Major league baseball’s hot corner is stocked with talent, and for team owners in a keeper fantasy league, plenty of choices. Whether you are looking for power or average, there is a player here to meet your needs, with enough consistency for an owner to hold on to for several years.
The top five keeper fantasy baseball league third basemen for 2009 are:
1. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
2. David Wright, New York Mets
3. Michael Young, Texas Rangers
4. Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs
5. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
#1 Keeper Third Baseman – Alex Rodriguez – Fantasy Baseball 2009
What is left to be said about Alex Rodriquez of the New York Yankees? The guy is on another planet. Never mind the fact that some think the Yankees can’t win with him on the roster. Having him on your roster delivers monster stats. The 35 home runs he hit last year were an off year for him; he’s been in the 50 homer range several times and could easily do it again. If you can get Alex Rodriguez on your team, don’t let go.
#2 Keeper Third Baseman – David Wright – Fantasy Baseball 2009
David Wright of the New York Mets is one of the most exciting young players in the game, and his aggressive play at third in New York should be a staple for years to come. Keeper fantasy league team owners should grab him now before he hits superstardom. He’ll only get better. A .300 average and 30 homers a year should be automatic for David Wright.
#3 Keeper Third Baseman – Michael Young – Fantasy Baseball 2009
Michael Young of the Texas Rangers moves from shortstop to third base for 2009, and takes his .300 average with him. He may not have the power of A-Rod, but his knack for getting timely hits and scoring a lot of runs should make him a fantasy baseball favorite. Even at 32, Michael Young should still have several big years left in him, so keeper fantasy league owners should take note.
#4 Keeper Third Baseman – Aramis Ramirez – Fantasy Baseball 2009
Aramis Ramirez, the hard-hitting Chicago Cub, just turned 30 and is in his prime. He has been a steady producer, averaging 25 homers and nearly 100 RBIs over the past four seasons. He can be counted on for a a season or two more, but don’t get too invested. His 2008 stats (27 homers, 11 RBIs) are not career highs, and his average dipped a bit. While he may be productive for several more years, beware of possible diminishing returns.
#5 Keeper Third Baseman – Evan Longoria – Fantasy Baseball 2009
Last year’s AL Rookie of the Year impressed everyone with his defensive prowess and big bat. Evan Longoria finished the season with a .272 average that was, well, average, but 27 home runs and 85 RBIs silenced critics. While it may be tempting to lock him up for the long term, there is always the possibility of the sophomore slump.
Other third basemen to keep an eye on for possible drafting to your keeper fantasy league baseball team include Adrian Beltre of the Seattle Mariners (very underrated), Garrett Atkins of the Colorado Rockies, Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals, and Chone Figgins of the LA Angels (if he improves on his 2008 slump).
Sources: MLB.com, ESPN.com