Fantasy BaseballFront OfficeTotal Run Index

Total Run Index: Third Basemen

Now, that we get into third base we get into some more high octane fantasy players. Again, the idea is to balance the desire to go with the best overall players and the best players by position. So far, the general rule of thumb is +20 runs for premium fantasy talent. Second base was a very depressed position and we’ll be the same for shortstops.

We will have quite a few third basemen that fit the premium profile, so you could punt third basemen and still come up with a good one in the middle to later rounds. Yet, the possibility of getting a Miguel Cabrera is pretty appetizing for someone in the first round.

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2012

3YR

5YR

Pedro Alvarez

11.2

-1.3

—-

Adrian Beltre

32.4

30.6

18.2

Wilson Betemit

1.3

7.4

2.9

Miguel Cabrera

49.8

56.3

46.2

Alberto Callaspo

4.0

-0.3

2.1

Lonnie Chisenhall

0.6

—-

—-

Matt Dominguez

-0.1

—-

—-

Todd Frazier

11.6

—-

—-

David Freese

16.5

10.5

—-

Chase Headley

39.9

18.8

12.8

Chris Johnson

2.4

1.2

—-

Jeff Keppinger

12.8

2.7

-3.4

Brett Lawrie

1.7

—-

—-

Evan Longoria

16.5

27.7

26.2

Manny Machado

0.1

—-

—-

Will Middlebrooks

5.8

—-

—-

Chris Nelson

3.5

-0.8

—-

Martin Prado

19.1

10.2

7.2

Aramis Ramirez

28.9

14.7

16.3

Pablo Sandoval

11.9

11.3

14.6

Kyle Seager

8.0

2.5

—-

David Wright

32.7

22.9

27.3

Kevin Youkilis

1.3

18.4

26.5

Michael Young

-15.4

5.8

7.5

Ryan Zimmerman

18.9

19.9

18.5

Miguel Cabrera– Detroit Tigers

Some people will make Cabrera their number one overall selection and I figure that’s completely defensible. Mike Trout is the best fantasy player in terms of pure TRI production, but you have to consider the gap between Cabrera and the next best third baseman. He also led the American League in three of the five key fantasy categories.

It’s easy to be a fan of Cabrera considering the consistency. What is intriguing is to see the fact that he was actually better in 2011 (thus the superior three year TRI average). Coming into 2012 he was the most underrated superstar in the game. That’s not true anymore.

Adrian Beltre– Texas Rangers

TRI is great, but it has its limits. One of the limitations is that it is designed to put players in a neutral environment, but neutral environments are purely theoretical. Players don’t exist in such environments. First, we have to give him credit for playing in the second best hitter’s park in baseball. Secondly, he plays in one of the better offenses in baseball. Both factors elevate him some.

Chase Headley– San Diego Padres

One of the biggest mistakes all fantasy players make is that they put too much stock in one happened last year. If you go strictly by last season, Headley could go as high as the late first round. The problem is that it isn’t realistic for us to expect him to do that again. Yet, it’s also hard to expect him to completely revert back to what he was. That means that we have to pick some point in between. Proceed with caution.

David Wright– New York Mets

As recently as last season, it looked like Wright was dying a slow fantasy death. The problem with Wright is that he doesn’t hit for elite power. That means he must succeed on a high batting average and secondary numbers. It isn’t his fault that the Mets aren’t brimming over with offensive talent. I like him as a player, but the circumstances around him make him a shaky fantasy bet early in the draft.

Evan Longoria– Tampa Bay Rays

Longoria spent most of 2012 on the shelf, but when you go back to the second half of the 2011 season, he has been one of the top two to three third basemen in the game. Should he remain healthy he should easily fall somewhere between Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre. Of course, that is if he is healthy.

Aramis Ramirez– Milwaukee Brewers

Ramirez got off to a slow start last year, but he rebounded to have the kind of season we can expect from him. He is the perfect example of the depth that exists at the third base position. He will hit more than 20 home runs and should drive in around 100 runs. Unfortunately, that’s not incredibly rare given the position.

Ryan Zimmerman– Washington Nationals

Zimmerman is in the that uncomfortable position of being almost elite, but not quite elite. When you are the seventh or eighth best player at your position you are the kind that can fall in most fantasy drafts. The big problem for him is that he has not been consistently healthy. If you could guarantee 600 plate appearances then I would recommend a mid round placement for him, but I just can’t make that guarantee.

Kevin Youkilis– New York Yankees

I really don’t know what to do with Youkilis. I believe he was the biggest victim of the failed Bobby Valentine era and he did regain some value when he went to the White Sox, but he became ordinary overnight. Now, he’s a Yankee and with that move could come a resurgence, but he just isn’t going to be Youkilis from the last decade.

Pablo Sandoval– San Francisco Giants

Kung Fu Panda is not exactly the most conditioned athlete in the game. That has a way of limiting his health and therefore his effectiveness. When he is healthy he is one of the more productive third basemen in the league. Of course, as we are near the bottom of the top ten, you have to take a few risks.

Martin Prado– Arizona Diamondbacks

Positional flexibility is pretty cool, but Prado is a guy that hasn’t had consistent value over the years. He usually hits for high average, but without consistent power or consistent speed the value is rather limited. As a guy that is a fringe fantasy starter he isn’t a bad guy to have.

David Freese– St. Louis Cardinals

Like many of the other guys above him, Freese’s value depends a lot on his health. Last year he turned in the first healthy season of his career and he approached the value that some thought he would have, but even with health he was a fringe fantasy starter.

Todd Frazier– Cincinnati Reds

If you are in a twelve team mixed league then Todd Frazier scrapes the end of the first round of guys at the position. He very quietly produced 20 home runs in part time duty and could easily approach 25 home runs if given a full complement of at bats. He also has eligibility at first base.

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