Wow, it has been a tough year for third basemen. It is already one of the scarcest positions to begin with; then toss in a barrage of injuries and you are looking to scrape the bottom of the barrel just to get someone to start.
- Evan Longoria — out 4-8 weeks
- Adrian Beltre — day-to-day
- Pablo Sandoval — out 4-6 weeks
- Ryan Zimmerman — 15-day disabled list
- Kevin Youkilis — 15-day disabled list
These were five of the top 10 third basemen coming into the season, and all are out now for a significant time or are going to be out for at least a week or so. With so many of these injuries happening at once, fantasy owners must act quickly because nearly half of your league will be looking to find a short-term fix at third base. Let’s see who is available.
Chris Davis — This guy always seemed to be a bridesmaid, but never a bride. In that, I mean, he always seemed to be on someone’s “sleeper” list in year’s past but never delivered. This year, he is finally coming through. The big thing is his K% is down seven percent from his career average, which has led to his .316 batting average and five home runs. His BABIP is pretty high (.364), so there will be some regression, but with a short-term fix, you just need to ride the hot bats. If Davis is available, he should be the first person to grab.
Will Middlebrooks — I talked about this guy in my top 15 prospects for 2012, and now the Red Sox have called him up to take the place of Youkilis. He is the perfect replacement if you own Youkilis and could be a very good handcuff (Youkilis is banged up and not getting any younger. There could be more than one DL stint in his future). In his first game with the Sox, Middlebrooks went 2-for-3 with a steal. He is a future stat stuffer.
Pedro Alvarez — I am including him on this list because he has been killing it this past week, he is not going to be splitting time with anyone, and it is starting to get ugly quick after Alvarez. His 34.3 percent K% does not give me much confidence in Alvarez, but his .278 BABIP makes me think that this guy could be heading in line for big upcoming month or so and maybe this past week’s production (9-21, 2 HR, 6 runs and 6 RBIs) is not an aberration.
Chipper Jones — I don’t know if the old man has gas in the tank for another season or not, but I do know his BABIP of .234 is bound to come up and could provide decent fantasy numbers. If you need a guy who is going to give you some power and not kill you anywhere else, Chipper could be your guy.
Guys not to grab:
Ty Wigginton — A career .266 hitter is batting .328 on the season with an absurd .392 BABIP
Jed Lowrie — A career .259 hitter is batting .329 on the season with a .377 BABIP