The first two months of the 2013 fantasy baseball season are 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 has been updating our positional rankings over the past few days, and today we're revisiting the third base rankings we initially published in April and updated in May. All the ranks below are compared to the FantasyPros ECR (Expert Consensus Rank), which will show you where RotoBaller differs from 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!
Tier 1: I’m sure you've noticed this by now, but Miguel Cabrera is on pace to shatter his Triple Crown numbers from last year.
Tier 2: I’m pretty sure these three players will be trading spots in this tier all season long. The fact of the matter is that Adrian Beltre has been red hot as of late while David Wright has been ice cold. The case for Wright to be ranked higher? He’s a five-category contributor while the other two lack stolen bases. I certainly wouldn't argue with you if you wanted to rank him number 2.
Tier 3: When I see the ECR (Expert Consensus Rank) for Ryan Zimmerman I cringe a little bit. That’s not to say that he’s a bad player-- in fact, he deserves to be ranked among the top ten third basemen-- but I've never been a fan of his. Maybe it’s the constant worry of succumbing to injury? Right now, I prefer Hanley Ramirez, Chase Headley and Manny Machado to Zimmerman. For what it’s worth, I hold Pablo Sandoval in similar regard to Zimmerman-- he’s great when he’s healthy, but it’s almost a guarantee that he will hit the DL at some point this season.
Tier 4: I raved about Matt Carpenter in the 1B rankings update and I’ll do it again here. Just do me a favor and go look at his Game Logs. Thirteen multi-hit games in the month of May and he’s already racked up another three in the first few days of June. Kyle Seager is an under-the-radar type guy who quietly gives you a little bit of everything. I’m just now coming around on him. Martin Prado turned the corner in May but Kirk Gibson keeps juggling him around in the Diamondbacks lineup. I wish he would just slot him in the 2-hole permanently. Mark Reynolds’s batting average has dropped over 60 points since April, but he’s still on pace for 37 HR and 118 RBI. Josh Donaldson has been a pleasant surprise this season. I was skeptical of him during the last rankings update but he’s been remarkably consistent this season and has turned me into a believer. You know what you’re getting with Pedro Alvarez (poor BA but 30+ HR) and David Freese (.300 batting average with solid counting stats). Jedd Gyorko had a fantastic May (.303, 20 R, 6 HR, 12 RBI) but I’d like to see some consistency out of him before I move him up any further in the rankings.
Tier 5: For all the hype they have gotten early in their careers, Will Middlebrooks and Brett Lawrie have injury-prone tags and have mostly just disappointed their fantasy owners. Mike Moustakas should be ranked much higher, especially when he’s sporting a career low strikeout rate, but he continues to have trouble at the plate. His struggles continue to be a mystery that has now become George Brett’s problem to solve. Anthony Rendon is the hot commodity right now, just like Nolan Arenado was last month. Sadly, Arenado hasn't offered much thus far.
Tier 6: Chris Johnson gets a slight boost in the rankings with Juan Francisco shipped out of town, but he-- along with the rest of the players listed in this tier-- are deep-league options only.