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2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Third Basemen

Triple Crown winner leads a position that has some depth this year

By

Updated March 30, 2013

For the fifth season, About.com Baseball is back with its comprehensive fantasy baseball rankings. We've added some tweaks to the formula for 2013 and are confident the rankings are as accurate as ever. They'll be updated weekly in March, looking at trends, injuries and other developments.

The trend in fantasy baseball is more toward the head-to-head formats that became popular in fantasy football over the years. However, the original rotisserie-style, cumulative 5x5 format is still out there, especially among established leagues. These rankings are weighted toward head-to-head, but can easily be tweaked toward rotisserie, and there are notes under certain players who are more valuable in rotisserie-style play, where the lost art of stolen bases has a big reward. Some players who are highly ranked in a rotisserie-style format are worth a lot less in a points format.

Make sure you know the exact format your league is using, because it will affect the way you should prepare. You can learn more about the different formats here.

Baseball guide Scott Kendrick has been with About.com since 2007, has been playing fantasy baseball for 20 years and has ranked players for the last decade. He's perused just about every preseason magazine, scoured the other baseball websites and taken some of the best expert opinions into account.

The talent at third base is better than just a few years ago, although there's a clear No. 1, and he might be the No. 1 overall pick if I were had that luxury. You can't do much better than a Triple Crown, after all.

On to the rankings of third basemen, looking at the top 20 prospects:

TIER 1: No-brainers

1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: .330, 44 HR, 139 RBI, .999 OPS
  • Three-year average: .334, 37 HR, 123 RBI, 1.025 OPS

2. Adrian Beltre, Rangers

  • Age on opening day: 33
  • 2012 stats: .321, 36 HR, 102 RBI, .921 OPS
  • Three-year average: .314, 32 HR, 103 RBI, .912 OPS

3. Evan Longoria, Rays

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: .289, 17 HR, 55 RBI, .896 OPS
  • Three-year average: .275, 23 HR, 86 RBI, .872 OPS

TIER 2: Elite

4. David Wright, Mets

  • Age on opening day: 30
  • 2012 stats: .306, 21 HR, 93 RBI, .883 OPS
  • Three-year average: .285, 21 HR, 85 RBI, .845 OPS

5. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: .282, 25 HR, 95 RBI, .824 OPS
  • Three-year average: .292, 20 HR, 76 RBI, .843 OPS

6. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers

  • Age on opening day: 34
  • 2012 stats: .300, 27 HR, 105 RBI, .901 OPS
  • Three-year average: .285, 26 HR, 93 RBI, .845 OPS

7. Chase Headley, Padres

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: .286, 31 HR, 115 RBI, .875 OPS
  • Three-year average: .278, 15 HR, 72 RBI, .785 OPS
  • Note: Out for first few weeks with thumb injury.

TIER 3: Serviceable starters

8. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: .273, 11 HR, 48 RBI, .729 OPS
  • Three-year average: .278, 10 HR, 36 RBI, .781 OPS

9. Pablo Sandoval, Giants

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: .283, 12 HR, 63 RBI, .789 OPS
  • Three-year average: .287, 16 HR, 65 RBI, .802 OPS

10. Martin Prado, Diamondbacks

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: .301, 10 HR, 70 RBI, .796 OPS
  • Three-year average: .290, 12 HR, 64 RBI, .767 OPS
  • Other potential eligibility: OF

11. Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox

  • Age on opening day: 24
  • 2012 stats: .288, 15 HR, 54 RBI, .835 OPS
  • Three-year average: .288, 15 HR, 54 RBI, .835 OPS

12. David Freese, Cardinals

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: .293, 20 HR, 79 RBI, .839 OPS
  • Three-year average: .295, 11 HR, 56 RBI, .808 OPS
  • Note: Will start season on DL with back injury, but should be back within a week or two.

13. Todd Frazier, Reds

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: .273, 19 HR, 67 RBI, .829 OPS
  • Three-year average: .264, 12 HR, 41 RBI, .808 OPS

TIER 4: Worth a look

14. Mike Moustakas, Royals

  • Age on opening day: 24
  • 2012 stats: .242, 20 HR, 73 RBI, .708 OPS
  • Three-year average: .250, 12 HR, 51 RBI, .696 OPS

15. Pedro Alvarez, Pirates

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: .244, 30 HR, 85 RBI, .784 OPS
  • Three-year average: .237, 16 HR, 56 RBI, .738 OPS

16. Manny Machado, Orioles

  • Age on opening day: 20
  • 2012 stats: .262, 7 HR, 26 RBI, .739 OPS
  • Three-year average: .262, 7 HR, 26 RBI, .739 OPS

17. Kyle Seager, Mariners

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: .259, 20 HR, 86 RBI, .738 OPS
  • Three-year average: .259, 11 HR, 49 RBI, .727 OPS

TIER 5: Backups only

18. Kevin Youkilis, Yankees

  • Age on opening day: 34
  • 2012 stats: .235, 19 HR, 60 RBI, .745 OPS
  • Three-year average: .264, 18 HR, 67 RBI, .844 OPS

19. Michael Young, Phillies

  • Age on opening day: 36
  • 2012 stats: .277, 8 HR, 67 RBI, .682 OPS
  • Three-year average: .299, 13 HR, 88 RBI, .771 OPS
  • Other potential eligibility: 1B

20. Jeff Keppinger, White Sox

  • Age on opening day: 32
  • 2012 stats: .325, 9 HR, 40 RBI, .806 OPS
  • Three-year average: .296, 7 HR, 44 RBI, .743 OPS
  • Other potential eligibility: 1B, 2B

Next five: Chris Nelson, Rockies; Trevor Plouffe, Twins; Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians; Alberto Callaspo, Angels; Matt Dominguez, Astros

2013 position rankings

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