Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Top 10 Third Basemen (3B)
Taking a Look at the Top 10 Third Basemen in the 2014 Fantasy Draft
February 21, 2014
This week, we’ve been taking a peek at the upcoming fantasy draft season by highlighting the top 10 players at each position. Today it’s time for third base, and there’s quite a bit of talent to be had here. The hot corner should provide a big boost to your fantasy lineup throughout the year, and you should be able to get it with several different guys. Here’s a closer look at our starter rankings.
1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: Cabrera is the no-duh top pick here, and he will likely go second overall behind only Mike Trout. It’s pretty easy to see the appeal here: Cabrera is once again fully healthy after shaking off last year’s injury issues and will provide a stout bat to your lineup. Think 40 home runs, a .325 BA and 125 RBI.
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2. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers: Beltre is projected to hit fourth behind new arrival Prince Fielder, so he should see a bit of an up-tick in RBI just from that. Expect him to improve on last year’s stats ever-so-slightly, maybe around 30 homers, 95 RBI and 90 runs. Beltre’s a reliable pickup no matter which way you look at it.
3. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays: Even though he registered a solid campaign at year’s end, Longoria still remained a slight disappointment statistically. We expect him to right the ship in 2014, and he should be able to flirt with that magical threshold of 100 in both RBI and runs. If he can hit over 30 home runs again while keeping that BA reasonably high, there’s no reason not to pick him up in the top three at his position.
4. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals: We’re more optimistic on Zimmerman than most, but feel like he’ll be worth the trouble. 25 home runs and a .275 average sound very reasonable for him, and if he can rattle off RBI and run numbers in the high 80s he’ll make a solid fantasy play at 3B.
5. David Wright, New York Mets: Wright missed some games in the latter part of the season, so 2013 wasn’t everything it potentially could have been. He’s coming back strong, though, and will make a nice across-the-board statistical pickup. Wright should hit 20-plus homers, flirt with a .300 BA, steal in the high-teens and have 80-odd RBI and runs. Definitely a jack-of-all-trades.
6. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals: Carpenter’s two main selling points are his batting average and run-producing capabilities. He should be able to hit over .300 again, and 110 runs sounds like a pretty reasonable goal. His 70 or so RBI look relatively uninspired, but look at those other categories as icing and focus on his strong points.
7. Martin Prado, Arizona Diamondbacks: Prado was a pretty durable play last season, and thus enters 2014 with improved expectations. His average should hover around .300, with RBI and run totals in the high 70s, so you’ll get regular production here. We also expect him to pick up a few extra steals here and there, but it won’t be anything to get excited about.
8. Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics: Donaldson came into his own last season, and he’s a sleeper no more. Most people expect his numbers to fall off a little bit in 2014, but he should have plenty left over to make him a great fantasy starter on the middle levels. You’ll get 20-plus homers and 80-something RBI/runs from him.
9. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners: The Mariners have increased expectations this season, and Seager has them as well. We expect him to maintain form following last year’s pretty good campaign, and he’ll probably see an up-tick in RBI, homers and average. He’s a nice lower-end starting play in fantasy.
10. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles: There’s some trepidation surrounding Machado heading into this season, but all things considered he should be all right. He is coming off knee surgery and hasn’t been fully cleared yet (that should come in mid-March), but seems to be coming along as planned. He won’t wow fantasy owners in any category, but should be solid all-around.
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