Fantasy Baseball 2013 NL Only Rankings: Third Base

Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Ray Guilfoyle ranks the Top 20 Third Baseman for NL only leagues for 2013, including a closer look at Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Zimmerman.

We are in the middle of publishing our NL\AL-only league rankings, and here are links to each of the rankings we have completed so far.

Today, I publish my NL-Only third base rankings, headed by Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Not a popular choice, but I think he can build on his terrific 2012 second half where he hit .319-.381-.564 with 17 HRs, 51 runs and 55 RBI, after a first half where he hit just .243-.308-.386 with 8 HRs, 42 runs and 40 RBI despite dealing with a bad shoulder. He received a cortisone shot in the shoulder in mid-July and was one of the best hitters in the second half of the season. He hits in one of the better lineups in the game, and should have plenty of RBI opportunities with Denard Span and Bryce Harper hitting in front of him. I see him approaching 30 HRs, 100 RBI and a .300 batting average in 2013.

Most will probably rank David Wright ahead of Zimmerman this season, but Wright hits in a Mets lineup that may struggle to score runs in 2013, while Zimmerman hits in one of the better lineups in the National League. In fact, Zimmerman put up better stats than Wright, even with the bad shoulder in the first half last season.

Let's take a look at the third base rankings in NL only leagues for 2013:

Rank

Player

Age

Tm

1

Ryan Zimmerman

27

WSN

2

Aramis Ramirez

34

MIL

3

David Wright

29

NYM

4

Hanley Ramirez

28

LAD

5

Chase Headley

28

SDP

6

Pablo Sandoval

25

SFG

7

Pedro Alvarez

25

PIT

8

Todd Frazier

26

CIN

9

David Freese

29

STL

10

Martin Prado

28

ATL

11

Chris Johnson

27

ARI

12

Michael Young

35

PHI

13

Juan Francisco

25

ATL

14

Chris Nelson

26

COL

15

Jordan Pacheco

26

COL

16

Ian Stewart

27

CHC

17

Matt Carpenter

26

STL

18

Placido Polanco

36

PHI

19

Luis Cruz

28

LAD

20

Josh Vitters

22

CHC

Here are my thoughts on a few of the players listed above:

Aramis Ramirez, MIL

Just to give you an idea of how much I like Aramis, here is a tweet from Bret Sayre with his pick in a mock draft we are both participating in on Twitter:

Yes, I didn't pick Ramirez, but he was certainly someone I gave serious thought to. I do own him in an NL-only league at $28, which is a pretty good price considering the inflation in this league. Aram continued to baffle his critics with one of his best seasons in quite awhile, hitting .300 with 27 HRs, 92 runs, 105 RBI and 9 stolen bases. He also chipped in with a league leading 50 doubles. I see more of the same in 2013, but knowing that the age risk is creeping up on him.

Pedro Alvarez, PIT

I was trading tweets with Michael Salfino on Saturday afternoon as we were discussing who would be the top home run hitters over the next 3 seasons. Ryan Braun, Giancarlo Stanton, and Jay Bruce were discussed. Then he threw out Alvarez. I had to agree. Maybe I am more optimistic on Alvarez than others, but I don't think anyone is as optimistic as Salfino is. He tweeted that Alvarez has 50 HR power. I think there are only two hitters in baseball with that kind of power ceiling, and they are Stanton and Bryce Harper. If everything goes right for Alvarez, he could approach a few 40 HRs seasons before his career is over.

Martin Prado, ARI

Prado should benefit from the move from a neutral hitting environment in Atlanta to the hitter-friendly environment of Chase Field in Arizona. Prado will give fantasy owners a solid batting average, probably in the .290-.300 range, and should see his runs and RBI improve a bit, but he won't see his power improve all that much. Prado hit just 10 home runs last season, as he doesn't hit many fly balls (career FB% of 33%) nor do many of those fly balls land over the outfield walls (career HR/FB% of 7%).

Chris Johnson, ATL

Johnson was included in the big Justin Upton trade, and I think he will be the Braves starter at third ahead of Juan Francisco. Francisco has some swing and miss issues, striking out in just over 34% of his 200+ plate appearances last season. Johnson has his own strikeout issues, but not as bad as Francisco. He is probably a late round choice in mixed and NL-only leagues, who won't hurt you in the batting average category and will toss in double digit homers.

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