Fantasy CPR Position Preview: Third Base

MLB: Diamondbacks vs Rockies SEP 19

Baseball’s hot corner will likely make up seven of the first 45 picks in drafts this season.  If you fail to snag a top-tier first basemen in your standard league draft, it is critical to acquire a third baseman that can pick up the slack. Make a priority to get one of the top seven picks at third base and you can be confident that your pick will pay dividends in 2010.

Top 15 Drafted Third Basemen (With ADPs in ESPN Standard Leagues)

  1. Alex Rodriguez (3.2)
  2. Evan Longoria (13.3)
  3. David Wright (15.3)
  4. Ryan Zimmerman (32.7)
  5. Pablo Sandoval (34.6)
  6. Kevin Youkilis (38.9)
  7. Mark Reynolds (45.5)
  8. Aramis Ramirez (56)
  9. Chone Figgins (72.8)
  10. Gordon Beckham (86.7)
  11. Michael Young (91.1)
  12. Chipper Jones (126.2)
  13. Adrian Beltre (130.2)
  14. Jorge Cantu (160.6)
  15. Casey Blake (211.6)

Overrated: Chone Figgins, Los Angeles (AL) (72.8) – I like Figgins’ speed potential as much as the next guy. He stole 42 bases last year and should put up solid numbers on the basepaths in his new Safeco Field home this year, but paying for the speed in the eighth round is a little too pricey. There are several cheaper speed candidates that you can get well later in drafts and free up your eighth round pick for someone like Gordon Beckham. Keep speed demons like Juan Pierre (136.8), Rajai Davis (165.8), Alclides Escobar (176.4), and Dexter Fowler (178.6) in mind, just to name a few. Each player should record at least 25 steals and you could get all of them several rounds after Figgins.

Underrated: Mark Reynolds, Arizona (45.5) – Mark Reynolds hit 44 roundtrippers, drove in 102 runs, and swiped 24 bases last season. Yeah, that’s a good year’s work. So why is Reynolds available in the fifth round? His critics will point to his propensity to strikeout and his less than stellar average. While both of those are accurate points, really who cares? Reynolds has struck out an astounding 427 times in just over 1100 at bats the last two seasons, but as long as your league doesn’t track strikeouts the number should make no difference to a fantasy owner. And while Reynolds’ average will probably never climb too far past last season’s .260, fantasy teams can make up for that shortfall without too much headache. If Reynolds is still available after the first thirty picks, you can draft him with confidence and get ready to reap his offensive production throughout the year.

Deep Sleeper: Chase Headley, San Diego (222.8) – The former Tennessee Vol has gotten off to a relatively slow major league start given the buzz surrounding him when he first came up with the Padres. In 156 games last season with San Diego, Headley hit just 12 homeruns and drove in 64 runs. This season could be the breakout campaign Headley fans have been waiting for though. Named the starting third basemen to begin the season, Headley returns to his natural position on the diamond and can dedicate his focus to improving his play at the plate. Headley’s average probably won’t go much higher than .270 and playing his home games in the pitcher’s friend Petco won’t do his fantasy owners any favors either, but the power numbers could well improve. Look for Headley to flirt with 20 homeruns this season and 75 RBIs batting in the heart of the Padres’ order. If you miss out on a top talent in a deep league, wait for Headley and pick up a good value around pick 200.

Keeper League: Gordon Beckham, Chicago (AL) (86.7) – Third base boasts a number of potential studs to keep an eye on in keeper leagues. Toronto’s Brett Wallace, St. Louis’ David Freese, Milwaukee’s Mat Gamel, Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez and the Angels’ Brandon Wood could all become very useful fantasy contributors in the next few seasons. No player has as much fantasy upside on the infield then Gordon Beckham though. The 23-year old put up a stellar 14/63/.270 line last year in 103 games with the White Sox, and is primed to have a huge 2010. With the former Georgia Bulldog expected to start the season as Chicago’s second baseman, Beckham’s fantasy stock could rise even higher in year’s to come. Beckham could swat close to 30 homeruns this year and raise his average closer to .300 as well. As early as 2011, Beckham’s ADP should be safely within the top three rounds of any draft.

That’s our take on the players at third for 2010. What say you? Let us know your take in the comments.

Up next the Outfield.

Tags: Chase Headley Chone Figgins Fantasy Gordon Beckham Mark Reynolds Third Base

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