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Red Hot Corner: Fantasy Baseball Third Basemen for 2013

Miguel+Cabrera+Detroit+Tigers

Evan Longoria

Evan Longoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a difference a year makes. Entering the draft at this time last year, Jose Bautista (TOR) was the clear-cut number one choice at third base (and potential top 5 overall pick). Miguel Cabrera (DET) was not yet eligible at the position and Brett Lawrie (TOR) speculation was running rampant. Needless to say, the position has undergone some change. Fast forward a year and Bautista no longer qualifies at the hot corner, Cabrera is the reigning AL MVP (and Triple Crown winner), and Lawrie is coming off a disappointing season.
There are still many options to fill your roster with a productive bat at the hot corner on your fantasy roster. Here are some of the best:

Miguel Cabrera (DET) –

Sure, he tailed off in the post season but his 2012 campaign was one for the ages. Miggy is not only the best player at his position by far, he is a sure-fire top 3 overall fantasy pick.
Adrian Beltre (TEX) –
Hitting in a favorable ball park has done wonders for Beltre’s production. Although nagging injuries have robbed him of some playing time, Beltre continues to put up big numbers that can’t be overlooked. Even with missed time, he should still approach 30 HR, 100 RBI and a .300 average. That is some solid production, to be sure.
Evan Longoria (TB) –
Longo is the engine that drives the Tampa offense. He might not be as ‘injury-prone’ as he initially seems and has the ability to deliver some monster stats for your fantasy team. Although no longer a sure thing in the first 2 rounds, Longoria is coming into his prime and can give some real value in fantasy at the position.
David Wright (NYM) –
Wright has always been an elite producer when healthy. Now armed with a multi-year contract, the skeptical observer could be swayed to think that the Mets’ third baseman will regress. However, the potential for him to contribute in all 5 categories is too big to ignore. Although his average tailed off in the second half of 2012, he still delivered similar power numbers in the second half. Expect a more balanced 2013 season.

Ryan Zimmerman (WAS) –

Still armed with a boatload of potential, Zimmerman could put up big numbers in 2013. One of the best-fielding third basemen in the game, he’s got the potential to be an elite player at the hot corner. Cortisone shots seemed to do the trick for Zimmerman, who struggled in the first half. He ended the season on a tear and could continue to dominate this year.
Pablo Sandoval (SF) –
‘Kung Fu Panda’ proved in the post season that he can be a force to be reckoned with. Still young at 26 years old, Sandoval has some upside. Much like his counterparts at the position, health is a key but he proved in 2009 that he can be a solid fantasy producer. His power has most likely hit a plateau but an increase in his run production in 2013 wouldn’t surprise.
Chase Headley (SD) –
Headley put up an incredible season in 2012. What was even more impressive was the fact that he did not display hugely dramatic splits between his home and road production. A minor league ‘wunderkind’, Headley proved he belonged at the major league level last season. Repeating his season could be difficult, so don’t over-reach, however he could be a solid contributor for several years.
Aramis Ramirez (MIL) –
When he’s healthy, there’s no doubt Ramirez can hit. Although he doesn’t possess any upside at his age, Ramirez has proven over the past 2 seasons that when healthy, he can help drive a team’s offense. It’s a gamble, but A-Ram can deliver.

Brett Lawrie (TOR) –

Over-valued in many drafts entering 2012, Lawrie proved to be injury-prone and inconsistent at times last season. With a rejuvenated Blue Jays team around him, he could prove to be a steal in 2013. He possesses a ton of upside and could thrive this year. He could be the most interesting third basemen in fantasy.
Will Middlebrooks (BOS) –
The Red Sox were so impressed with Middlebrooks that they pushed Kevin Youkilis to the bench (and eventually off the team). He has the potential to hit 30 home runs and put up double digit stolen base numbers. Assuming the broken wrist is healed, Middlebrooks can be a sleeper pick at third base with the upside to be a top 5 fantasy performer at the position.
It’s an injury-prone position by nature but these third basemen have the ability to contribute a healthy amount of stats to your 2013 fantasy baseball roster.
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