THIRD BASE (3B) RANKINGS 2009
1. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees (34)
Approaching his mid thirties, Rodriguez is likely at the peak of his career entering the 2009 season. Rodriguez is still the clear #1 pick at third base, but the younger David Wright and Evan Longoria are inching closer and may overtake A-Rod in 2010. However if you have the chance, draft A-Rod and know that you will get a guaranteed 35-45 homeruns, 110-130 rbi, 110-120 runs scored, 10-20 stolen bases, and a .300 plus batting average in 2009. Having A-Rod on your team in 2009 is a great way to win your league’s championship.
2. David Wright – New York Mets (26)
Wright is a proven fantasy baseball stud, and at just age 26, there doesn’t look to be any let up from him for at least the next 5 years! Wright is nearly a rotisserie scoring god, as he more than adds his fair share of stats across every scoring category. The 2009 season should have Wright posting 30 homeruns, 110 rbi, 110 runs scored, 20 stolen bases, and an excellent .300 plus batting average.
3. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers (26)
If he qualifies at third base in your league, just take it and be thankful. Otherwise, Cabrera will likely only qualify as a first baseman from here on out in fantasy baseball leagues. Another career year could be in store for Cabrera in 2009, which means his first 40 homerun season, along with 130 rbi, 100 runs scored, and a .300 plus batting average are very realistic expectations for him in 2009.
4. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays (23)
At just age 23 for the 2009 fantasy baseball season, Longoria is ready to take over the reigns as a top 5 overall fantasy baseball third baseman for the next ten years. Expecting 30 plus homeruns, 100 rbi, 100 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and a .280 batting average is likely from Longoria in 2009.
5. Aramis Ramirez – Chicago Cubs (31)
Currently entrenched in the prime of his career at age 31, Ramirez should once again post his usual numbers of 30 homeruns, 100 rbi, 90 runs scored, and a batting average close to .300 for the 2009 season.
6. Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves (37)
Jones has been injury riddled the past few years, however when he does play, Jones is one of the best fantasy baseball third baseman in the game. An excellent batting average around .320 will lead his cause, with a good 20 plus homeruns, 80 rbi and 80 runs scored possible if he plays in just 120 games during the 2009 season. If Jones manages to play in more games, those stats will all go up across the board.
7. Garrett Atkins – Colorado Rockies (29)
If Atkins stays in Colorado, then he is clearly a very good third base option in 2009 fantasy baseball leagues. Not to mention Atkins duel eligibility at third base and first base helps his case tremendously. Teaming with the Colorado air, Atkins should post numbers around 30 homeruns, 115 rbi and 100 runs scored, while managing a healthy .300 batting average for the 2009 season.
8. Adrian Beltre – Seattle Mariners (30)
Even though Beltre has never reached that 40 homerun plateau again, he has actually been a model of consistency over the past six out of seven years. Beltre will finally be 30 years old for the 2009 season, so his prime fantasy baseball years are right now. His classic 25 homeruns, 80 rbi-90 rbi, 80 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and .270 batting average is a good bet for him in 2009.
9. Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox (30) BUST
Ok maybe I’m giving Youkilis the short end of the stick, but in all honesty, I just don’t seem him coming close his 2008 stats. In four prior seasons, Youkilis posted just 7, 1, 13, and 16 homeruns with averages totaling .260, .278, .279, and .288 in those four seasons respectively. In other words, a repeat performance of 29 homeruns, 115 rbi, and a .312 batting average in 2009 isn’t very likely. If you want to take a chance and draft him higher go for it, but just don’t expect 30 homeruns and 115 rbi.
10. Edwin Encarnacion – Cincinnati Reds (26)
At just 26 years old for the 2009 fantasy baseball season, Encarnacion has plenty of potential to improve upon his 2008 stats. Numbers in the range of 30 homeruns, 80 rbi, 80 runs scored, and a .275 batting average seem likely for Encarnacion in 2009.
11. Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals (24)
Injuries derailed Zimmerman’s breakout campaign in 2008, so his outlook for 2009 will have many fantasy baseball managers once again thinking breakout year. 20-25 homeruns, 90-100 rbi, 90 runs scored, 5-10 stolen bases, and a .280 batting average is possible from Zimmerman in 2009.
12. Chone Figgins – Los Angeles Angels (31)
Speed, speed, and more speed is the name of the game for Figgins. In other words, if you want a third basemen who can single handedly help you win your stolen base category, Figgins is the guy. 40-50 stolen bases are likely in 2009 with more possible if Figgins can stay healthy all year. On the down side, Figgins doesn’t offer an ounce of power, so anything more than 5 homeruns would be a major achievement for him in 2009.
13. Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks (26)
Reynolds is the prototypical major league baseball slugger. He has tremendous homerun and rbi potential, but his batting average is close to atrocious. However if he can come close to his .279 batting average during the 2007 season rather than his 2008 batting average of .255, Reynolds would shoot up these rankings and be a clear top 10 overall fantasy baseball third basemen by the end of the 2009 season.
14. Kevin Kouzmanoff – San Diego Padres (28)
With last year supposed to be his breakout campaign, Kouzmanoff’s 23 homeruns and 84 rbi didn’t quite cut it. In other words, Kouzmanoff has the potential for 35 homeruns and 100 rbi to go along with a batting average around .280 for the 2009 season. This just might be his breakout year.
15. Chris Davis – Texas Rangers (23) SLEEPER
At this point in the rankings and your draft, now is the time to gamble on Davis. He will be just 23 years old for the 2009 season, and yet he already displays huge power potential. The jury is still out on Davis as to whether he is a first basemen or third basemen, but as of now it looks like the Rangers are set to make him their everyday starting first baseman to begin the 2009 season. Assuming Davis plays up to his potential, he could easily rack up 500-600 at bats, while producing anything from 30-40 homeruns and 90-110 rbi to go along with a decent .280-.290 batting average for the 2009 season.
16. Russell Martin – Los Angeles Dodgers (26)
Martin is obviously more valuable as a catcher, but after playing several games at third base in 2008, he will likely qualify as a third basemen in your league for the 2009 season. The added versatility is always helpful on fantasy baseball teams, so Martin’s 10-15 homeruns, 15-20 stolen bases, 60-70 rbi, 80-90 runs scored, and a batting average around .290 can definitely be useful.
17. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants (23) SLEEPER
Currently projected to play third base for the Giants, Sandoval may qualify at catcher and first base in your league based on his playing time in 2008. And if Sandoval does quality at all three positions, he may just be the steal of numerous fantasy baseball drafts in 2009. Sandoval offers outstanding power potential and could easily post 20 plus homeruns and 70 rbi while hitting at or above a .300 clip.
18. Mark DeRosa – Cleveland Indians (34) BUST
After posting a career year in 2008, the Cubs quickly bailed on the 34 year old DeRosa in hopes of getting good value for him while they still could. DeRosa’s fantasy outlook for 2009 looks solid, but with a track record that includes just 13 homeruns as his career high prior to his 21 homeruns in 2008, I highly doubt DeRosa will come close to 20 homeruns again in 2009. Expect solid numbers, but not great numbers from DeRosa in 2009. His best fantasy baseball asset is definitely his versatility, as DeRosa should qualify at second base, third base, left field and right field in your league, and if an injury occurs to a starter, DeRosa can even play first base and shortstop if needed, which would give him even more position eligibility in fantasy baseball leagues for the 2009 season. 15 homeruns, 70 rbi, 80-90 runs scored, 5 stolen bases, and a batting average around .285 seems realistic for DeRosa in 2009.
19. Jorge Cantu – Florida Marlins (27)
After making an outstanding comeback in 2008, it’s hard to believe if Cantu is for real this time around. If he is for real, then at just age 27, Cantu actually has the potential to increase his stats from last season. Cantu will likely also offer duel eligibility at both third base and first base in your fantasy baseball league, so the added versatility helps his cause greatly heading in the 2009 fantasy baseball season.
20. Aubrey Huff – Baltimore Orioles (32)
After a three year hiatus, Huff bounced back in 2008 to produce another 30 homerun, 100 rbi, and .300 plus batting average campaign. However while that may seem great and all, expecting that type of production from Huff again in 2009 is hard to believe. Yet with a decent major league track record, the potential to match his 2008 numbers is definitely there for Huff. Just don’t draft him too high or rely on him too heavily to carry your team at the third base position.
21. Michael Young – Texas Rangers (32)
With the Rangers looking to move Young from shortstop to third base for the 2009 season, the only real cause for joy in 2009 fantasy baseball leagues will be Young’s duel eligibility. Otherwise the typical Michael Young stats of 10-15 homeruns, 80-100 rbi, 80-100 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and a steady batting average around .300 seem likely for him during the 2009 season.
22. Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals (25)
Gordon was so highly touted coming out of college, that his 2007 and 2008 major league seasons seem like huge disappointments. Yet it is important to remember that Gordon will be just 25 years old for the 2009 season, and his best is yet to come. Expecting Gordon’s numbers to go up across the board looks like a very realistic possibility for him during the 2009 season. 20 homeruns, 80 rbi, 80 runs scored, 15 stolen bases, and a .275 batting average are possible for Gordon in 2009.
23. Ian Stewart – Colorado Rockies (24) BREAKOUT
Stewart is young, has plenty of power, and he plays half of his games at Coors Field. Looks like a breakout year could be in store for him in 2009. Stewart’s duel eligibility at second base and third base should make him a big time commodity for fantasy baseball teams looking for versatility and star potential. If you take a chance on Stewart and he comes through on his potential, he could very easily lead you to your league’s championship title in 2009.
24. Mike Lowell – Boston Red Sox (35)
With injuries decimating Lowell’s production in 2008, he definitely disappointed numerous fantasy baseball teams last year. Yet if Lowell is healthy to begin the 2009 season, he still has the ability to post 20 homeruns. But if Lowell’s age is finally beginning to catch up to him, then I wouldn’t expect much more than 10 homeruns for the 2009 season. As of now, Lowell is a very high risk, high reward pick, who could greatly disappoint or greatly surprise for the 2009 fantasy baseball season.
25. Melvin Mora – Baltimore Orioles (37) BUST
Even though Mora is coming off of a season where he belted 23 homeruns and 104 rbi to the tune of a .285 batting average, Mora’s age at 37 may finally begin to show in 2009 fantasy baseball leagues. After last seasons barrage, it doesn’t seem realistic to expect Mora to come close to his 2008 numbers once again in 2009.
26. Josh Fields – Chicago White Sox (26) BREAKOUT
With Joe Crede finally out of the way, the third base job in Chicago is now Fields’ job to lose for the 2009 season. Fields will be a sleeper pick for many fantasy baseball managers heading into the 2009 season, as he offers excellent power numbers, with 30 homeruns and 90 rbi being a very realistic possibility from Fields in 2009.
27. Carlos Guillen – Detroit Tigers (33)
Even though Guillen will be 33 for the 2009 season, he still brings a solid .290-.300 batting average, 10-15 homeruns, and 5-10 stolen bases to the table. Guillen’s best asset will be his versatility, as he should qualify at first base, third base, and possible even outfield in your fantasy baseball league for the 2009 season.
28. Hank Blalock – Texas Rangers (28)
Hammerin’ Hank hasn’t been much of a homerun hitter for a couple of years now, but maybe his transition to full time DH can get him healthy and his numbers back up into the 25 homerun range. Blalock’s best asset will be his versatility, as he should quality at both first base and third base in your fantasy baseball league for the 2009 season.
29. Casey Blake – Los Angeles Dodgers (35)
Blake will be 35 for the 2009 season, however I do believe another 20 plus homerun season could be in store for him during the 2009 season. Just remember however that Blake doesn’t offer too much help in other scoring categories, as he doesn’t steal any bases, score a lot runs, collect rbi’s, or even hit for a great batting average.
30. Troy Glaus – St. Louis Cardinals (33) BUST
At age 33, Glaus and his constant injury history has already made an impact on fantasy baseball teams even before the 2009 season started. But in case you haven’t heard, Glaus will miss the beginning of the 2009 season because of surgery on his throwing shoulder. His return is expected to be around mid to late May, so Glaus could possibly miss the first two months of the 2009 season. With this mind, expecting 20 homeruns and 60 rbi is still possible from Glaus in 2009. Just be aware of his career .256 batting average.
31. Dallas McPherson – Florida Marlins (29) SLEEPER
If Florida decides to move current third baseman Jorge Cantu to first base permanently for the 2009 season, then the power hitting McPherson will have the first crack at nailing down the starting third base job for the Marlins on opening day 2009. If McPherson begins the season as the starter, he has just as much potential as Texas’ Chris Davis. 30-40 homeruns, 100 rbi, 80 runs scored, and a .280-.290 batting average is possible if McPherson can claim a starting job for the entire 2009 season.
32. Blake DeWitt – Los Angeles Dodgers (23) BREAKOUT
Originally projected as a third baseman, DeWitt will have a chance to claim the starting second base job for the Dodgers in 2009 now that Jeff Kent has retired. With 27 games played at second base already under his belt from last year, DeWitt could slide nicely into that position for the entire 2009 season. As a combo 3B/2B eligible infielder, DeWitt holds great versatility which gives him an additional advantage over other third base options in 2009 fantasy baseball leagues.
33. Jed Lowrie – Boston Red Sox (25) SLEEPER
Given a chance to play third base and shortstop last year because of injuries to Mike Lowell and Julio Lugo, Lowrie now seems poised to become the everyday starting shortstop for Boston by opening day 2009. If Lowrie does claim the starting job, he makes for an excellent late round sleeper pick in 2009 fantasy baseball drafts, as Lowrie has the ability to post 10 homeruns, 15 steals, a .280 batting average, and 100 runs scored in a high powered Boston offense.
34. Brian Buscher – Minnesota Twins (28) SLEEPER
Given just limited playing time in 2008, Buscher produced admirably, and he will now be given a chance to open the 2009 season as the Twins starting third baseman. Buscher has decent homerun potential to go along with a solid batting average. Stats in the range of 15-20 homeruns, 70-80 rbi, and a .290 batting average is possible, with plenty of potential for higher stats if Buscher remains an everyday starter for the Twins in 2009.
35. Bill Hall – Milwaukee Brewers (29)
Just two years ago Hall belted 35 homeruns, however since then his production has gone downhill in a hurry. If Hall reaches 20 homeruns it would be an accomplishment for the 2009 season. Yet even with the 20 homerun potential, Hall’s terrible batting average, he holds a career .258 average, is enough to turn any fantasy baseball manager off.
36. Andy LaRoche – Pittsburgh Pirates (25) SLEEPER
Once a star studded prospect, LaRoche has yet to live up to his potential and all the hype surrounding him. However with a chance to finally play full time in the big leagues at third base for the Pirates in 2009, LaRoche could be poised for a breakout campaign. Keep him in mind during your 2009 fantasy baseball draft, as he is a very good sleeper candidate.
37. Pedro Feliz – Philadelphia Phillies (34)
Homeruns and rbi’s are the only reason Feliz should be considered on any fantasy baseball team for the 2009 season. Unfortunately those power numbers do come with a career .252 batting average. Beware.
38. Scott Rolen – Toronto Blue Jays (34) BUST
Rolen is clearly no longer a top third base option in fantasy baseball leagues anymore, and even if everything goes as well as it possibly could for Rolen in 2009, his numbers still shouldn’t surpass 20 homeruns, 80 rbi and 70 runs scored. Based on his age and injury history, you would be better off to take a chance on a young prospect then drafting Rolen.
39. Brandon Wood – Los Angeles Angeles (24) SLEEPER
Originally a shortstop converted to a third baseman and back again to shortstop, Wood has all the minor league credentials, but when he gets his chance in the big leagues, he fails miserably. Still Wood will be just 24 years old during the 2009 season, so maybe 2009 will finally be his breakout year.
40. Mat Gamel – Milwaukee Brewers (24) SLEEPER
Much like another recent Brewers third base prospect before him (Ryan Braun), Gamel is all offense and no defense. With Bill Hall currently blocking his path to play third base for the Brewers to begin the 2009 season, Gamel may be destined to stay in the minors for at least a portion of the 2009 season. However Gamel’s offensive potential is good enough to warrant consideration now, as he could have an impact similar to what Evan Longoria had last year for fantasy baseball teams at third base.