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Best NL Fantasy Baseball Third Basemen for 2013

Updated on March 17, 2013

The following is a list of the top National League fantasy baseball third basemen for the 2013 season. The rankings are based on personal opinion formed while watching a tremendous number of National League baseball games. They will be updated as the off season progresses and spring training rolls around.

12. Chris Nelson, Colorado Rockies

Chris Nelson of the Colorado Rockies
Chris Nelson of the Colorado Rockies | Source

Due to injuries and trades the 27 year old Nelson found himself starting for the Rockies full-time during the second half of 2012 and he performed well enough that his hat is in the ring for the third base job going into spring training. He played in 111 games (92 at third and 21 at second) and in 345 at bats batted .301 with 9 homers, 21 doubles, 53 RBI, and a respectable .852 OPS. He may have more value at the thin second base position but wherever he plays he could be a nice sleeper pick going into the draft.

11. Chris Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks

Johnson must have felt like he was granted parole when he was traded from the moribund Astros to the Diamondbacks late in the season. He played well for his new team, however, I wasn't happy with the way manager Kirk Gibson handled him. I wish he would have just left Johnson in the lineup but for some unclear reason he felt the need to bench him regularly for the .238 hitting Ryan Wheeler. Overall, Johnson hit .281 with 15 homers, 28 doubles, and 76 RBI in 488 at bats. Hopefully, Gibson will come to his senses and give Johnson a chance to play full time in 2013.

10. Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds

If it was any other season Frazier would have likely won the rookie of the year award, but unfortunately he arrived on the scene in year one of Harper. In 422 at bats he hit 19 homers with 26 doubles, 67 RBI, and a .273 batting average, which is pretty solid for an unheralded rookie. My guess is that Scott Rolen will not be back and that Frazier will assume the full time duties at third for the Reds. If so, I expect him to have a solid .275, 20 homer, 80 RBI season in 2013. As an added bonus he played 73 games at third and 39 at first so he should have eligibility at both in most leagues.

9. Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates

The 25 year old Alvarez finally showed the promise of his talent with somewhat of a breakout season in 2012. In 525 at bats he hit 30 homers with 85 RBI. On the down side he hit only .244 with a whopping 180 strike outs so there is still room for improvement. If you draft him beware that he is immensely streaky and will hit 5 homers one week and then go three weeks without hitting one so be prepared. He struggles with breaking pitches and also appears to be a little overweight and out of shape. Hopefully, some of Andrew McCutchen's discipline and work ethic will rub off on him during the offseason and he can come into 2013 fit and ready to go.

8. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants

Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants
Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants | Source

Don't let he World Series performance fool you. If you draft the Panda you will be in for a season of heartburn and headaches. I have been burned by Little Money twice in the past due to injury, weight issues, and benchings and have officially stopped dining at the Panda Express. He obviously is a fabulous hitter when healthy and his weight is right but I just don't want to deal with the stress and drama of owning him and will not draft him again. Period. He may still have value for you, but be prepared with a back-up plan if you decide to draft him. In 2012 he played in 108 games and hit .283 with 12 homers and 63 RBI. Expect similar numbers in 2013 and hope for more.

7. David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals

World Series star David Freese put together a solid 2012 season by batting .293 with 20 homers, and 79 RBI. He only had 501 at bats due to various nagging injuries, which has always been the knock on him. It was really his first full season and he is not particularly young (he'll be 30 in April) so it's not likely he will jump to a higher level in production. He is entrenched as the starter at third and bats in the middle of a potent lineup so it is safe to assume he will put together another solid season in 2013. I expect him to hit .290 with 22 homers and 80 RBI.

6. Martin Prado, Atlanta Braves

Prado is one of my favorite players because he does everything well and with little fanfare or hype. He has a similar effect as a Fantasy player as well. No one really talks much about him or gets too excited over him during spring training, but he quietly is a fantasy baseball stud. For example, in my 2012 NL head-to-head league he was drafted in the 6th round but ended up with the 12th highest point total for a position player, ahead of first round luminaries Carlos Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and Justin Upton. He was able to do this by contributing in all categories with a .301 batting average, 10 homers, 42 doubles, 81 runs, 70 RBI, 58 walks, and 17 steals. I bet he will end up being drafted in the 6th round again in 2013 because of his low profile. He is definitely on my list of players to target. He will also move to third this season to take over for the retired Chipper Jones but will have outfield and short stop eligibility in most leagues (he played 119 games in the OF, 25 at 3B, 13 at SS, and 10 at 2B) which also adds to his value.

5. Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers

Aramis Ramirez of the Milwaukee Brewers
Aramis Ramirez of the Milwaukee Brewers | Source

The 34 year old Ramirez had a fascinating 2012 season. Through the first 40 games he batted .219 with only 3 homers, 22 RBI, and dismal .678 OPS and you could hear whispers that his age had caught up with him and that he was done. Then a switch flipped and the rest of the way he hit a scorching .329 with 38 doubles, 24 homers, 83 RBI, .981 OPS, with only 57 strike outs. He ended up having one of the best seasons of his career and he also threw in an out of nowhere 9 stolen bases as an added bonus. Age is still a concern, but he will still make a solid pick for your team. Just don't give up on him too early if he starts the season off slowly.

4. Chase Headley, San Diego Padres

Everyone kept saying that the switch-hitting Headley would need to leave cavernous Petco in order to reach his full potential as a hitter. However, in 2012 He proved all the naysayers wrong with an unbelievable season that saw him contribute across all categories with a .286 batting average, 31 homers, a league-leading 115 RBI, 95 runs, 86 walks, 17 steals, and .875 OPS. He blew away all previous career highs and established himself as one of the premier third baseman in the NL. He didn't just do damage on the road either and managed to hit 13 homers and 16 doubles at the unfriendly confines (Petco). He will be 28 at the start the 2013 season and will be the keystone of a solid Padres lineup that will also feature Carlos Quentin, Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Cameron Maybin, and Everth Cabrera. Look out for the Padres in 2013!

3. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

In spite of a nagging shoulder injury that saw him get several cortisone shots during the season, Zimmerman still managed to put together an impressive campaign. He batted .282 with 25 homers, 95 RBI, 93 runs, and 36 doubles. He was at his best in the second half with a .315 average, 16 homers, 53 RBI, and a .936 OPS. Injuries have always plagued him and he has never really had that monster breakout season that we have been waiting for since he entered the league in 2006. There is talk he may need surgery during the offseason to repair his balky shoulder. If that is the case he may drop down on this list a few notches due to the unpredictable nature of shoulder rehab. He will be at his peak age 28 when the 2013 season starts and if healthy could finally have that monster year.

2. Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers

The enigmatic Hanley Ramirez
The enigmatic Hanley Ramirez | Source

The enigmatic El Nino was shipped from Miami to Los Angeles before the trading deadline and finished the season with a .257 batting average, 24 homers, 92 RBI, 21 steals, but only a .759 OPS with a career high 132 strike outs. Physically, he seemed over the back and shoulder injuries that plagued him in 2011, but it appeared he mailed it in last season, maybe as a way of pouting about his move from short to third by Ozzie and the Marlins. He will be 29 to start the season and injuries and attitude are always a concern so buyer beware. On the bright side he will be batting in the powerful Dodgers lineup so there should be plenty of opportunities for runs and RBI. He played 98 games at third and 57 games at short so he should be eligible at both positions. It's not clear at this time where he will play for the Dodgers in 2013, but wherever he plays I think it's safe to pencil him in for .270 with 25 homers and 20 steals.

1. David Wright, New York Mets

It was a tale of two halves for Wright in 2012. In the first half of the season he recaptured some old magic and put together an outstanding stat line: .351 batting average, 27 doubles, 11 homers, 59 RBI, 50 walks, 9 steals, and a 1.004 OPS and there were MVP whispers in the air. However, after the All-Star break he faded along with the Mets record and batted only .258 with 10 homers, 34 RBI, and a feeble .750 OPS. David will only be 30 at the start of the 2013 season so he should have several more years of top level production in him. He is still the best available player at the position in the NL.


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