Brian, Rankings, Third Base

Brian’s Top 15 Third Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’14


I don’t really feel like adding any obnoxious intro for these guys. So enjoy the video and the rankings.

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Brian, Outfield, Rankings

Brian’s Top 31 Outfielder Rankings and Projections for ’13


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Braun proved that not even controversy can slow him down.

I was rereading my outfield rankings for the 2012 season and, while I had a few players pegged perfectly, overall I’d missed the mark on many occasions. I wasn’t high enough on guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper (but who really saw two 20 and unders taking the league by storm?). I didn’t give Andrew McCutchen enough credit (I won’t make the same mistake this year). I was bullish on Justin Upton’s ascension, but he regressed instead. I was a mess.

Because there are so many outfielders, it’s tremendously difficult to calculate. In the following rankings, I’m sure some players near the bottom of my rankings will have career years, while some players near the top will have lamentable seasons. As a fantasy manager, you can’t project those occurrences. All you can do is look at track record (most recent stats being most important) and cross your fingers.

Even though I have Trout as my number two outfielder (and in a few weeks he’ll be ranked pretty highly in my top-100), you can’t expect him to have the same stats from last year. His peripherals suggest a decline, mainly in his power and batting average. Some super fanatics will suggest that Trout should be the number one outfielder off the board, but I’ll take the more projectable Ryan Braun in every draft.

This is supposed to be the year that Jason Heyward becomes “fantasy elite,” and he’s got a great chance to do it (he’s surrounded by outstanding talent). But Heyward still hasn’t shown that he can drive in runs consistently. I’d much rather have Adam Jones a round or two later.

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Brian, Rankings, Third Base

Brian’s Top 14 Third Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’13


"Follow me to freedom!"

“Follow me to freedom!”

I always struggle to come up with a good story line or metaphor for the third basemen. Last year I wrote about how I finally succumbed to the reality that Jose Bautista was actually a good player; and, of course, he got hurt. For two years I fought the Bautista bandwagon. But he finally broke me down. Like a player who is hitting on a pretty girl at a bar; his charm knocked down all my walls. And then, with one quick motion, he ripped my heart out, and as I stood there, looking at my heart leisurely beating on the bar, I knew it would happen like this. It couldn’t have ended any other way.

Thankfully, Jose is no longer a third baseman. So, I just wasted a paragraph, and three minutes of your precious time.

This is the first year that Miguel Cabrera will enter the season with third base eligibility since the 2009 season (depending on your eligibility rules). He wasn’t even on this list last year, as I refuse to rank players at a position who have yet to gain that eligibility. Gosh, I’m saying eligibility a lot. Cabrera is easily the best third baseman, and quite possibly the best player in Major League Baseball, depending on who you talk to. I’ve said for years, Miguel Cabrera is the key to a fantasy championship. Go ahead, try and argue against it.

I wrote extensively about how I dislike Chase Headley this year, only to end up with him in a 12-team keeper league this past weekend ($17 in an auction draft; got caught trying to raise the price on him. Truly thought he would go for much more). You can read about my reasoning by following the link on his name.

Like I said, I find it hard to come up with metaphors for these guys. So here are the rankings.

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Player Profile, Shortstop, Wooden

Player Profile: Ian Desmond


Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles May 20,  2011

Ian Desmond is waiting to be noticed.

When Christopher Nolan dropped Inception on us few years back, my mind was blown. It wasn’t blown in a stoner-esque “Wow that was deep…” kind of way (how most people reacted to the film). It wasn’t in a film-nerd “Christopher Nolan is the best director ever…” kind of way. It wasn’t even in an “Ellen Page is pretty hot…” kind of way.

It was in an “I can’t believe the kid from Angels in the Outfield somehow became an A-list actor” kind of way.

Yes, Joseph Gordon-Levitt had already been making an adult name for himself, putting his child-actor-best-known-for-his-role-on-3rd-Rock-From-The-Sun days in the very distant rearview with roles in several critically acclaimed and big-budget movies, but it’s almost like we collectively weren’t paying attention- until BAM! There he was in one of the biggest movies of the year, alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and he was still doing his thing and making you notice! He was announcing himself to the world while also telling us that he’d been here forever.

Enter Ian Desmond, starting shortstop for the now trendy Washington Nationals. The Nats (#natitude) are more loaded than Lindsay Lohan. We all know the names: Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, and, of course, Bryce Harper. These are all guys who played a big part in bringing playoff baseball to the capital city for the first time since FDR was in office.

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Brian, Outfield, Rankings

Brian’s Top 25 Outfielder Rankings and Projections for ’12


PEDs or not, Kemp and Braun were roto-studs in '11.

I was rereading my outfield rankings for the 2011 season and, while I had a few players pegged perfectly, overall I’d missed the mark on many occasions. I wasn’t high enough on Jacoby Ellsbury or Curtis Granderson (but who was?). I didn’t give Jose Bautista enough credit (I won’t make the same mistake this year). I was bullish on Carl Crawford moving to Boston. I fell in love with Jason Heyward. I was a mess.

Because there are so many outfielders, it’s tremendously difficult to calculate. In the following rankings, I’m sure some players near the bottom of my rankings will have career years, while some players near the top will have lamentable seasons. As a fantasy manager, you can’t project those occurrences. All you can do is look at track record (most recent stats being most important) and cross your fingers.

My inclination is to take stable outfielders. Those guys who don’t have terribly high ceilings, but their floor is well above sea level.

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Brian, Rankings, Third Base

Brian’s Top 12 Third Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’12


"I am on the top of all these sexy men."

If the first basemen of 2012 are to be likened to current stars such as Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, then the third basemen of 2012 might as well be Richard Grieco (Who?! Google him). Third base has guys who look sexy in jockstraps, have well known names, and have been ultra-productive in the past. But outside of Jose Bautista, none of the names on this list put up top-25 numbers in 2011. But there’s an underlying sense of optimism down at the hot corner. Veterans Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright, and Alex Rodriguez appear to be healthy and poised for rebound seasons. Kings of consistency, Michael Young and Aramis Ramirez, don’t appear to be fading any time soon. And youngster Brett Lawrie is threatening to be drafted in the fourth round of your draft (though he’s probably not worthy of a pick that high, yet).

There are three tiers indicated by the underline.

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