Midseason Position Rankings: Third Base

Joe Robbins

Fake Teams continues its coverage of the midseason position rankings with the top-25 third basemen.

Next up in our line of midseason position rankings is third base. The hot corner has been a surprising source of power in the first half, but not everyone we expected to be at the top is there. The top two remain, but No. 3 and No. 4 have dropped considerably, with three surprise additions to the top five.

1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (Preseason Rank: 1)

Who else? Miggy leads all third sackers with 74 RBIs. While the power is noticeably down (.288 ISO in 2013, .227 in 2014), I fully expect Cabrera to blow by 30 bombs for the eighth consecutive season and finish as the No. 1 third baseman.

2. Adrian Beltre, Rangers (PR: 2)

Beltre has been on fire since a slow start in April, in which he failed to hit a home run. Beltre hit a sizzling .392 in June and is currently batting a cool .360 BA in July, leading all batters with a .337 BA on the season. Is a trade on the horizon?

3. Josh Donaldson, Athletics (PR: 6)

Donaldson's batting average has taken a big hit since the start of June. His .250 BABIP could be a reason for optimism, but his line drive rate is a staggering 12.8 percent. What we do know is Donaldson will provide plenty of pop and run production in a powerful Athletics lineup. Look for him to finish with a 30/100 campaign, but he'll do it in streaks. The batting average is the only question mark.

4. Kyle Seager, Mariners (PR: 9)

Seager does it all, with a .279 BA, 15 home runs, 38 runs, 63 RBIs and four steals in the first half. His across-the-board production is hard to find at the hot corner. We've seen a giant leap in power (.166 ISO in 2013, .214 in 2014), and his cushy spot behind Robinson Cano in a surprisingly strong Mariners offense is great for the counting stats. A 25/100 season with 10 steals is not out of the question.

5. Todd Frazier, Reds (PR: 18)

Frazier, not Miggy, is the No. 1 third baseman heading into the All-Star break, according to the ESPN Player Rater, and he has been the driving force in Cincinnati's injury-ridden lineup. I'd rather hold than sell high, but don't expect a .290 BA going forward. He's a .259 career hitter, including .a 234 BA just last year.

6. Anthony Rendon, Nationals (PR: NR)

Rendon is a difference maker at second base, but he's turned into a fantastic option at the hot corner, too. I'm a huge believer in his skillset, with the possibility of returning a 20/10 season. There simply aren't many of those to go around at third base. He's a star in the making.

7. David Wright, Mets (PR: 4)

Wright has been a disappointment, with only eight home runs in the first half. No longer a lock for 20 home runs or double-digit steals, Wright's best fantasy asset is his batting average -- but even that is down this year.

8. Evan Longoria, Rays (PR: 3)

Like Wright, Longoria was a consensus top-four third basemen in the preseason, but he hasn't lived up to expectations. The counting stats are there, but the power has completely disappeared (.230 ISO in 2013, .129 in 2014).

9. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals (PR: 5)

Zimmerman is a well-known second-half offensive force. In 2013, he hit 15 of 26 home runs after the break. He must avoid injury, but he could be a huge difference maker going forward. The good news is he shouldn't cost much to acquire.

10. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers (PR: 17)

Ramirez missed a big chunk of May, but he's been solid when healthy. He can be a big addition to a championship team, with double-digit power and a good source of RBI. Ramirez is also an asset in batting average (career .285 BA).

11. Pedro Alvarez, Pirates (PR: 7)

Alvarez was the 11th best third baseman of the first half, according to the ESPN Player Rater, and he's staying there in my second-half rankings. I simply can't stomach the batting average (career .236 BA), and he's no longer on pace to hit 30 home runs.

12. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals (PR: 8)

Carpenter is much better used at second base, but he's still a good source of runs and batting average. And he's especially useful in OBP leagues.

13. Pablo Sandoval, Giants (PR: 10)

Sandoval has been OK, but not a true middle-of-the order impact bat like we had hoped after those slim spring training photos surfaced. The Panda will contribute in four categories, but he doesn't stand out in any one.

14. Manny Machado, Orioles (PR: 11)

Machado has been on fire since the calendar flipped to July, batting .484 with five extra-base hits in eight games. Remember: Machado led the league with 51 doubles a year ago. The talent is still there.

15. Carlos Santana, Indians (PR: NR)

I was high on Santana entering the season, so this represents a significant shift in my personal rankings. I'd like to see him be more aggressive at the plate (he currently owns a 17.7 percent walk rate), but he's still on his way to a 20/70 season. He batted .308 in June, but has started slow again in July.

16. Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians (PR: NR)

I don't know what to make of Chisenhall. He's having a fantastic season despite hitting only .238 in July. I think he'll maintain a .300 BA on the season, but I'd like to see more consistency.

17. Nolan Arenado, Rockies (PR: 15)

I expect Arenado to finish strong just like he started - when he batted .310 in April and .297 in May.

18. Martin Prado, Diamondbacks (PR: 16)

Prado is always underappreciated and could reach 70 runs and 70 RBIs for the third straight season. However, the power and batting average are both down.

19. Casey McGehee, Marlins (PR: NR)

I can see McGehee completely falling of the map in the second half, as he's currently feasting off a .369 BABIP. I'm not a believer.

20. Chase Headley, Padres (PR: 12)

Part of me still thinks Headley can be a very good ballplayer, but we haven't seen it in two years. A change of scenery could do him good.

21. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays (PR: 14)

An annual disappointment since his major league debut, Lawrie can't stay on the field.

22. David Freese, Angels (PR: 21)

Freese has picked it up of late, batting .270 in June and .371 in July. The Angels lineup is nice, but he's not a significant source of power. Maybe he can produce like McGehee did in the first half.

23. Nick Castellanos, Tigers (PR: 25)

Castellanos is still a year or two away from being an impact fantasy third baseman, but he should be owned in all AL-only leagues and deep mixed.

24. Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (PR: 13)

After a fast start, this top-three prospect has been a disaster for the Red Sox. I'd look elsewhere in re-drafts, but fire away in keeper and dynasty formats.

25. Brock Holt, Red Sox (PR: NR)

Brock has been a pleasant surprise for Boston, but I expect him to slow down considerably in the second half.

Just missed: Chris Johnson, Matt Dominguez, Trevor Plouffe, Josh Harrison, Mark Reynolds

Who did I rank too high? Too low? Who did I whiff completely on? Let me know in the comments below.

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