Third Base

March 20, 2006
March 20, 2006

Table of Contents
March 20, 2006

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Fantasy Baseball Preview 2006

Third Base

The deepest position in baseball is loaded with lots of young talent

By Rankings compiled by David Sabino

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

This is an article from the March 20, 2006 issue Original Layout

1.ALAlex Rodriguez, Yankees.3214813012421He may not be the best clutch hitter in the game, but A-Rod's fantasynumbers are second to none in the AL.
2.NLMiguel Cabrera, Marlins.323331161061 
3.NLScott Rolen, Cardinals.235528281 
4.NLDavid Wright, Mets.306271029917 
5.ALTroy Glaus, Blue Jays.2583797784 
6.NLMorgan Ensberg, Astros.28336101866 
7.NLAramis Ramirez, Cubs.3023192720 
8.NLChipper Jones, Braves.2962172665 
9.NLChad Tracy, Diamondbacks.3082772733Moves back to the hot corner, joining Cabrera, Ensberg, Ramirez and Wrightat the NL's deepest position for young fantasy talent.
10.ALChone Figgins, Angels.29085711362 
11.ALEric Chavez, A's.26927101926 
12.ALHank Blalock, Rangers.2632592801 
13.NLPedro Feliz, Giants.2502081690Gets his first regular gig after leading the club in RBIs in 2005 as autilityman, albeit one who got 615 plate appearances.
14.ALMelvin Mora, Orioles.2832788867 
15.ALJoe Crede, White Sox.2522262541 
16.ALAdrian Beltre, Mariners.2551987693 
17.NLRyan Zimmerman, Nationals.3970660 
18.NLGarrett Atkins, Rockies.2871389620 
19.ALAubrey Huff, Devil Rays.2612292708Unable to trade him, Tampa Bay grants his request to play third; ifexperiment fails, he'll split time at first, DH and in right.
20.NLJoe Randa, Pirates.2761768710 
21.NLCorey Koskie, Brewers.2491136494 
22.ALBrandon Inge, Tigers.2611672757 
23.ALAaron Boone, Indians.2431660619Will be pushed--and possibly replaced--by the team's third baseman of thefuture, Andy Marte, who was acquired in an off-season trade.
24.NLEdwin Encarnacion, Reds.232931253 
25.ALMike Lowell, Red Sox.236858564 
26.ALTony Batista, Twins (Japanese stats).2632790783 
27.NLBill Mueller, Dodgers.2951062690 
28.NLVinny Castilla, Padres.2531266534 
29.ALMark Teahen, Royals.246755607 
30.NLDavid Bell, Phillies.2481061530 



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."


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.