With these top 20 3rd basemen for 2009 fantasy baseball, we finish off the twenty lists for the infield. From weakest to strongest, the top 20s go top 20 catchers, top 20 shortstops, top 20 2nd basemen, top 20 third basemen then top 20 1st basemen. The outfielders will be coming up next, and I’m sure they’ll be deeper than all of these lists, but that’s just by virtue of the sheer number of them. If you want some overall perspective, look at our 2009 Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. In addition, there’s a list of every player who has multiple position eligibility. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2009 fantasy baseball:
3. Aramis Ramirez – Welcome to a new tier. This tier goes from Aramis to Chipper. I call this tier, “Your last chance for a rock solid 3rd baseman.” As for Aramis, he was a bit underwhelming in 2007 to follow that up with more underwhelming shizz in 2008. That he ranks 4th on the list is more of a condemnation of 3rd basemen than an endorsement of Aramis. I like him, but only to a certain extent. 2009 Projections: 105/30/115/.295
4. Kevin Youkilis – I liked Youuuuuk going into the 2008 season and he didn’t disappoint. Now, like with Dusty “The American Dream” Pedroia, Youuuuuuk’s getting slightly overrated. Though Youuuuuk will have a better chance of matching expectations than Pedroia. Remember I said match, not exceed. Recognize! 2009 Projections: 95/27/110/.290/5
5. Alex Rodriguez – Drugs bad, A-Rod good, Cyst bad. Any questions? 2009 Projections: 70/24/75/.295/4
6. Chipper Jones – Sure, the Glass Chipper is never going to make it a full 150 games ever again, but you forget how many guys are available on waivers during the season. You get Chipper Jones for 120 games then grab a hot waiver pickup for the other 30 games and you end up with a much more productive player than Atkins for 155 games. 2009 Projections: 80/20/85/.320/5
7. Garrett Atkins – Here’s a new tier. This tier goes from Atkins to Zimmerman. I call this tier, “Guys with question marks but upside.” See the top 20 1st basemen for 2009 fantasy baseball for Garrett Atkins’s projections.
10. Ryan Zimmerman – If only I liked Martin and Huff more, so I could have dropped Zimmerman even further. Bummerman! Someone once asked why I dislike Zimmerman so much, I replied, “Read Razzball!” To which they said, “Razz what?” I said, “Ball.” They said, “Ball what?” We went on like that for twenty minues. Honestly, if Zimmerman’s on the board late, I could see myself grabbing him this year, unlike last year when there was no chance I was getting him on any team. The reason I’m saying there’s a chance this year is because he’s now being severely underrated. He can still hit 20+ home runs and he’s not that old. Last year, I hated the wrist surgery. Now we’re an extra year away from it… Okay, I’m going to stop now bef0re someone catches me defending Zimmerman. 2009 Projections: 80/20/90/.285/7
10 1/2. Russell Martin – Here’s a new tier. This tier goes from Martin to Encarnacion. I call this tier, “Guys with fewer question marks and less upside.” He may not have 3rd base eligibility in your league so he gets a 1/2. See the top 20 catchers for 2009 fantasy baseball for Martin’s projections.
12. Adrian Beltre – I had ’04 Beltre. His 48 home runs. I got them off waivers. I knew it would never be that good again. And it won’t. But he’s actually not putting up awful numbers from year to year. What, you don’t want 25/10? Of course you do. He’s only just turning 30 at the beginning of the 2009 season. 2009 Projections: 80/25/85/.270/10
13. Edwin Encarnacion – Edwin’s one of those guys that I would draft in all leagues. He’s not going to blow you away with numbers, but he’ll keep you afloat and let other guys carry your team. In September of 2009, you’ll look at Encarnacion and say nothing good or bad. And that’s the best I can say about him. 2009 Projections: 75/25/90/.285/5
14. Mark Reynolds – Here’s a new tier. This tier is just Reynolds and Figgins. I call this tier, “Guys who could potentially kill your team.” A guy who admittedly doesn’t mind striking out 200 times isn’t usually worth the headache. But one of these years, Reynolds might hit 40+ home runs and .270 just from having one of those lucky BABIP years. Later in a draft, if you feel like your team is really weak on power, I’d take a flier on Reynolds. 2009 Projections: 75/31/100/.255/7
15. Chone Figgins – Figgins is exactly the kind of guy I’ve never had on any team. Why, Grey? Please explain! Okay, random italcized voice, but lower the eagerness a bit, it’s weird. Figgins always goes in the mid-rounds and he gives you essentially one category (steals). This puts way too much pressure on your other guys to bolster Figgins’s power shortage. Also, if he gives you 35 steals and Emmanuel Burriss (fill-in any speed schmohawk SAGNOF player) at a better position gives you the same ten rounds later, why draft Figgins? I don’t know, Grey! Why?! That was rhetorical; I just explained why. 2009 Projections: 95/5/55/.295/35
16. Mark DeRosa – This is a new tier. This tier goes from DeRosa to Lowell. This tier I call, “Guys I’d prefer not to have on my team, but if they get hot I’d pick one up.” See the top 20 2nd basemen for 2009 fantasy baseball for Mark DeRosa’s projections.
17. Hank Blalock – Honestly, I had Mike Lowell here then looked at reports of his recovery from hip surgery, looked at his age and decided I’d prefer this schmohawk then Lowell. But, the thing is, I don’t really want Blalock either. It was a tough call and in the end Blalock won because I think he’d get injured and I’d be able to drop him, where Lowell would play through injuries and end up costing me much more. 2009 Projections: 55/17/65/.280 in 100 games.
18 1/2. Pablo Sandoval – He may not have 3rd base eligibility in your league so he gets a 1/2. See the top 20 catchers for 2009 fantasy baseball for Sandoval’s projections. BTW, I like Sandoval, just not so much as my 3rd baseman.
19. Mike Lowell – “Hip surgery on an old doode,” my trepidation says. 2009 Projections: 75/20/85/.275
20. Alex Gordon – Here’s the last tier. It’s called, “Fliers that could pay dividends.” I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again. When you’re this deep into a position, you take a flier on a guy rather than the safe, aging vet. It’s worth the risk. As for Gordon, can you believe I’m pushing this schmohawk for another year? Old habits die hard, ask John Holmes. I already went over Alex Gordon as a 2009 fantasy sleeper. Listen, I just know know KNOW (Yes, the regular-italicized-caps emphasis. That’s like the triple dog dare of emphasis.) Alex Gordon’s going to come around. He’s like that really awkward girl in your eleventh grade gym class that had Doritos in her hair. You know the one — the one that asked your stupid ass out and you turned down. Then you ended up going out with Psycho Sally and her crazy-ass ex-boyfriend keyed your ’87 Camaro. Well, the girl with the Doritos in her hair grows up to be Cindy Crawford. Don’t you see you’re making the same mistakes in life over and over again? Geez! 2009 Projections: 85/22/90/.270/10 (<–optimistic, but doable)
After the top 20 3rd basemen for 2009 fantasy baseball, there’s a lot of names, but here’s three that stand out:
Dallas McPherson – I covered him in a 2009 fantasy sleeper post. Search the site! 2009 Projections: 60/20/80/.245/5
Kevin Kouzmanoff – No, he didn’t explode on the scene like some (me!) would’ve hoped, but he’s still young and… Well, he plays in Petco and I don’t think Ryan Howard could hit 40 home runs in that park so keep expectations in check. 2009 Projections: 75/25/95/.270
Troy Glaus – Don’t even bother drafting him. Anyone who decides to have shoulder surgery in January isn’t worth the ulcer. 2009 Projections: Old/Doode/Injured/Shoulder