Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In the fourth of an eight-part series, we will look at the 2010 TSN Fantasy Rankings for third basemen.
1) Alex Rodriguez, NYY (ADP 3.6) - Rodriguez came to the party a month late due to hip surgery and still blasted 30 HR and knocked in 100 runs. His 14 stolen bases was his worst total since 2002, but should return to normal this year now that he is a year removed from the hip problems.
2) Evan Longoria, TB (ADP 10.5) - Longoria looked like the best player in the league though early May, then cooled for two months before heating up in September. Young guys are like that so be prepared for more this season. Still, when you add everything up he'll score 100 runs, knock in 100 runs and hit 30+ homers.
3) Mark Reynolds, AZ (ADP 36.9) - Reynolds was the big surprise in 2009 combining both power (44 HR) and speed (24 SB). He also batted just .260 and struck out 223 times, his second consecutive year over the 200 mark. It'll be another rollercoaster ride in 2010, but expect a slight reduction in his totals as he posted career highs in at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, HR, RBI, SB, slugging percentage and OPS last year.
4) David Wright, NYM (ADP 13.4) - The Mets are expected to lower the centerfield wall from 16 feet to eight feet this year. Whether that helps Wright find his power stroke is questionable, but early fantasy drafts still have him being selected like he will hit 25-30 HR as he did from 2005-2008. I'm not completely sold on that which is why I have him at No.4, but he'll still bat over .300, score plenty of runs and steal bases.
5) Pablo Sandoval, SF (ADP 28.6) - Until last season, Sandoval had never hit more than 20 homers in a season, including his four-year minor league career. So the 25 homers he hit in 2009 had to surprise even the most ardent Sandoval supporters. He'll hit for a high average again this year, but with Bengie Molina as his "protection" in the lineup, expect more walks and fewer long balls.
6) Ryan Zimmerman, WAS (ADP 27.3) - After an injury-plagued 2008, Zimmerman stayed healthy enough to play in 157 games in 2009. He rewarded fantasy owners with a 110 run, 33 HR, 106 RBI season. If the top of the lineup can get on base (Nyjer Morgan, Cristian Guzman), Zimmerman and cleanup hitter Adam Dunn can produce plenty of runs.
7) Aramis Ramirez, CHC (ADP 50.1) - In 2009 Ramirez's 82 games played was the fewest since the 2000 season in Pittsburgh and his numbers reflected all the injuries. Though he's been injured plenty of times in the past, he's always managed to play about 130-145 ball games. It's a high-risk, high-reward play to draft him, because he still has the ability to give you a 35 HR, 110 RBI season.
8) Michael Young, TEX (ADP 65.2) - With speed in the lineup in front of him (Julio Borbon) and plenty of power in Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton and newly acquired Vladimir Guerrero behind him, Young should have another standout season. At his original shortstop position his numbers would make him a top- five fantasy player, but at third base he's only No.8.
9) Adrian Beltre, BOS (ADP 161.9) - Beltre will start the season batting seventh in the Red Sox order, but there's plenty of production throughout the lineup despite the loss of Jason Bay. I would expect a return to the 20-25 HR, 75-85 RBI type season.
10) Chipper Jones, ATL (ADP 123.1) - After three consective .300+ seasons, Jones hit .264 last year. He also hit just 18 HR and knocked in 71 runs, his lowest totals since he became a full-time starter in 1995. Obviously on the downside of his career, he should still be able to produce a 20 HR, 80 RBI, .290 batting average season.
Just Missed - Chone Figgins, SEA (ADP 61.5); Ian Stewart, COL (ADP 122.7); Miguel Tejada BAL (ADP 151.6).
Late Round Bargain - Pedro Alvarez, PIT (ADP 221).