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2013 Third Base Rankings

Written By on 26th December, 2012


This kicks off Bullpen Banter’s 2013 Fantasy Rankings. Throughout the coming weeks we will deliver you rankings for 3B, SS, 2B, 1B, OF, SP, and RP. Stay tuned for more fantasy coverage.

The hot corner is once again a hot spring for upper echelon fantasy talent. While there are aging — and often injured — stars like Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rodriguez, there remains a solid core of young and productive players with third base eligibility. In recent years there was a dip regarding the depth of the talent pool, but with a new infusion of players like Pablo Sandoval and Brett Lawrie, the future looks great for offensive minded third basemen. The following represents the ranking for the top 30 third base eligible players (assuming standard Yahoo! league settings of five starts or 10 appearances). This is specifically aimed at redraft leagues for the 2013 season.





Miguel Cabrera

Detroit Tigers


Evan Longoria

Tampa Bay Rays


David Wright

New York Mets


Ryan Zimmerman

Washington Nationals


Chase Headley

San Diego Padres


Adrian Beltre

Texas Rangers


Hanley Ramirez

Los Angeles Dodgers


Pablo Sandoval

San Francisco Giants


Aramis Ramirez

Milwaukee Brewers


Todd Frazier

Cincinnati Reds


Brett Lawrie

Toronto Blue Jays


David Freese

St. Louis Cardinals


Martin Prado

Atlanta Braves


Pedro Alvarez

Pittsburgh Pirates


Matt Carpenter

St. Louis Cardinals


Mark Trumbo

Los Angeles Angels


Manny Machado

Baltimore Orioles


Kyle Seager

Seattle Mariners


Mike Moustakas

Kansas City Royals


Kevin Youkilis

New York Yankees


Will Middlebrooks

Boston Red Sox


Alex Rodriguez

New York Yankees


Chris Johnson

Arizona Cardinals


Trevor Plouffe

Minnesota Twins


Jeff Keppinger

Chicago White Sox


Lonnie Chisenhall

Cleveland Indians


Chris Nelson

Colorado Rockies


Josh Donaldson

Oakland Athletics


Michael Young

Philadelphia Phillies


Matt Dominguez

Houston Astros


A Player to Grab: Todd Frazier
There were a grand total of six first basemen that possessed a higher wOBA and OPS than Todd Frazier in the 2012 season (minimum 450 PA’s). Of those six players, Frazier had a higher ISO than half of them and a higher slugging percentage than two, and tied a third. If you’re looking for under-the-radar power at third base, Frazier is your guy. Don’t be fooled by his relatively low counting statistics as Frazier was jostled in and out of the lineup all season. He only appeared in 128 games and didn’t qualify for the batting title. Despite this limited role, Frazier shined when he did get an opportunity to play. The Reds third base job is his; Frazier should be drafted no questions asked.

As for where he should be taken, I ranked him aggressively due to his extreme fly ball tendencies combined with his home park. Anything less than 25 home runs would be a considerable disappointment. My sole reservation is his SwStr% and thus his corresponding strikeout rate. If he starts slow, Frazier may over compensate and really begin to hack. Concerns aside, I’ll be targeting Frazier in all of my drafts.

A Player to Pass: Will Middlebrooks
I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but the skill set that Middlebrooks brings to the table just isn’t something that I want in a fantasy player. Although he hasn’t even recorded 300 major league plate appearances, from what the underlying statistics say it isn’t something that I would stake a fantasy championship on.

Over the course of the 2012 MLB season, 302 different players recorded at least 250 plate appearances. Of those 302 players, Middlebrooks ranks ninth worst in terms of BB:K ratio. His 0.19 rating is flanked by Carlos Gomez’s 0.20 and Delmon Young’s 0.18 marks. Not exactly stellar company. What he does have going for him is power, but with great power comes great responsibility. Middlebrooks has yet to show the discipline required to have sustained success in the big leagues.

David Wiers
David Wiers
About David Wiers

I love baseball in general, the Oakland A's to be specific and fantasy baseball as an aside. In addition to time spent here at Bullpen Banter, I write for RotoGraphs, co-host the 20-80 Report and Tarp Talk podcasts (both available on iTunes) and contribute to Big Leagues Monthly.

2013 Fantasy Rankings, Fantasy, Features, Home, Rankings

21 Comments on "2013 Third Base Rankings"

  1. Profile Photo
    Brian Recca December 28, 2012 at 12:46 am -

    have u thought about doing a seperate list for keeper leagues?

    • Profile Photo
      David Wiers December 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm -

      Not particularly, as each keeper league’s setting can be so different and specific. were you looking for some objecive advice on your league? If so, I’d love to help.

      • Profile Photo
        dayton moore December 29, 2012 at 6:37 am -

        what do you think of chase headley’s chances of putting up similar numbers next year?  is the power for real?

        • Profile Photo
          David Wiers December 29, 2012 at 10:21 am -

          This is admittedly a cop out, but yes and no.

          I think is triple slash of .286/.376/.498 will remain mostly intact with the exception of his slugging. I doubt that he will clear the 30 home run mark again — probably around 20-25 — but he will smash plenty of doubles to keep his slugging around the .450 mark.

          As for his SB, Runs, and RBIs a season of 90 runs, 100 RBIs and 15 SB would be reasonable. 

          Headley may not duplicate his 2012 numbers in every aspect, but he should accomplish 90% of what he did.

  2. Profile Photo
    Kevin December 30, 2012 at 12:13 am -

    If you were in a three year keeper and had to keep Headley or lawrie after the first year who would you keep

    • Profile Photo
      David Wiers December 31, 2012 at 1:16 am -

      I’d stick with Lawrie. His home park makes the difference for me.

    • Profile Photo
      Joey January 2, 2013 at 10:48 pm -

      Lawrie is not what everyone makes him out to be. Headley (even though he won’t repeat, but lelt’s hope for a trade) hands down.

      • Profile Photo
        David Wiers January 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm -

        Out of curiousity, who else would you have ranked ahead of Lawrie? I think 11 is just about spot on for Lawrie. He and Freese could be flipped, but then we’re picking nits.

      • Profile Photo
        Cliff January 4, 2013 at 11:37 am -

        i love comments like “Lawrie is not what everyone makes him out to be”…what does that even mean? the guy has played a grand total of 1 season in the bigs, and he was injured for a large chunk of that 1 season. he played another handful of games at the end of the season prior to last, where he dominated….i just love those comments though. absolutely no substance or proof to back up what he’s saying, most likely because he doesnt even know what hes saying.

  3. Profile Photo
    Brian Recca December 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm -

    I have both Brett Lawrie and Ryan Zimmerman. I could keep both but I’m considering trading Zimmerman because he seems to get injured every year. Also I probably won’t get as nice of a return for Lawrie after a disappointing 2012 so I’m thinking I should hang on to him and hope for a breakout. What do you think?

    • Profile Photo
      David Wiers December 31, 2012 at 1:22 am -

      I recommend keeping both Lawrie and Zimmerman. I agree that owning Zim can seem frustrating, but in 2010, 2011, and 2012 Zimmerman has appeared in 30 games more than Evan Longoria. 

      Hang on to both of them and see how your draft goes. Maybe you can dangle one and swing a trade to someone who missed out on an upper tier third basemen. Even if you get “stuck” with both players, that isn’t such a bad thing at all.

  4. Profile Photo
    Kevin December 31, 2012 at 1:12 am -

    I like headley but think it might be a fluke year.   I am worried where in the linup he will hit

    • Profile Photo
      David Wiers January 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm -

      The HR/FB rate will probably regress, but even if 10 of those dingers turn into doubles, Headley is still plenty valuable.

  5. Profile Photo
    Tyler February 25, 2013 at 2:11 am -

    I had this debate with myself last year about Lawrie vs Sandoval and I went with Lawrie which was clearly not the richt choice. This year if faced with the same choice I think I do the same thing. There is just so much upside especially in that offense and that park. Thoughts? Or is this just an exciting vs Solid thing?

  6. Profile Photo
    Tyler February 25, 2013 at 2:14 am -

    Also two more things 1. What is the upside of Matt Carpenter? I guess I just don’t know enough about him. Also 2. Chris Johnson is on the Braves now and the Arizona Cardinals are a football team even though he could be their best option at quarterback