The third base position has remained pretty steady at the top, but beyond the first couple of tiers there has been some massive shifts. Manny Machado is clearly the biggest mover, checking in at No. 19 in our preseason rankings. Sure enough, Manny has made us look foolish with a raucous .322/.354/.489 start to the season, He leads the league in hits and doubles and though the power and speed pace leaves a little something to be desired, Manny is proving to be a rock solid option with 45 runs scored and 37 RBI in 71 games played.
The injured guys always give us trouble, as one little setback can cost them weeks. We are going to take the optimistic approach and believe reports that Pablo Sandoval is going to begin rehab games on Friday and that Jedd Gyorko is making progress in his recovery, but still these guys carry obvious risk even when they return.
Remeber, the rankings are can be considered a cheat sheet of shorts for if you were drafting today for the rest of the season. Early returns are certainly considered, but we are focused on what these guys will do and not necessarily what he have done. The prime utility of this tiered list will most likely be for making waiver wire and trade decisions, and while the players in each tier are arranged in the order that we’d prefer them, they are essentially equal values when considering the trade market.
1. Miguel Cabrera
On pace for 45 homers, 132 runs scored and 170 RBI. Simply unreal
2. Evan Longoria
Hitting for average and power, Longo is finally putting together that elite season. He just needs to stay on the field.
3. David Wright
Brilliant 5-category production from Wright who is batting a sizzling .395 over his past ten and pacing towards a .300-85-20-85-25 season at the hot corner.
4. Adrian Beltre
It’s been a bit of Jekyll and Hyde for Adiran who brushed aside a slow April to post a dominant .615 SLG in May. In June, the average is solid (.295) but only four RBI in 15 games leaves a little something to be desired. One of just five third baseman with an ISO above .200.
5. Manny Machado
If the power and speed numbers were a little jucier, he’d be a lock for the top tier.
6. Hanley Ramirez
Attempting to play through some nagging injury issues… and it’s not working. Hanley is just 3-for-20 since returning from the DL.
7. Kyle Seager
Continues to do what we though Martin Prado would do, Seager is not great at anything, but is good at everything with a .280-32-8-30-2 line through 69 games.
8. Aramis Ramirez
Power outage has been disturbing, but track record of consistent production leaves him in the top 10.
9. Ryan Zimmerman
Shoulder remains a concern despite consistent production.
10. Jed Gyorko
Groin injury comes at a horrible time for Gyorko who was really warming at the plate. Posted a .330/.381/.553 slash with five homers and 23 runs and 14 RBI in 25 games prior to the injury. He slides up a couple of spots the moment he proves his health.
11. Josh Donaldson
Donaldson is getting it done with a solid eye at the dish (29 walks) , a dash of pop (10 HR) and a little bit of luck (.343 BABIP).
12. Martin Prado
Remember in the open when we said we’re focused on what these guys will do? Well, Prado’s given us little reason to have faith this year, yet we continue to believe.
13. Matt Carpenter
Phenomenal 32:39 walk-to-strikeout ratio has Carpenter on pace for 120+ runs scored this season. His plumetting average and mediocre power are a worry, but Carpenter is an OBP gem.
14. Chase Headley
Peripheral numbers are actually similar to last season and if you recall, Headley carried a modest .267 average and 8 home rusn into the all-star break last season. We don’t exactly expect another 23-homer second half, but he could very well still get to 20 taters for they year with double digit speed and a solid average.
15. Mark Reynolds
We’ve seen the good: 5 home runs and 22 RBI with a .301 average in April. We’ve seen the bad: one home run and just two RBI to accompany a .145 average in June. However you get to 35 home runs, Mark, is OK by us.
16. Mark Trumbo
Is there an echo in here? However you get to 35 home runs, Mark, is OK by us.
17. Pedro Alvarez
Pedro has struck out in exactly one-third of his at bats, and that is certainly not good. Pedro has put exactly one-third of his 45 total hits over the fence, and that certainly is not bad.
18. Pablo Sandoval
Injury issues are starting to become a theme for Panda, who is having another “fine” season.
19. Anthony Rendon
Loving Rendon’s excellent .395/.435/.605 performance since being recalled. Checkered injury history remains the biggest concern.
20. Nolan Arenado
Despite Arenado’s 0-for-Tuesday, he’s hit in 11 of his last 13 contests with a tasty .385 batting average over that span.
21. Todd Frazier
As streaky as they come, Todd is currently ice cold,
22. Michael Young
Hitting the ball with authority of late. His last four hits include three doubles and the rare triple.
23. Trevor Plouffe
Plouffe has struggled to stay on the field but his number project to a fairly valuable .264-79-21-84-5 over 162 games.
24. Brett Lawrie
Sure, the ankle injury plays a huge role in this ranking, but he wasn’t any good before going down.
25. David Freese
The average remains solid, but the brittle Freese is looking like a poor-man’s Sandoval… health concerns and all.
26. Marco Scutaro
Though Scutaro is going to try to play through a tendon injury in his pinky, it’s hard not to expect his number to fall.
27. Mike Moustakas
Well, if the Royals though Eric Hosmer was a bust, maybe they were worrying about the wrong corner of their infield.
28. Will Middlebrooks
Power stroke is nice, and if he can prove it with more consistency, he has a chance to jump into the Reynolds/Trumbo/Alvarez group.
29. Eric Chavez
The brittle Chavez was tearing it up before injuring his oblique. He’s aiming to get back on the field soon, but its only a matter of time before his next DL stint.
30. Alex Rodriguez
He’s begun to face live pitching and it would be foolish to rule out some decent power numbers from A-Rod upon his return.
You can catch Wayne daily on Dynasty Sports Empire TV’s Fantasy Five – Baseball and also check out the Box Score Baseball Podcast each week as Bretsky and The Fantasy Nomad discuss all the latest news and notes from around major league baseball.
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