Third base is always a tough position. While there are plenty of good options this year, most of them are risky. The one’s who aren’t risky aren’t necessarily good picks. Before I explain take a look at my top 20.

  1. Evan Longoria (TB)
  2. Ryan Zimmerman (WAS)
  3. Alex Rodriguez (NYY)
  4. David Wright (NYM)
  5. Pablo Sandoval (SF)
  6. Jose Bautista (TOR)
  7. Michael Young (TEX)
  8. Pedro Alvarez (PIT)
  9. Aramis Ramirez (CHC)
  10. Mark Reynolds (BAL)
  11. Casey McGehee (MIL)
  12. Neil Walker (PIT)
  13. Adrian Beltre (TEX)
  14. Danny Valencia (MIN)
  15. David Freese (STL)
  16. Mike Moustakas (KC)
  17. Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)
  18. Chris Jonhnson (HOU)
  19. Martin Prado (ATL)
  20. Chipper Jones (ATL)

Close Calls: Dayan Viciedo, Ian Stewart, Scott Rolen (Note: Kevin Youkilis does not yet qualify at 3B. When he does he will be ranked #5)

Evan Longoria could finally reach that 40 HR potential many think he has. The problem with him and many other 3B’s is that the talent around them is better. You should draft both Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto in front of Longoria. Longoria is a great pick after both those guys are gone.

Zimmerman/ARod/Wright are in a similar situation. I spoke in my 1B rankings about how important it is to get a 1B in the first two rounds. All three of these 3B’s go in round two around the same time as those big 1B’s. Take the 1B’s first and only get these 3B’s if they fall to you in the middle of the second and no 1B’s are left. Zimmerman and Arod will have similar numbers but Zimm’s average will be higher. Wright will fall short of them both in AVG and HR but can steal bases.

Pablo Sandoval is over his sophomore slump and will easily bounce back this season. He already hit .330 with 25 HR at age 23, lost 40 pounds this offseason, is tearing up spring training, and is eligible at two positions. Jump on him before round 9 because he will give you 3rd-4th round value.

Its unrealistic to think that Jose Bautista will hit 54 HR again. Its also unrealistic to think he will fall back to 9 HR again. I expect 30-35 HR from him, which is still solid. Michael Young will be an everyday playing super utility man. He will gain eligibility at almost every position. The only thing that scares me about him is his unhappiness in Texas. If he puts that behind him he could be worth much more than my ranked value.

Pedro Alvarez can easily break out and hit 30+ HR. Aramis Ramirez finished very strong and could easily bounce back to hit 30+ HR. Mark Reynolds can easily hit 40+ HR but will kill your average by doing so. All are great middle of the draft options. McGehee, Walker, and Beltre all have similar value. They will all hit .280-.300 with 20-25 HR. Note that Beltre is being drafted much higher than this value. Don’t draft him, he is a bust.

Next comes a bunch of guys ready to break out. Valencia will hit for a high average with decent power. He is a sleeper and someone to draft late. Freese/Moustakas/Johnson are all young guys capable of 20 HR this year. Moustakas may not start the year in the majors, and Johnson scares me as an overachiever. Encarnacion could hit anywhere between 20 and 30 HR in a power hungry Blue Jays offense.

I end my rankings with two Braves. Prado is typically ranked much higher than where I have him ranked which means don’t draft him. I like him, but there are much better options. Chipper will be starting and will hit high in the order. He wants to prove he can still hit. He’s worth a late gamble, but he wont stay healthy I’m sure.

Overall, there are a lot of good gambles at 3B. But its never good to overpay for a gamble. The only sure things are at the top of the draft, but aren’t good picks based on who is around them. If the top guys fall to you after all the 1B’s around them are gone then get them. I suggest getting good middle round options like Sandoval/Young/Alvarez/Ramirez/Reynolds/McGehee and then drafting a second 3B later on to platoon with them. It’s actually a deep position so filling a utility spot with one is a good idea.

For statistics, comments, and projections on the top 1143 players of the 2011 Fantasy Baseball season purchase my highly accurate spreadsheet. It will put you into your fantasy baseball playoffs. $10 contact me at I will send an example of the 2010 spread sheet upon request.

Check out The Fantasy God’s other position break downs: