Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Third base tiers for Draft Day 2013

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Gauging depth at a position isn't so difficult when you know which players are good.

The Tiers Approach to Draft Day
Tiering is a method of doctoring positional rankings so that players of similar value are bundled into groups. A new group begins whenever the next player down in the rankings has a vastly different projected outcome from the player preceding him. Reducing a position to five or six tiers instead of 30 or more individuals gives you a blueprint to follow as your league's draft unfolds. Naturally, the position to target is the one whose active tier is closest to completion. -- Scott White

Tiers: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP

But what if you don't? What if a position offers so many with a history of disappointment and so many others with no history at all that distinguishing the good from the not so good feels almost like guesswork?

Third base is in a period of transition. As the mainstays at the position become older and more injury prone, the next wave of talent races to close the gap.

So is it a weak position? Certainly not compared to second base or shortstop. Is it a strong position? Well, that all depends on how you assess the second and fifth tiers -- on how trustworthy you consider The Near Elite to be and how close you believe The Last Resorts are to replacing them.

The Elite: Miguel Cabrera

The Near Elite: Evan Longoria, Adrian Beltre, Ryan Zimmerman, Hanley Ramirez, David Wright, Chase Headley

The Next Best Things: Aramis Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Martin Prado, Brett Lawrie

The Fallback Options: David Freese, Kyle Seager, Will Middlebrooks

The Last Resorts: Pedro Alvarez, Mike Moustakas, Kevin Youkilis, Todd Frazier, Manny Machado

The Leftovers: Alex Rodriguez, Jedd Gyorko, Michael Young, Trevor Plouffe, Matt Carpenter, Chris Nelson, Chris Johnson, Nick Castellanos, Josh Donaldson, Juan Francisco, Lonnie Chisenhall

For me, the answers are "still pretty trustworthy" and "not especially close," which means I see third base as a top-heavy, not so deep position.

So then, my approach to the position on Draft Day shouldn't surprise you: accept nothing less than The Near Elite.

Really, I don't understand why anyone would approach it differently. The tier is six deep, so you shouldn't have to sacrifice much to get in on it. If you focus on other positions first (and you should, precisely because the tier is so deep), you'll still be able to snag one of those third basemen in the fourth or fifth round, after just about all of The Elite and The Near Elite have gone off the board at other positions.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

And it's a good tier. Granted, none of those players compares to Cabrera, but comparing anyone to the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years is unfair. In a best-case scenario, each of those six is capable of numbers that would be elite at just about any other position.

But I suppose if you get sidetracked by pitching early, The Near Elite could easily pass you by. Or heck, maybe you genuinely don't want one of the six because you don't foresee a best-case scenario for him. Maybe, for example, Zimmerman's numbers over the last two years have you thinking he's not the same player he was in 2009 and 2010. Considering a cortisone shot in his balky shoulder propelled him to a .321 batting average and .967 OPS over his final 90 games last year, I disagree, but you're entitled to your opinion. I don't have the technology to visit the future and prove you wrong.

Likewise, Longoria has been banged up for a couple years now. Beltre is on the verge of his 34th birthday. Hanley Ramirez is just getting by even with shortstop eligibility. Wright hasn't been much of a power hitter since the Mets moved to Citi Field. Headley only became a power hitter last year. You have an excuse for each of them if you want to make one.

But do you? Though the position offers some reasonably good middle- and late-round alternatives, the risk only increases as you move down the ladder. Truthfully, Aramis Ramirez and Sandoval probably have about the same upside as the six players in the The Near Elite, but for one reason or another, they're less likely to meet it. Ramirez is a year older than Beltre and has proven to be the more susceptible to injuries in recent years, and Sandoval's endless weight issues jeopardize both his health and productivity.

After them and the steady-but-unspectacular Prado is where that next wave of talent begins. Lawrie and Seager stand out from Alvarez, Moustakas, Frazier and Machado because they offer some measure of speed, with Lawrie getting an additional bump because his upside is perceived to be the highest. That distinction mostly just applies to Rotisserie leagues, though. In Head-to-Head play, the power-speed combination isn't as big of a deal.

And then there's Middlebrooks, who has less than a full year under his belt. Between that and his poor plate discipline, you might say he's just as flawed as any of The Last Resorts, but ... eh, I just like him a little more. Unlike Moustakas, he's already proven his viability in the majors, and unlike Frazier, he doesn't have to worry about a journeyman-loving manager finding some Miguel Cairo type to start over him.

The Last Resorts, flawed as they may be, really are your last line of defense at this position. You won't find much productivity among the remains, unless you hope for an Alex Rodriguez sighting in the second half. Gyorko and Castellanos are both prospects who could get a shot at some point this season, and Chisenhall is a former prospect finally in line for everyday at-bats. But for the most part, The Leftovers are players you just plain don't want.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Michael Kohn designated for assignment Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:59 pm ET) Angels pitcher Michael Kohn has been designated for assignment Tuesday.

Kohn was optioned to Triple-A in July. He posted a 3.04 ERA over 23 2/3 innings in the majors. He has a career 3.67 ERA over 110 1/3 innings. 


Adam LaRoche unable to return Tuesday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:54 pm ET) Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Dodgers, as a result of a back injury suffered the previous night. He remains day to day at this point, though the extent of the injury is not yet known.

Brandon Workman to return to action Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:53 pm ET) Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman will return to the team's rotation Thursday, according to CSN.

Workman was sent down recently, and can't be called up until Wednesday at the earliest. If he comes back, Workman would take on the Yankees. Workman has a 4.93 ERA over 73 innings. 


Josh Willingham able to come off bench Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:50 pm ET) Royals outfielder Josh Willingham is available off the bench Tuesday, according to the Kansas City Star.

Willingham wasn't in the team's starting lineup, but could come off the bench. He felt no pain swinging Tuesday. Willingham received a shot to help him deal with the discomfort. He said he could come off the bench to pinch hit.


A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings brought back from DL
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:48 pm ET) The Diamondbacks activated infielder Chris Owings (shoulder) and outfielder A.J. Pollock (hand) from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, the team announced.

Owings has been out since late June due to his injury, while Pollock's has kept him out since late May.


Charlie Morton's next few steps planned out
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:41 pm ET) Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Tuesday the team's next steps for pitcher Charlie Morton as he continues to work his way back from a sports hernia.

Morton tossed a simulated game at Busch Stadium Tuesday, and is set for another next Tuesday as well. He will also through a side session with coaches watching Thursday or Friday prior to his second simulated game, after which the next step will be determined. He has been out since Aug. 15 as a result of the injury. 


Kolten Wong still not starting Tuesday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:36 pm ET) Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong is not in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Pirates, despite being able to serve as a pinch-hitter in Monday's game.

Wong admitted his neck was still sore even though he got into Monday's game, though it is clearly improved enough for him to be available. At this point, he is considered day to day moving forward. 


J.B. Shuck designated for assignment
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) The Angels have designated outfielder J.B. Shuck for assignment Tuesday.

Shuck was sent back to Triple-A in early August after hitting .167 over 84 at-bats in the majors. He's a career .272 hitter over 602 at-bats.


Travis Snider, Pedro Alvarez still out Tuesday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) Pirates outfielder Travis Snider (hamstring) and infielder Pedro Alvarez (foot) remained out of the starting lineup Tuesday against the Cardinals, as they remain sidelined by their injuries. Snider has missed five games as a result of his injury, while Tuesday will be Alvarez's sixth straight start missed. 

Michael Wacha to return to rotation Thursday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:24 pm ET) Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha will return to the Cardinals' rotation Thursday, manager Mike Matheny told reporters Tuesday.

Wacha, who has been out since mid-June with a shoulder injury, will start Thursday against the Brewers, after making just one rehab appearance. He threw 34 pitches for Double-A Springfield, and will likely be on a pitch count for at least his first game.

Wacha had a 2.79 ERA and 5-5 record in 15 starts prior to suffering the injury. 


 
 
 
Rankings