Third Base

The deepest position in baseball is loaded with lots of young talent
March 20, 2006

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

      Avg. HR RBI Runs SB  
1. AL Alex Rodriguez, Yankees .321 48 130 124 21 He may not be the best clutch hitter in the game, but A-Rod's fantasynumbers are second to none in the AL.
2. NL Miguel Cabrera, Marlins .323 33 116 106 1  
3. NL Scott Rolen, Cardinals .235 5 28 28 1  
4. NL David Wright, Mets .306 27 102 99 17  
5. AL Troy Glaus, Blue Jays .258 37 97 78 4  
6. NL Morgan Ensberg, Astros .283 36 101 86 6  
7. NL Aramis Ramirez, Cubs .302 31 92 72 0  
8. NL Chipper Jones, Braves .296 21 72 66 5  
9. NL Chad Tracy, Diamondbacks .308 27 72 73 3 Moves back to the hot corner, joining Cabrera, Ensberg, Ramirez and Wrightat the NL's deepest position for young fantasy talent.
10. AL Chone Figgins, Angels .290 8 57 113 62  
11. AL Eric Chavez, A's .269 27 101 92 6  
12. AL Hank Blalock, Rangers .263 25 92 80 1  
13. NL Pedro Feliz, Giants .250 20 81 69 0 Gets his first regular gig after leading the club in RBIs in 2005 as autilityman, albeit one who got 615 plate appearances.
14. AL Melvin Mora, Orioles .283 27 88 86 7  
15. AL Joe Crede, White Sox .252 22 62 54 1  
16. AL Adrian Beltre, Mariners .255 19 87 69 3  
17. NL Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals .397 0 6 6 0  
18. NL Garrett Atkins, Rockies .287 13 89 62 0  
19. AL Aubrey Huff, Devil Rays .261 22 92 70 8 Unable to trade him, Tampa Bay grants his request to play third; ifexperiment fails, he'll split time at first, DH and in right.
20. NL Joe Randa, Pirates .276 17 68 71 0  
21. NL Corey Koskie, Brewers .249 11 36 49 4  
22. AL Brandon Inge, Tigers .261 16 72 75 7  
23. AL Aaron Boone, Indians .243 16 60 61 9 Will be pushed--and possibly replaced--by the team's third baseman of thefuture, Andy Marte, who was acquired in an off-season trade.
24. NL Edwin Encarnacion, Reds .232 9 31 25 3  
25. AL Mike Lowell, Red Sox .236 8 58 56 4  
26. AL Tony Batista, Twins (Japanese stats) .263 27 90 78 3  
27. NL Bill Mueller, Dodgers .295 10 62 69 0  
28. NL Vinny Castilla, Padres .253 12 66 53 4  
29. AL Mark Teahen, Royals .246 7 55 60 7  
30. NL David Bell, Phillies .248 10 61 53 0  


SPOTLIGHT

RyanZimmerman

Though pastperformance is no guarantee of future returns, it's normal to want to study aplayer's career record. But this may be all you need to know about Zimmerman:The Nationals have seen enough of their 21-year-old prospect, who has had only58 major league at bats, to give him the third base job less than a year afterthey drafted him at No. 4 out of Virginia. After hitting .326 with nine homersin 63 games in Double A, Zimmerman batted .397 during his September call-up.G.M. Jim Bowden sees Zimmerman becoming a Gold Glove fielder who can hit to allfields, and even playing half the games in pitcher-friendly RFK Stadium, Bowdenbelieves Zimmerman can hit 15 to 20 home runs. "I have confidence in mygame and the people around me have confidence in me," says Zimmerman,"so there's no reason for me to be intimidated."

DEEP SLEEPERS

JEFF BAKER,Rockies He has more power than incumbent Garrett Atkins, and a hot spring couldmake him a regular at the hot corner, where he played 10 games for Coloradolast season.

ALEX GORDON,Royals The hopes of this woeful franchise rest with the No. 2 pick in lastyear's draft, out of Nebraska. He should rise quickly through theorganization.

ABRAHAM NUñEZ,Phillies More than adequate as Scott Rolen's stand-in with the Cardinals lastyear (.285 average and 44 RBIs), he could challenge David Bell and AlexGonzalez for playing time.

PHOTOGREG FIUME/NEWSPORT (ZIMMERMAN) PHOTOBRAD MANGIN (GORDON)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)