Ramirez in 2012. He went from shortstop to third base, then from Miami to Los Angeles – and then back to shortstop from third base. Rumor has it he even thought about changing his favorite 'Friends' character to Phoebe. Luckily, he relented. He’ll always be a Chandler guy, through and through. Fantasy owners are happy about his position versatility, of course, and his new lineup is a pretty good one, with Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier filling up the lineup behind him.
Wright seems to have a reputation for being injured a lot, but only six third basemen have averaged more at-bats over the past three years than Wright’s 519. With that said, he has been dealing with a back injury this spring, so buyer’s beware. When healthy, Wright can dominate at the position, as he did in the first half of last year. If everything works out, he could be your Mr. Wright. (I’m on fire!)
Over the past three seasons, Beltre ranks just behind Cabrera in fantasy points at this position. From 2010-12, Beltre has averaged 32 homers and 103 RBI, with a .314 batting average. Those two hitters are the only two third basemen that are hitting over .300 since 2010. Beltre loses Josh Hamilton in the lineup, however, and he turns 35 this April. Last season was his best since 2004, which was his contract year with the Dodgers. He’ll cost you a pick in the first three rounds of fantasy baseball in 2013.
The good: When Longo is healthy, he’s capable of a .290-35-115 season. The bad: Longo is allergic to being healthy. He has played more than 150 games just twice in his career, and he has played in just a total of 207 games over the past two years. His hamstring is like a potato chip. The Rays lost B.J. Upton to the Braves, but they finally traded some of their pitching for some good hitters. Wil Myers is considered one of the best hitting prospects in the game, and he’ll be up to help Longoria in the Rays’ lineup no later than May.
Miggy won the first AL Triple Crown in 40 years – and he’ll have a chance to repeat, unlike Triple Crown horses that usually just get sent out to stud (also known as Saturday night). Cabrera might prefer the horse route, considering how difficult it is to win titles in batting average, RBI and home runs all in one season – much less twice in a row. With controversy surrounding Ryan Braun’s possible involvement in PEDs, and the uncertainty many have over a Mike Trout super sequel, Cabrera becomes the safest No. 1 overall pick in fantasy baseball in 2013. And you can take that, to the bank. (They will not cash it, however, as it is not legal tender.)