Monday, February 22, 2010

Third Base - 2010 Preview

For 2010, 3B is like an episode of a CBS nighttime drama. You have your established star (A-Rod), your young hotshot (Longoria), a mystery (David Wright and his missing power) and somebody really, really old (Chipper Jones).

First Tier

Alex Rodriguez – Yankees. Yes, he has been around forever, and he is an admitted steroid user. He also puts out great numbers (.286/30/100 in only 124 games) and plays for the strongest line-up in the AL. If you are drafting in the 3rd spot of your draft, your choice should come down to Chase Utley or A-Rod.

Second Tier

Evan Longoria – Rays – The former 1st round pick (2006) put up numbers worthy of his pedigree (.281/33/113 with 100 Rs). Yahoo’s overall pre-ranks have him at 11 overall right behind David Wright at 10. Be smart, and take the sure thing with Longoria.

Third Tier

Ryan Zimmerman, Kevin Youkilis, David Wright, Mark Reynolds

Ryan Zimmerman is a poor man’s Evan Longoria. Zimmerman has a great pedigree (1st round pick 2005) and better numbers than Longoria in 2009 (.292/33/106 with 110 Rs), but is tarnished by the stink that is the Washington Nationals. With Adam Dunn behind him again and an actual leadoff man (Nyjer Morgan) in front of him, Zimmerman should easily match last year’s numbers. Take advantage of his Zimmerman’s lower ADP (Yahoo – 37.7) and lock up a solid 1B with your first pick.

Kevin Youkilis is boring, but solid (.307/27/95 with 99 Rs in only 136 games). Youkilis currently has a 29.9 ADP. I wouldn’t overpay for him, but Youkilis will give you reliable figures.
To be blunt, David Wright is extremely overvalued. Last year, Wright experienced an abrupt drop in power, moving from .302/33/124 in 2008 to .307/10/72 in 2009. On Yahoo, he is currently ranked 10 overall with an ADP of 12.1. While Wright has potential to improve, why would you risk a 1st or 2nd round pick on him? Ignore Wright and focus those high picks on sure things (Longoria, Teixeira, Howard, Fielder, Cabrera).

As I mentioned in the 1B rankings, Reynolds has tremendous potential, but bears the weight of 223Ks. As 3B is lacking the depth of 1B, I think Reynolds is a better risk at this position, especially at his current Yahoo ADP of 49.3.

The rest of my Top 10

Pablo Sandoval, Aramis Ramirez, Chone Figgins, Michael Young

Sandoval is similar to Reynolds in that he is a better pick up at 3B than 1B.
I want to like A-Ram, but last season’s injury-plagued campaign (only 82 games) the beginning of the decline?

Figgins hurts you at HR and RBI (5/54), but helps you with R/AVG/SBs (114/.298/42). However, I would be wary of the pending jinx from his new contract (4-year/$36 million) and weak lineup (Jose Lopez, Milton Bradley, Casey Kotchman and Ken Griffey, Jr.)

Michael Young hit more HRs last year (22) than he did in the past two seasons (21). Pick him for his AVG (.302 career) and don’t expect much else.

Don’t forget about ..

Gordon Beckham - White Sox – The 2008 1st round pick has quickly found success in the majors. I would not avoid him, but except some decline as the league adjusts to him.

Jorge Cantu – Marlins- Cantu put up decent numbers overall (.289/16/100). Not a bad pick up at 154 ADP.

But what about …

Chipper Jones – Braves – Dude is old. I like Chipper in later rounds a Utility/DH, but he is too fragile to be relied on your primary 3B.

Chris Davis – Rangers In 2008, Chris Davis hit 17 HRs in 80 games, leading to great expectations for his first full season in 2009. Before you could say “Kevin Maas,” he followed his debut with a stinky line of .238/21/59. Let him be.

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