Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen and 2nd basemen for 2011 are in the books. We continue around the horn (that means we’ll go back for the shortstops; don’t ask, I was getting fancy) bringing us to the top 20 3rd basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball. This year 3rd base gave most of you the gas face. For the most part, you were lucky if you didn’t draft a top ranked one cause most of them bombed. I mean, Emilio Bonifacio is a top five 3rd baseman? That’s an eff in the coolie if I’ve ever heard one. Zimmerman, Longoria, Wright? Made you look smart in opposite world. Also, to recap, this final ranking is from ESPN Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:
1. Jose Bautista – A very wise monkey once said, sometimes when you go out on a limb, the branch breaks. To use limb in another sentence: I don’t think it’s much of a limb when I say Bautista was my biggest snafu since I started this blog. I really didn’t believe him at all. The kicker was usually when I Mr. Bungle a player as bad as I did with Bautista, Rudy will correct me, but he punted Bautista too, so I wasn’t even counterbalanced. I can’t say this for sure, but it seems like most ‘perts don’t give a flying elbow if they make right or wrong calls, but I will say Bautista taught me one thing. I don’t like being wrong; it really annoyed me that I mucked him up. Now watch next year when I project him for 40 homers, he’s gonna hit 12 and make me into a Mr. Bungle once again. Preseason Rank #12 (Yes, I was that much a non-believer; I had Pedro Alvarez above him. I will now eat an apple laced with cyanide.), 2011 Projections: 70/25/80/.240/5, Final Numbers: 105/43/103/.302/9
2. Michael Young – Went over Young in the top 20 1st basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball post.
3. Adrian Beltre – I was pretty accurate with my mid-tier 3rd basemen preseason ranking. Beltre, Young, Reynolds, Alvarez, Aramis and McGehee turned out as I thought they would, minus McGehee and Alvarez, obviously. Unfortunately, I ended up with Alvarez and McGehee on more teams than I care to admit. Alvarez, in particular, killed me. This, however, is supposed to be about Beltre. As soon as he signed with the Rangers, any trepidation I had went out the window. Man Standing Outside My Metaphorical Window, “Stopping throwing trepidation on me!” Preseason Rank #7, 2011 Projections: 80/24/95/.285/7, Final Numbers: 82/32/105/.296/1
4. Aramis Ramirez – Here’s one way to look at how pee poor the 3rd basemen were. I pretty much nailed Aramis’s projections with his final numbers and I ranked him 11th and he finished 4th. That, more or less, means seven 3rd basemen bombed. Also, more or less should be one word. Moreorless — doesn’t that look better? You’re welcome, English language; I’m fixing you. Preseason Rank #11, 2011 Projections: 75/25/90/.280, Final Numbers: 80/26/93/.306/1
5. Emilio Bonifacio – There’s nothing I can say that will illustrate how bad the 3rd basemen are that can’t be said by just seeing how high Bonifacio ranked here. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 78/5/36/.296/40
6. Jhonny Peralta – After looking like a lock for 20+ homers and a .270 average back in 2008, he wrestled with major league pitching like I wrestle with his superfluous H. Due to some luck, his average was about 20 points too high, but everything else seems right in line with what he can do. He’s ranked this high because 3rd basemen sucked this year. Have you heard that before? Yeah, thought so. Preseason Ranked #16 for Shortstops, 2011 Projections: 65/17/80/.255, Final Numbers: 68/21/86/.299
7. Pablo Sandoval – In the preseason, I compared him to an in-his-prime Lyle Overbay. Still sounds about right. Before you scoff, scoffer. Lyle Overbay’s best year 82/22/92/.312/5 was better than this year by Sandoval. Preseason Rank #13, 2011 Projections: 70/18/80/.305/3, Final Numbers: 55/23/70/.315/2
8. Mark Reynolds – Went over Reynolds in the top 20 1st basemen post.
9. Ryan Roberts – Went over Roberts in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball post.
10. Evan Longoria – I may still rank Longoria in the 1st round next year. Absolutely nothing changed for him except his luck fell off the map. If it wasn’t for bad luck, he would’ve had no luck at all. His K-rate actually went down, his walk rate went up, his HR/FB% stayed where it should be. I may even pick him to win the MVP next year. I will probably say some variation of the preceding a dozen times this offseason, so if you missed this, don’t worry. And if you read the preceding, forget it so it seems fresh the next twelve times I say it. Preseason Rank #1, 2011 Projections: 105/33/115/.280/10, Final Numbers: 78/31/99/.244/3
11. Edwin Encarnacion – On one hand, I can’t believe Encarnacion ranked this high. On the other hand, it’s more of an indictment of the 3rd basemen because his numbers don’t look that good. On a third lesser known hand that is actually a mitten on the end of a broomstick, he was valuable in the 2nd half of the year. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 70/17/55/.272/8
12. Chipper Jones – He didn’t go unranked in the preseason because I overlooked him. He was coming off a year when he nearly retired from injuries. In fact, I think he did retire then decided to come back, if I remember it correctly. Whatever. Glass Chipper hits when he’s healthy but that ‘when’ is the size of King Kong Bundy. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 56/18/70/.275/2
13. Alex Rodriguez – It totally bit me in the ass saying I wanted a 3rd baseman in the first two rounds of last year’s drafts. 3rd base was my cross to bear, or bare if you’re a nudist. A-Rod, Wright and Zimmerman were off the charts terrible. Sure, A-Rod had the decency to get injured so you could replace him, but who were you replacing him with? Wilson Betemit? David Freese? Bleh and Belch. Preseason Rank #4, 2011 Projections: 90/32/110/.280/7, Final Numbers: 67/16/62/.276/4
14. Kevin Youkilis – It’s easy to say this was an off season for Youuuuuuk, but, at age 32, this could be the beginning of the end. This is the third year in a row that he’s failed to top 136 games and the 2nd year in a row he didn’t hit 20 homers. On a side note, here’s what I said in the preseason about Youk, “Other fantasy baseball ‘perts will say 1st base is one of the deepest positions and you shouldn’t pay for it on draft day. …Do you feel as safe with Youuuuuk as you would with, say, Te(i)x? I wouldn’t. Do you feel as safe with Morneau as Fielder? Do you feel as safe with Dunn as you do with any of the first basemen in the 1st tier? And this is only one tier down.” And that’s me quoting me! Sure, that was about 1st basemen, but it mentioned Youk so I included it here. Sue me for your zero dollar subscription fee. Preseason Rank #8 for 1st basemen, 2011 Projections: 95/27/95/.300/5, Final Numbers: 68/17/80/.258/3
15. David Wright – It wasn’t just that the 3rd basemen were bad this year, but it was worse than that. The good 3rd basemen weren’t just less good so you still got some draft value. Across the board, 3rd basemen killed you. For the first time, I felt like Wright didn’t care either. I get it, you can go 1-for-4 with a run. How about you hit a home freakin’ run?! I think Metco is in his head too. If the Mets move the fences in only one foot, but told him they moved the fences in thirty feet it would have the same impact on his power. Preseason Rank #2, 2011 Projections: 95/30/105/.285/17, Final Numbers: 60/14/61/.254/13
16. Daniel Murphy – Went over Murphy in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
17. Albert Callaspo – Was about as steady a performer as you can find with his 3 homer, 3 steal 1st half and 3 homer, 5 steal 2nd half. This was an illustration of how being steady isn’t always a good thing. Callaspo may have to replace Polanco in the yawnstipating definition. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 54/6/46/.288/8
18. Ryan Zimmerman – If a player’s season can be summed up by the company he’s keeping on the year-end rankings, look at the players around Zimmerman. Callaspo’s above him! Daniel Murphy had a better season than Zimmerman and he stopped playing on August 7th! I’d say 2011 was a step back for Zimmerman, but it was more like a step back, then he fell into a ditch, then someone popped a squat above him and crapped on his head. On a side note, I’m way off on a lot of these 3rd basemen projections, but I guarantee you all ‘perts are off with these guys. No one could’ve told you Wright, Zimmerman, etc would’ve been this bad. I only mention this because I think it’s ridiculous some people charge for their projections. I could pretty much tell you what any player is going to do assuming their healthy, barring a few here and there like Bautista. But guys like Bautista are me going on a limb. I could’ve told you 35 homers and a .280 average like everyone else and been less wrong, but what fun is that? Now someone help me down from my soapbox. Preseason Rank #3, 2011 Projections: 90/32/100/.285/5, Final Numbers: 52/12/49/.289/3
19. Martin Prado – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
20. Chase Headley – If you ever wondered to yourself whether or not 3rd base was really as bad as it seemed this year, notice Chase Headley making the top 20. Then notice he had 4 home runs on the year. He only hit one homer at home all year. All year! On the positive side, he outperformed Casey McGehee. Recurring Theme, “The third basemen were really bad this year.” Preseason Rank #15, 2011 Projections: 70/15/85/.255/7, Final Numbers: 43/4/44/.289/13