Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. 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 .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Mets opt to shut down Jacob deGrom
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:18 pm ET) Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom has pitched for the last time in 2014, according to ESPN.com. The Mets will replace him for his final turn Saturday against the Astros. The rookie was thought to have an innings limit of 180-185 and has thrown 178 2/3 between the majors and minors this season.

Those innings were mostly spectacular. Though deGrom wasn't considered an elite prospect coming into the year, he's a leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year with a 9-6 record, 2.63 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Over his final 15 starts, he went 9-2 with a 1.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings.


Jeurys Familia could be in 2015 closer mix
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(1:36 pm ET) Mets manager Terry Collins told the Newark Star-Ledger that he wants Jeurys Familia to enter spring training next season with the goal of being the team's closer. Collins indicated that Familia would have an opportunity to close in 2015, particularly if Bobby Parnell has not completed his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Familia has saved five games this season, but has served primarily in a setup role. In addition to getting 21 holds, he has posted a 2-5 record and a 2.30 ERA in 73 appearances.


Derek Norris dealing with shoulder issue
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(12:23 pm ET) CSNBayArea.com reports that Athletics catcher Derek Norris received a cortisone shot in his shoulder on Sunday. He had been experiencing discomfort stemming from contact at a play at the plate during Saturday's game against the Phillies.

Norris recovered well enough to serve as the A's designated hitter on Monday against the Angels, though he was removed for a pinch hitter in the fourth inning.


Orioles' ALDS rotation taking shape
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(12:11 pm ET) Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore Sun he will use four starting pitchers for the American League Divisional Series. Chris Tillman is on course to be the team's starter for Game 1 on Oct. 2, and Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen are the likely starters for Games 2 and 3, though their order has yet to be determined.

Should the series advance to a Game 4, Bud Norris would be the leading candidate to make that start.


Blue Jays planning for bullpen day on Thursday
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(11:33 am ET) With Marcus Stroman serving a five-game suspension and unable to take his usual turn in the Blue Jays' rotation, manager John Gibbons told the Toronto Sun he plans to use a committee of relievers to replace the 23-year-old rookie.

Gibbons has not yet determined who will start Thursday's game against the Mariners, but Todd Redmond, Daniel Norris and Sean Nolin are all candidates to appear in some role. 


Michael Wacha not working with his best changeup
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(11:25 am ET) Michael Wacha recovered well enough from Saturday's start against the Reds to get another turn in the rotation, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that he will face the Diamondbacks this weekend.

However, in the three starts Wacha has made since returning from time missed due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder, he has not had his usual success in employing his changeup. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny acknowledged that Wacha is having to rely on his other offerings, telling the Post-Dispatch, "For him to be able to try to pitch without what is normally his No. 1 weapon and hold a team down like he did takes some adjustment. He’s getting better."

According to BrooksBaseball.net, Wacha got swings-and-misses on 16.9 percent of his changeups in 15 starts prior to his disabled list stint. In the three starts since, he has induced only one whiff out of 21 changeups (4.8 percent).


Santiago Casilla gets the win in two-inning outing
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(10:40 am ET) Giants manager Bruce Bochy called upon Santiago Casilla in Monday's extra-inning affair against the Dodgers, and he held the opponent scoreless for the 11th and 12th innings. That kept the Giants alive, making their three-run 13th inning and 5-2 victory possible.

Casilla was credited with the win, as he faced the minimum six batters. Yasiel Puig reached base on a Brandon Crawford throwing error, and Darwin Barney got on after Casilla hit him, but double play balls erased both batters.

Now 3-3 on the season, Casilla lowered his ERA to 1.76.


Jake Peavy settles for no-decision
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) Giants pitcher Jake Peavy wasn't a factor into the decision Monday night in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. He allowed two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out four over seven innings of work.

Over his last six starts covering 41 innings, Peavy has allowed only five earned runs. He owns a 3.78 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP over 31 starts (197 2/3 innings). His final start of the regular season will come at home Saturday against San Diego.


Dan Haren fans seven in no-deicison
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Dan Haren struck out seven but wasn't a factor into the decision Monday night at home against the Giants. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on one hit and no walks over seven innings of work. Of his 100 pitches, 65 were strikes.

Over his last five starts covering 31 innings, Haren has allowed seven earned runs. He owns a 4.03 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP over 31 starts (181 innings). His final start of the regular season will come Saturday at home against Colorado.


C.J. Wilson gets the quick hook vs. Oakland
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson was yanked in the opening frame after a brief but abysmal outing Monday night against the A's, dropping to 13-10 on the year. He was shelled for six runs -- four earned -- on two hits and four walks over two-thirds of an inning.

Wilson owns a 4.61 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP over 30 starts (169 2/3 innings). He will try to end the regular season on a positive note on Sunday in Seattle.


 
 
 
Rankings