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Third Baseman Rankings

It's time to dissect the hot corner, as we've already ranked catchers, first basemen, second basemen, and shortstops.  Average draft position from Mock Draft Central is in parentheses.

  1. Evan Longoria (1) - $24.69
  2. David Wright (1) - $24.46
  3. Alex Rodriguez (2) - $21.56
  4. Ryan Zimmerman (2) - $19.43
  5. Jose Bautista (5) - $17.06
  6. Mark Reynolds (11) - $14.64
  7. Pedro Alvarez (8) - $13.44
  8. Adrian Beltre (5) - $11.07
  9. Pablo Sandoval (13) - $8.91
  10. Aramis Ramirez (9) - $8.72
  11. Casey McGehee (10) - $7.48
  12. Martin Prado (7) - $7.32
  13. Edwin Encarnacion (40) - $6.83
  14. David Freese (41) - $5.14
  15. Ian Stewart (10) - $3.14
  16. Chase Headley (37) - $2.99
  17. Omar Infante (27) - $2.90
  18. Chris Johnson (36) - $2.66
  19. Miguel Tejada (24) - $2.14
  20. Juan Uribe (28) - $0.50

Scott Rolen falls off this list with a 485 AB projection, but if you can plug in someone decent on his off days Rolen performs at more of a $7 pace.  It's a similar story for Michael Young, who I can't give more than 450 ABs to right now until his situation clears up.  Likewise, Chipper Jones is very much worth owning during times that he is playing regularly.  Others to watch who did not make the top 20: Danny Valencia, Brent Morel, and Wilson Betemit.  As for Kevin Youkilis, once he qualifies at third base he'll rank fourth on this list at $20.22.

I've given A-Rod 540 ABs, and if you agree he's something of a bargain at 17th overall.  But Zimmerman a few picks later is on the upside of his career and is right there in value with A-Rod.

Bautista is this year's Reynolds, minus the 24 bags Reynolds swiped in '09.  Fantasy owners are showing extra caution by taking him in the fifth.  I like Bautista for 35+ home runs this year, and if he hits .280 instead of .260 you can add three bucks to his value.  Reynolds himself will seriously hurt your average at .230 or so, but he too should reach 35 homers along with ten steals if he gets to 550 ABs with Baltimore.  Meanwhile Beltre in the fifth round won't be good value if he drops back to .289-23-89-78-5 or so.  Maybe I'm not giving him enough credit for playing in Texas.

Alvarez seems in line for 30 homers and 100 RBIs, but fantasy owners are anticipating that by taking him in the eighth round following his solid rookie campaign.  I like him, but he's not coming at a discount.  I'm not worried about his reported offseason weight gain.

Speaking of weight changes, Sandoval reportedly worked off about 30 pounds.  I expect a return to form, but with a short leash given Mark DeRosa's presence.

Encarnacion and Freese are probably the last two draftable third basemen.  Their $5-7 projections are predicated on 550+ ABs, a level neither has reached in the bigs.  But if they get there I can see EE approach 30 home runs and Freese flirt with 20.  I'm not sure why Stewart is going in the tenth round.  I've got him at $4.72 ABs which would only be worth a few bucks.  If he gets 600 he's up to $13, but you've got Ty Wigginton and Jose Lopez in the mix if he falters.    

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