The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft season is officially upon us. As a part of our draft packet for this season, we’re going to examine the elite options at each position. Let’s take a look at our top 5 fantasy third baseman for 2014, and compare our rankings to their current ADP (average draft position) in mock drafts. As always, if your thoughts differ from these, please comment below or make use of our Fantasy Baseball Forum to share.
1. Miguel Cabrera
Miggy Cab won the Triple Crown in 2012. Impossibly, he was actually better in 2013. 44 HR, 137 RBI, .348 AVG, .442 OBP….he’s just a machine. Without a doubt the pre-eminent batter of his era, Miggy occupies our entire top tier of 3B by himself. His ADP of 1.8 (just under 2.0) suggests what we’ve all thought at least once: If you have the top pick, are you really sure you have to take Trout?
2. Adrian Beltre
You have to hand it to Beltre. Every year around draft time, pundits say “He’s too old” or “He’s entering his decline phase” or “He just isn’t that good” (my personal favorite). And every year, he proves everyone wrong. 2013 was just another vintage Beltre campaign – 30 HR, .315 AVG. .371 OBP, 85+ Runs and RBI. You can practically pencil him in for those numbers with confidence. It’s that consistency, a strong lineup around him, and a hitters park for 82 games that make Adrian the no-brainer choice for #2 at the hot corner.
3. David Wright
It really seems like the biggest thing holding back David Wright from even greater heights of fantasy stardom is…the Mets. First they throw him in a cavernous ballpark, and then they surround him with scrubs so opposing pitching can simply throw him junk. Add injuries to the mix, and it seems Wright has some of the highest and most often unfulfilled upside in the fantasy game. But this could be his year. Granderson, Murphy, and Young Jr, seem to be capable table setters, and the Mets lineup top to bottom looks better than it has in some time. If Wright can stay healthy, and the Mets lineup can be even mediocre, he could be in for a monster fantasy year.
4. Evan Longoria
Longoria might have the highest upside of any 3B not named Cabrera. He’s hit as many as 33 HR, driven in as many as 113, and scored as many as 100. The trouble is, all of those career highs occurred in his second season in the bigs (2009) and it’s been more or less downhill since. Wright and Longoria are very close, but Longoria doesn’t run any longer, and Wright has been more consistent over his career, and based on that we give him the slight edge in our rankings. Wright has also battled injuries and inconsistency, and plays in a park that suppresses offense, but he has the talent to overcome all of this and truly break out one of these years Do you think 2014 is the year?
5. Ryan Zimmerman
Zimmerman is almost boringly consistent. You can ink him in for about a .275 AVG, 25 HR, and 85 + Runs and RBI. He hit that predictive stat line almost squarely on the nose in 2013 despite missing 15 games due to various injuries. He does possess some upside thought – the entire Nationals team had a dreadful first half, and they are bound to improve as an offensive unit this year. That should give Big Z more chances for meaningful plate appearances and more RBI chances. With a 6th round ADP in a shallow 3B pool for 2014, you really can’t go wrong with Ryan.
Josh Donaldson, Pablo Sandoval, Pedro Alvarez, Manny Machado, and Kyle Seager round out our top 10 at the position. A lot can change during spring training, so be sure to check out our most up-to-date third base rankings.