The first month of the 2013 fantasy baseball season is almost in the books, and we've gotten a good look at which players are off to hot starts and which guys are struggling in the early going. RotoBaller will be updating our original preseason rankings over the next week. Today, we're revisiting the third base rankings we initially published in February. Second base has been an intriguing position in the early going of the 2013 season. We've seen an aging veteran regain his form, another couple of veterans struggle mightily, a superstar carry his team and a lot of good players maintain their value. All the ranks below are compared to the FantasyPros ECR (Expert Consensus Rank), which will show you where RotoBaller differs with the expert community and by how much. Check out our tier-by-tier analysis below the rankings, and let us know where you agree or disagree with us!
(The previous month's rank are listed in parentheses in the "notes" column")
Tier 1: No explanation is needed as to why Miguel Cabrera gets a tier all to himself. He has been the best hitter in baseball for years and will continue to be for the next few seasons.
Tier 2: Tough to rank these three as all are elite options at one of the weakest positions in fantasy baseball. Ultimately, I went with the 5-category contributor, David Wright, over Evan Longoria and Adrian Beltre. Wright’s plate discipline has been fantastic in April (19:15 BB:K ratio) and he is on pace for 44 SB after stealing a total of 15 last season. I doubt he’ll steal 40+ bags, but Wright owners should be thrilled with his numbers thus far. Adrian Beltre is off to a bit of a slow start, but I’m not worried about him.
Tier 3: Chase Headley ascends the rankings now that he’s healthy and contributing. Ryan Zimmerman should be back this week after missing time on the DL with a strained left hamstring. He contributes when healthy but he’s such an injury risk that Zimmerman owners should roster a backup third baseman in the (likely) event he misses time again. Aramis Ramirez and Hanley Ramirez are nearing their respective returns as well.
Tier 4: Brett Lawrie is seeing time in the leadoff spot in Toronto’s lineup. He’s proven to be a slight injury risk early on in his MLB career but the double-digit home runs and steals are nice. I’m a believer in Todd Frazier. I almost included him in Tier 3 but I’m trying to temper my expectations for him. Will Middlebrooks and Pedro Alvarez are legit power bats but aren't doing any favors for your batting average. Martin Prado, Matt Carpenter and Manny Machado round out this tier as players who should have similar stat lines at the end of the season.
Tier 5: David Freese slips a bit in the rankings but he’s been a .300 hitter his entire career. He should turn things around eventually. I’m banking on the same for Moustakas, as he’s putting the ball in play (only 11 strikeouts thus far). I’m not giving up on Gyorko yet, either. Arenado is an exciting call-up.
Tier 6: Josh Donaldson has been a surprising fantasy contributor thus far in 2013. Let’s see if he keeps it up. Michael Young and Chris Johnson are assets to your batting average but won’t give you much else. Lonnie Chisenhall, Trevor Plouffe and Juan Francisco are deep-league options only.
Tier 7: Anthony Rendon is expected to be sent down to the minors when Ryan Zimmerman returns from the DL, but he and Nick Castellanos are good players to stash for late season call-ups.
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