This is the first intro that really stumped me. I had to stop and ask myself, “what defines this position in 2011?”
For me, the answer came quickly: “I’m drafting Evan Longoria, David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman.” Those are the big three in my opinion (ADP has A-Rod splitting them up). Frankly, if I don’t get one of them I’m sitting on the position until I get Casey McGehee or find myself overpaying for Pedro Alvarez.
Check jzak’s rankings and you’ll see that he’s spot on with his top three. It’s beneficial to you ninjas that Zimmerman is not in the ADP Top 20. He’s a better pick than Alex Rodriguez and offers a slight value in the early third round.
2011 ADP top 20 third basemen rankings
(Recent ADP in parentheses)
1. Evan Longoria, Rays (4.95): This ADP is dead on despite his apparent power slump last season. His HR/FB ratio was unlucky last year. Meanwhile, the speed looks like it’s legit.
2. David Wright, Mets (9.90): You could try to argue about picking Wright over Longoria, but I wouldn’t fight you.
3. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees (16.65): A-Rod’s performance is declining. It will eventually plateau at his late-career levels. I’m not going to buy this high on a player that could see a serious decline. The now-PED-less-one has shown up to spring training very svelte.
4. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals (21.01): This ADP seems like a huge value. Maybe he doesn’t hit .300, but he should improve all of his counting stats.
5. Adrian Beltre, Rangers (50.03): Bet he hits 30 homers and .280 again. In that Rangers lineup he should have opportunities for runs and RBIs, too.
6. Michael Young, Rangers (80.31): He’s a 100/20/100/.280 3B available around the eighth/ninth turn. What’s not to like? He’ll play a lot of DH in 2011 with Beltre in Texas.
7. Pedro Alvarez, Pirates (85.91): If only he came cheaper. The second-year pro was one of the top prospects in baseball last year and showed much promise during his time with the big-league club. Alas, everyone else saw that and Alvarez is being drafted too high. Pay this price only if you are in a keeper/dynasty league and you don’t get one of the top three.
8. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs (103.36): Unlucky and injured last year, and injured the previous year, we need to look back to 2008 to see numbers we should project for a healthy Ramirez. However, knowing what we know from that first sentence, should we project a healthy Ramirez in the first place?
9. Casey McGehee, Brewers (112.80): A 12th-rounder who could will outproduce three of the players ahead of him.
10. Ian Stewart, Rockies (118.05): I owned far too many Stewart-type players (25 homers, .250 average) on teams last year. You shouldn’t have too many .250 hitters on your team.
11. Mark Reynolds, Orioles (132.92): Speaking of average killers, Reynolds was unlucky when he finished the season below the Mendoza line last year. Still, don’t expect him to hit .270 or even .250. Those 24 steals in 2009 also seem like an outlier.
12. Pablo Sandoval, Giants (147.88): I won’t draft Sandoval. If I wanted a player who hit .280 with 15 homers I’d pick Scott Rolen about 40 picks later.
13. Scott Rolen, Reds (189.38): See Sandoval, Pablo a line above.
14. Chipper Jones, Braves (234.91): In a steep decline, I wouldn’t own him except to pick him up off waivers during a week-long hot streak.
15. Ty Wigginton, Rockies (308.68): An unlucky BABIP last year should correct to .270-.280 and he’ll also pop 20 homers. Put those together with his saucy multi-position eligibility and you have a steal in the pick-300-overall range.
16. Jose Lopez, Rockies (315.30): Joins Wigginton on the Rockies as another multi-position eligible player. Last year he played third base, but he’ll play second for the Rockies. In 2009 he played second and first. In the last three years he’s put in time at all three positions and averaged around 15 homers, 80 RBI and 15 steals with a .270 BA.
17. Placido Polanco, Phillies (372.26): He’s not going to win your fantasy league for you, but he’s not going to hurt your runs or average either.
18. Chris Johnson, Astros (421.88): He’s unlikely to approach .300 again, but he’s likely to be a better pick than Chipper, Ty, Jose or Placido. Take a look at that rock-bottom ADP price and know you can get Johnson with your last pick in almost any draft.
19. Casey Blake, Dodgers (445.17): I end up with Blake on at least one team every year. That means two things: 1. Blake gets on hot streaks and is worth owning. 2. He always available on the waiver wire before the hot streak.
20. Chase Headley, Padres (445.90): Instead of taking “the next step” last season, Headley went steady-Eddie on us. He did see an increase in stolen base opportunities, but his power numbers declined slightly for a third straight year.
Other third basemen of notes: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays; Jorge Cantu, Padres; Danny Valencia, Twins; David Freese, Cardinals.