Updated Consensus Ranks: Third Base

I’ll be honest with you. Rankings week is a tough week. It seems that everybody zooms in on the rankings of their players and wants them to be better. Most want more reactionary rankings than a site like RotoGraphs is going to give. The difficulty is that it is much more likely that a player’s true talent is the same as it was a month ago, and we do our best to find that true talent.

Of course, there are breakouts. There are role changes. There are injuries. And that’s where most of the movement will come. Third base should provide more movement than most, considering the fact that the position has had more breakouts, role changes and injuries than most. Let’s take a look at them.

We told you that we’d rank the new third baseman as soon as they were third baseman, and in the case of Miguel Cabrera, it seems defensible. He’s probably the worst defensive first basemen to ever move back to third base, and when that ball took a bad hop and hit him in the face in Spring Training, Tigers management could have pulled the plug on the experiment. They didn’t, though, and here we are with Cabrera first and Hanley Ramirez fourth.

The pair of injuries to Pablo Sandoval and Evan Longoria blew a hole right in the front of these rankings, so while Brett Lawrie hasn’t quite started out gangbusters, he’s shown enough to move up along with the rest of the healthy third basemen. Ditto even for the younger third-sackers that ended up behind the injured duo. David Freese, Mike Moustakas, and in-name-only Edwin Encarnacion have all shown enough to think that pre-season projections were a tad light.

Emilio Bonifacio and Martin Prado are sorta BABIP-dependent at the plate, and BABIP doesn’t stabilize this early, but a mediocre BABIP can put their offensive production in focus. But how about the sole two guys that didn’t move — two Pirates, Pedro Alvarez and Casey McGehee, are turning out about as we expected it seems. We always thought that Alvarez would have power and patience with a lot of strikeouts, but in a 5×5 environment, walks don’t correlate with batting average while strikeouts sink it. McGehee is finding time around the diamond. It might be a surprise that he’s managing to accrue about 1/2 to 3/4 the time of a regular, but preseason projections had him at around 500 PAs, so maybe it’s not such a big surprise.

Who do you like better or worse?

FanGraphs Consensus Rankings:
Third Base
New Last Player Name Eno Sarris Mike Podhorzer Jeff Zimmerman Zach Sanders
1 NA Miguel Cabrera 1 1 1 1
2 1 Jose Bautista 2 2 2 2
3 4 David Wright 3 4 5 3
4 NA Hanley Ramirez 4 3 3 6
5 6 Brett Lawrie 6 6 4 5
6 5 Adrian Beltre 5 5 7 4
7 9 Michael Young 10 9 8 7
8 7 Ryan Zimmerman 7 8 9 10
9 10 Alex Rodriguez 11 10 11 9
10 2 Evan Longoria 8 13 6 20
11 3 Pablo Sandoval 9 14 10 15
12 8 Aramis Ramirez 12 7 13 18
13 17 David Freese 12 17 16 8
14 15 Mike Moustakas 14 12 17 17
15 21 Edwin Encarnacion 17 11 22 12
16 19 Chase Headley 16 20 18 11
17 16 Emilio Bonifacio 15 18 20 13
18 13 Martin Prado 18 15 15 19
19 12 Mark Reynolds 19 16 12 23
20 11 Kevin Youkilis 13 19 14 27
21 NA Mark Trumbo 21 21 19 14
22 23 Chipper Jones 26 21 23 20
23 18 Daniel Murphy 22 22 21 26
24 35 Mike Aviles 23 27 26 24
25 25 Pedro Alvarez 20 26 32 28
26 30 Chris Davis 25 25 28 30
27 14 Ryan Roberts 29 37 24 25
28 32 Jed Lowrie 24 24 30 40
29 20 Danny Valencia 30 39 25 29
30 26 Placido Polanco 33 28 31 32
31 27 Scott Rolen 28 30 37 34
32 22 Brent Morel 31 36 27 36
33 29 Ian Stewart 32 31 36 31
34 40 Sean Rodriguez 39 29 29 35
35 37 Kyle Seager 27 33 38 37
36 36 Casey McGehee 36 40 34 33
37 34 Chris Johnson 34 32 41 39
38 33 Juan Uribe 35 35 40 41
39 24 Lonnie Chisenhall 37 43 35 38
40 31 Alberto Callaspo 38 41 33 42
41 39 Wilson Betemit 40 34 39 43
42 41 Brandon Inge 41 38 44 46
43 38 Chone Figgins 42 42 43 45
44 28 Jimmy Paredes 43 44 42 44

We hoped you liked reading Updated Consensus Ranks: Third Base by Eno Sarris!

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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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Brian Broberts
Guest
Brian Broberts

Not liking Ryan Roberts on this list at all…esp above Lowrie.