Fake Teams Staff Post: Who's My Third Baseman?

Marc Serota

Each of your favorite Fake Teams writers let you in on who the third baseman they will be targeting at their current values.

Each week, when we cover a position here at Fake Teams, in addition to all of the content you've been seeing, we're going to be doing two staff posts where each of the writers will contribute a brief comment on a player they will personally be targeting in drafts and a player they will be avoiding. Because we're generally an optimistic group here, we're going to start with a player each of us thinks is a good value. Come back tomorrow to find out who the guys we're avoiding are.

So without any further ado, I present the Fake Teams staff and their favorite third base targets for 2013:

"At No. 17 in our consensus rankings, Mike Moustakas has the ability to provide tremendous value on draft day. The third baseman made his major league debut in the second half of 2011 and held his own, catching the eyes of fantasy owners after hitting a robust .352/.380/.580 in September to close out his rookie year. Naturally, Moustakas was a trendy sleeper pick in 2012 drafts as a third baseman capable of putting up big power numbers. Well, it didn't quite work out that way, but it wasn't all bad. In the end, Moustakas hit 20 home runs with 73 RBI (and five steals) to go along with a sluggish .242/.296/.412 line. His power and production really slipped in the second half of the year, but that's expected of a player in his first full season. Had he continued his first half pace, we're talking about a third baseman creeping around 25 home runs, 80 runs and 80 RBI. And wouldn't you know, that's what I project for Moustakas in 2013. His power potential -- he hit a total of 36 home runs in his last full year in the minors -- is too great to pass up." --Alex Kantecki

"Call it an irrational love affair if you want, but I'm sticking with Mike Moustakas for my guy to target in 2013. While Moose didn't show a heck of a lot of plate discipline in 2012, the one major encouraging part of his season was that he saw his power spike while his strikeouts remained under control. Yes, his K% rose, but not to the point where he's an unplayable category killer, or even close. Moustakas demonstrated the ability to combine good power, good contact, and ability to hit for high averages in the minors. The 20-homer power arrived last season; now it's only a matter of time before the line drives start finding holes. Remember, it took some time for him to get adjusted when he first turned pro. He's my pick for a breakout year at this position." --Paul Rice

"There's a very realistic part of my brain that keeps telling me that a 20-year old with only 200 major league at bats is not just going to completely explode. But then there's another part of my brain that just yells constantly about Manny Machado. He is going to develop more strength and plate discipline in time, but his talent is so great that I'm willing to reach for him a little bit in case that happens in 2013. By the time you get down to the 10-15 range at this position, you're either dealing with more boring players or guys who come with pretty serious question marks. Why not take a shot on a player who could hit .285 with 25 HR and 15 SB (and potentially gain SS eligibility if Hardy gets hurt)?" --Bret Sayre

"I am targeting a 'boring' skill set when it comes to third base in mixed leagues for 2013. I don't need stolen bases; I don't need an empty 15-20 homer - batting average guy. I want a middle of the order, run producing, .280-.290 old school player at the hot corner. I am targeting Aramis Ramirez in 2013. At age 34 Ramirez had a great first season with the Brewers, slashing his way to a .300/.360/.540 line in 149 games. 2012 was Aramis' third straight season with at least 25 homers, and he cracked the 100 RBI mark for the first time since 2008. On top of the run production, Aramis set a career high in doubles with 50. That mark was tied for second best in all of baseball with Albert Pujols, one behind Alex Gordon's 51. After getting off to a slow start, hitting .214 with 2 homers in April, Aramis would start to heat up in May and continue to mash the ball for the remainder of the season. From July on, Aramis would hit .373, .305 & .321 with 18 of his 27 long balls during that time frame. Ramirez also added 9 stolen bases (career high) to his 2012 roto line, but don't count on that going forward. Some owners may worry about his age, as he'll turn 35 this coming June, but nothing in his profile indicates a major slowdown is coming in 2013. If you can, take advantage of the age discount that may present itself in draft rooms next year." --Dave Morris Jr.

"Paul Rice has a piece on my guy later today. My guy is Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez. I ranked ARam as my #4 overall fantasy third baseman for 2013 in our rankings earlier this week, as I was the high man among the four Fake Teams writers participating in the consensus rankings for 2013. Dave broke down how well he performed in 2012, but here are a few more facts about the soon to be 35 year old third baseman. His 27 HRs, 92 runs and .300 BA ranked 5th at the position last year, while his 105 RBI ranked 3rd at the position. He tossed in 9 stolen bases, a career high, as well. I think his performance was in response to the naysayers who said he would have a down year with the move from Chicago to Milwaukee. As you can see, it was quite the opposite. I recently traded for Ramirez in one of my NL-only keeper leagues, and see him putting up a year similar to 2012 next season. He doesn't have the name value of an Evan Longoria or Miguel Cabrera, but he should be a top 5-6 fantasy third baseman yet again in 2013." --Ray Guilfoyle

"Be it because I was (am) a Dodgers fan who gleefully watched his assault on National League pitchers in 2004 after years and years of promise, or because I bought low on him in my most important fantasy league prior to the 2010 season, or just because I enjoy watching what happens when teammates touch his head...my guy is Adrian Beltre. This isn't any kind of sexy pick. He's not stealthy, he's not flying under anyone's radar. What he is is damn good. Beltre is guaranteed to miss sometime with a hamstring strain or some other injury, but it just doesn't matter. He still produces. In his last three seasons, he's hit .321, .297, and .321 respectively. He's hit 28, 32, and 36 home runs, respectively. He's driven in 102, 105, and 102, respectively. He's scored 84, 82, and 95 runs, respectively. At 34, you can say he's going to start breaking down at some point - but he's already proven he can produce in limited playing time. He plays in a great park for hitting, he plays on a great team for driving in and scoring runs, and he's shown no sign of slowing down. But hey, if you want to choose any other third baseman well, respectfully, I disagree." --Craig Goldstein

"Pedro Alvarez remains to me a very nice source of power further down in drafts. His HR/FB rate spiked in 2012 (25%), but it also came with a decreased flyball rate (34% vs 39% in 2010) and an improved ground ball rate (46% versus 55% in 2011). He's never going to provide you with a great batting average, but I could see a repeat of the 30 home runs he hit last year, and it will be available much later in drafts than nearly all of the other top power threats." --Jason Hunt

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