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Fantasy Baseball: An Early Look at Third Base Rankings for 2013

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I am taking a break from the Roto Roundup pieces for a few days, maybe longer. With the MLB and fantasy season winding down, I am going to start posting my early 2013 position rankings. These rankings will be just the rankings with a few comments about some of the players.

Once the season is over, we will begin our annual review of our Preseason Position Rankings. Once those are complete, we will post our Position Rankings with detailed commentary on each player ranked. Yes, the offseason will be busy for us, but it is a long offseason, and it helps us get through the offseason just a little bit quicker.

In addition to our MLB Position Rankings, we will also be ranking our annual Prospect Position Rankings, which will be loads of fun.

My early look at the Top 20 Third Baseman for 2013 is after the jump:

Here are my early 2013 Third Base Rankings:

1. Miguel Cabrera, DET

2. Adrian Beltre, TEX

3. Evan Longoria, TB

4. Ryan Zimmerman, WAS

5. Chase Headley, SD

6. Aramis Ramirez, MIL

7. David Wright, NYM

8. Hanley Ramirez, LAD

9. David Freese, STL

10. Brett Lawrie, TOR

11. Will MIddlebrooks, BOS

12. Pedro Alvarez, PIT

13. Pablo Sandoval, SFG

14. Alex Rodriguez, NYY

15. Kyle Seager, SEA

16. Todd Frazier, CIN

17. Mike Moustakas, KC

18. Manny Machado, BAL

19. Kevin Youkilis, CHW

20. Trevor Plouffe, MIN

The No.1 spot was real easy for me. Much easier than picking my No. 1 ranked first baseman, that's for sure. There is no question Miguel Cabrera is the top ranked third baseman heading into 2013, and I would be shocked if any fantasy writers picked someone over him. Miggy is on his way to career highs in home runs and RBI this season, and is probably THE most consistent fantasy hitter over the last 7-8 years. Well, behind some guy named Albert Pujols, but you all know how I feel about Albert, right?

My No. 2 ranked third baseman is probably a surprise to many, but Adrian Beltre has now hit 30 or more home runs in each of the last two seasons, and is 8 RBI away from his fourth 100+ RBI season of his career. He seems to be getting better as a hitter as he ages, as he is hitting .300+ for the 2nd time in 3 years, and last year he just missed hitting .300.

One third baseman that I might move up a spot or two if he is traded is Chase Headley. Headley is having the best season of his career, and no one could have predicted this type of season from him back in spring training. He is second only to Miguel Cabrera in RBI and third in HRs and stolen bases amongst fantasy third baseman this season. If he gets traded, I will move him ahead of Ryan Zimmerman and possibly the injury prone Evan Longoria.

If you are looking for a power hitting third baseman, and can handle a hit to your batting average, make sure you draft Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez in 2013 drafts. Alvarez has quieted some critics with his power surge this season, but he still whiffs way more than you would like. But looking at his 26.2% HR/FB rate, one has to think that number will drop in 2013, but his fly ball rate could increase to offset some of the expected drop in HR/FB rate.

How the mighty have fallen. Maybe I am too negative on Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, but I keep going back to his trend in power:

2007: .645 SLG

2008: .573 SLG

2009: .532 SLG

2010: .506 SLG

2011: .461 SLG

2012: .455 SLG

Injuries have impacted his power production the last few years, and he isn't getting any younger as he will turn 28 in the middle of the 2013 season. I prefer taking someone with upside like Mike Moustakas or Manny Machado before taking ARod next season.

I will be interested in seeing if the Mariners will move in their fences this offseason. If so, I will probably move up their third baseman Kyle Seager in my rankings. Seager is quietly having a solid season for fantasy owners, as he is hitting .252-.315-.416 with 18 HRs, 55 runs, 81 RBI and 13 stolen bases.