2010 Fantasy Top 20 Baseball Third Basemen
By Raymond Ayala

1. Evan Longoria (TB) – While some may chose A-Rod, I like Longoria better because he is a decade younger than Rodriguez, and the baseball schedule is 162 games long. Look for Longoria to top his Homerun numbers this season, while those RBI’s stay in the same range.

2. Alex Rodriguez (NYY) – At this point all A-Rod has left to do is break the Home Run Record. He has hit for 30 Homeruns and at least 100 RBI in his last 11 seasons, and to expect different would be ridiculous.

3. Mark Reynolds (ARZ) – Another of the many duplicate names on these lists. Reynolds is the only 3rd baseman that has a shot at a 30-30 season. The good thing about him is once you draft him, you can wait a little bit before picking your next 1st basemen or 3rd basemen. His versatility is only topped in fantasy this season by V-Mart.

4. Ryan Zimmerman (WAS) – Last seasons Zimmerman is the one we should all get used to seeing. While the Nationals are still a year away from contending, Zimmerman will continue to put up 30 homerun and 100 RBI seasons in a similar way to Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria.

5. Aramis Ramirez (CHC) – The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez, and right now are probably leaning on not using it. Ramirez could quickly change those thoughts though if he reverts back to his old power-hitting self. I think he does and has a monster year with 30 plus Homeruns and 100 RBI.

6. Pablo Sandoval (SFG) – Similar to Reynolds is also 1st base eligible. Sandoval’s numbers will only increase as he continues to grow up in the major leagues. While he led all 3rd basemen in batting average last year, I expect him to focus more on power in 2010.

7. David Wright (NYM) –His speed numbers increased, but that drop in homerun total is too much of a dip to ignore. While Wright may be good for a plus .300 average and 30 plus stolen bases, I think his power numbers will be affected by Citi Field so long as he plays there. Do not expect more than 20 Homeruns from Wright this season.

8. Ian Stewart (COL) – I think Stewart’s upside this season will surprise most. While he was considered a top prospect, he has been stuck behind people in Colorado for the past 2 seasons. Now 3rd base is his, and I think a 30-homerun season out of him is not out of the question, especially since he plays his home games at Coors Field.

9. Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – When David Ortiz struggled last year it was Youkilis who picked up the slack and finished with fantastic all-around stats. While there is a chance he regresses, odds are last years numbers are a good indicator for this season.

10. Chone Figgins (SEA) – Figgins used to be more valuable when he was a super-utility player, but now he is just strictly an average-hitting third basemen with plus speed. If you are looking to fill your SB and Runs category Figgins is one of the best in all of fantasy baseball.

11. Gordon Beckham (CHW) – Some questioned the White Sox for calling up this 2008 1st round draft pick so quickly. The White Sox were rewarded as Beckham earned the AL Rookie of the Year award. While he is still young, Beckham could easily tally 20 Homeruns, 80 RBI, and 20 SB’s in 2010.

12. Alex Gordon (KC) – While he may have struggled in recent seasons, I see an inspired Gordon coming into this season with a chip on his shoulder. I believe he can hit 30 Homeruns and drive-in 100 RBI’s this year, even if he is playing for the Royals.

13. Michael Young (TEX) – Young will never be that same player that had 100 RBI’s a couple of years ago, but he is one of the best 3rd basemen when it comes to average. A .320 average, 20 Homeruns and 80 RBI are the numbers Young is capable of putting up this season.

14. Jorge Cantu (FLA) – Cantu qualifies as a 1st baseman as well. Has surprised the league with back-to-back productive seasons. While Cantu may have been garbage to the Rays, he has certainly been a prize for the Marlins. The Marlins offense this season will hinge on whether Cantu can repeat his performance from last season.

15. Chipper Jones (ATL) – Jones has struggled recently, but some new weapons should help him RBI’s increase by double digits. While his 30 Homerun 100 RBI days may be in the past, Chipper is still a quality first baseman who will be good for at least 20 Homeruns and 80 RBI, unless he is injured.

16. Casey Blake (LAD) – During his last three seasons he has come very close to the 20-80 mark. This season will be a tough one for the Dodgers, but with Manny in that lineup, it would be very hard for him to not equal his numbers in 2009. Blake is a solid regular in the Dodgers lineup though and does have big games in him.

17. Scott Rolen (CIN) – Rolen hasn’t been healthy in four seasons, and this season he will have to prove he can maintain his health. If he is healthy, I don’t see any reason why Rolen can’t hit at least 25 Homeruns and collect 80 plus RBI’s.

18. Pedro Feliz (HOU) – I think Feliz has a chip on his shoulder after the Phillies just let him go so easy. His bat is capable of a 20 Homerun 80 RBI season anytime, and in Houston I think he will thrive. Consider Feliz one of my top sleepers for 2010.

19. Chris Davis (TEX) – He is just barely 3rd basemen eligible. Davis struck out too much for the Rangers liking and he was demoted to AAA for it. He has to be careful because a bad spring training might equal top prospect Justin Smoak stealing his roster spot.

20. Placido Polanco (PHI) – Signed a new contract with the Phillies and now has to live up to it. The Phillies are different since the last time he played for them and a 15 Homerun 75 RBI season is not out of the question.

Future Five to Watch
1. Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE)
2. Pedro Alvarez (PIT)
3. Josh Bell (BAL)
4. Mike Moustakas (KC)
5. Josh Vitters (CHC)