The third base position is as deep, from a fantasy standpoint, as it has been in years. It’s deep enough that if your league uses most standard roster sizes, there will be a number of third basemen used as utility men, and a number of quality third basemen on the free agent market all season.
For that reason, I recommend using a corner infield spot while setting up your league. But regardless of how your league is set up, there are plenty of third basemen to choose from. Here are the rankings:
Miguel Cabrera‘s Tier
1 – Miguel Cabrera – Cabrera gets his own level because the minute he regained his third base eligibility last season, he immediately became the game’s most valuable fantasy player (even more so than Mike Trout, thanks to positional availability). There are plenty of other good third basemen, but none are close to Cabrera.
The Rest of the Studs
2 – Evan Longoria – If healthy, he’s the closest thing to being up in the other tier, but injuries have just been such an issue.
3 – Adrian Beltre – He’s getting older and lost a lot of support in his lineup this off-season, but as long as he’s hitting in Texas, Adrian Beltre is among the best.
4 – Chase Headley – He had the breakout season we were looking for. With the fences coming in at Petco, he could add to it this season.
5 – David Wright – Less power than the other studs, but he’s a lock to hit .300 and he’ll even steal some bases as well.
6 – Ryan Zimmerman – If you knew Zimmerman would be healthy all season, he’d be up with the other studs, but he’s been bitten by the injury bug of late and it’s hurt his value.
7 – Hanley Ramirez – Ramirez hasn’t been hurt, he’s just sullen and fat. He may play short or third, but hopefully he’ll be rejuvenated by getting out of Miami.
8 – Pablo Sandoval – Panda has battled injury issues of his own, but the dude can flat out hit. If he’s on the field, he’s helping you out.
10 – David Freese – Establishing himself as a reliable hitter in a solid lineup.
12 – Kyle Seager – He hit 20 home runs in Seattle last season and the fences are coming in.
13 – Martin Prado – Prado doesn’t give you your prototypical power production from the corner, but he’s a good all-around hitter who should score plenty of runs atop a good Diamondbacks lineup.
14 – Will Middlebrooks – Plenty of power, especially at Fenway. If you’re in a league that uses on-base percentage or OPS, then he loses some value because he never walks, but if you use the standard 5×5 categories, he’ll do just fine.
15 – Brett Lawrie – A lot was expected out of Lawrie last season, but he didn’t quite put it all together and battled some injuries of his own. He still has tons of potential and now has help in a stacked Blue Jays lineup.
16 – Mike Moustakas – Similar to Middlebrooks, if you’re in an OBP or OPS league, he loses value, but as far as counting stats go, he could go off this season.
You’re Still OK
17 – Kevin Youkilis – Years of wear and tear have taken their toll on Youk, but he’s going to get a chance to play every day in New York so we’ll see what he still has left in the tank.
18 – Todd Frazier – Assuming he gets a chance to play, Frazier showed in 2012 that he’s got some pop in his bat.
19 – Trevor Plouffe – His 24 home runs in 2012 got largely overlooked because they happened in Minnesota—but he does have a solid power bat.