Sunday, February 12, 2006

2006 THE HOT-CORNER! "FANTASY BASEBALL'S 3RD BASEMAN"

PIECE UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

Sorry, the 2' of snow we got here have derailed my schedule. The 2nd installment of this series should be completed by Monday evening. Thank-you for your patience!

"Reviewing Baseball's 3rd Baggers!"

LAST SEASON'S Top 3rd Baseman

Alex Rodriguez (NY): LAST SEASON I SAID: "Even having had an "off year," A-Rod was an owner's dream last season ('04). And quite frankly, A-Rod's "off year" would qualify as most ball player's career years. He'll give you power; 40 HRs last season, RBIs, 106 last season, Runs, 112 last season... and rare for a 3rd Baseman, speed. Rodriguez thieved 28 bases in '04. Not only is A-Rod the top 3rd Baseman, A-Rod still ranks as fantasy Baseball's #1 pick overall. Comfortably settled into the Yankees stocked lineup, look for A-Rod's average to bounce back to more "Rodriguez-ian" numbers... I'd look for .290./38/110 ... and oh yes, look for another 20+ Stolen Bases."

IN REALITY:

Scott Rolen (STL): LAST SEASON I SAID: "(In) Another loaded lineup, Rolen (receives excellent) protection... . With Edmonds and Pujols in the Cardinal lineup, not to mention another 4 or so .290+ power hitters... it's not like you can pitch around the guy. Fantasy owners should have concerns about Rolen's balky back, but despite missing 18 games late last season due to injury (a leg injury... wasn't even his back) it should NOT deter you from grabbing him. Rolen remains an elite hitter and a top 4 fantasy 3rd Baseman. Look for .299/35/115 in '05."

IN REALITY:

Adrian Beltre (SEA): LAST SEASON I SAID: "For a guy who's had a history (and he's only 26 mind you) of being a 2nd half player, Beltre started off hot and didn't cool off until roughly, October. ...Beltre (has) had HUGE expectations heaped upon him since he was 16 years old, but (he's) never really lived up to them. That is, until he blew UP last season to the tune of .334/48/104. Beltre also notched 104 Runs and had a ridiculous Slugging % of .629. The guy can't help but come back down to Earth a little bit next season, especially seeing as how he'll be adjusting to... Seattle's (huge Safeco Field). ...while he can't be as white hot as he was ALL last season, he'll (should) still remain a top 4 fantasy 3rd Bagger. Look for a more reasonable, .320/41/115... and a Slugging % closer to .550 than .650. And I'll take those "more modest" numbers any day!"

IN REALITY:

Eric Chavez (OAK): LAST SEASON I SAID: "Must be wondering why the hell he resigned with a team that held a Pitching fire sale. Having dealt aces ...Hudson and Mulder for prospects, essentially, Chavez is rightfully angry. (after missing) over a month due to a broken hand, it took Chavez a while to get back on track in '04. He still had an enviable season however, and fell 1 HR short of a 3rd consecutive 30 HR season. And, those 29 Homers were the most any Athletic hit last season. Chavez matured as a hitter last year and started spraying the ball to all fields. A top 10 3rd Baseman, look for .279/35/105."

IN REALITY:

Melvin Mora (BAL): LAST SEASON I SAID: "I don't know if I'm entirely sold on Mora, he's a guy coming off a career year who's had a history of injuries. He was UN-conscious last season though, hitting .340/27/104 and recording 11 swiped bags. I'm still concerned about injuries, but will look for .325/25/99, and 15 SBs. Mora remains a top 10 3rd Baseman, but I'd draft a guy who offers flexibility at 3rd... just in case."

IN REALITY:

Chipper Jones (ATL): LAST SEASON I SAID: "A bum Hammy' hobbled Jones all season long and he was never able to get himself right. Even still, Chipper bashed 30 Homers and notched 96 RBIs. Admirable numbers for any player, let alone an injured one. I fully expect Jones to bounce back and record a great year, look for .290/30/100."

IN REALITY:

Hank Blalock (TEX): LAST SEASON I SAID: "A young player with a bright future, the knock on Hammerin' Hank is his rather irritating habit of falling off after the All-Star break. His split season stats are seriously stupefying. In just his 3rd season, expect Blalock to put in the necessary batting cage work and improve his numbers. He broke the 30/100 mark last season... and that should be the first of many such seasons. Look for a VERY productive year out of Blalock... I'd gamble an even higher pick upon him this season, and project him for .293/35/112."

IN REALITY:

Mike Lowell (FLA): LAST SEASON I SAID: "A doubles machine, Lowell's starts each season like a ball of fire... and finishes like a ball of cotton. Having developed a history for falling off significantly during the season's second half, here's the plan; trade Lowell for a position of need just before the All-Star Break. At age 31, a ball player's a known quantity and won't be surprising anyone... Look for a very respectable, .297/31/104 from Lowell this season... and I'm as serious as a heart attack about that whole trade thing."

IN REALITY:

Aramis Ramirez (CHI N.): LAST SEASON I SAID: "In his first full season with the Cubbies, Ramirez positively blew up and recorded a career high in HRs. He was hobbled with a pulled groin for much of last season, but was still a very productive fantasy player. The defection of Sosa to the Orioles shouldn't hurt Ramirez's numbers, Sosa has been in decline for the past 3 years and was a non-factor for much of last season. The last of the top 10 3rd Baseman, look for Ramirez, who doesn't strike out very often, to turn in an even better '05 than '04; .312/38/108."

IN REALITY:

LAST SEASON'S "TOP SLEEPER THIRD BASEMAN"

B.J Upton (TB): LAST SEASON I SAID: "Very young and still trying to find a home defensively... the knock on Upton has been his glovework. Nevertheless, Upton's got a nice upside and is worth taking a flyer on... he (should be available through) the Waiver Wire."

IN REALITY:

David Wright (NYM): LAST SEASON I SAID: "An impressive '04 campaign bodes for an even better '05. This kid has all the tools, especially power. It's quite possible that he could be the Met's best pure hitter since Strawberry."

IN REALITY:

"LAST SEASON'S 3RD BASEMAN COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR"

Aaron Boone (CLE): LAST SEASON I SAID: "Let's assume that Boone has learned his lesson about playing pick-up Basketball. However, having heard fairy tales from athletes that range from the ridiculous, "I tripped over my dog" to the inane, "I fell washing my truck," Boone's honesty was refreshing, should be applauded, and he got a raw deal from the Yankees who should never have cut him."

IN REALITY:

"LAST SEASON'S PLAYER TO WATCH"

Chone Figgins (ANA): LAST SEASON I SAID: "I flat-out like this kid. And, with his base stealing ability (34 in '04) and ability to qualify at 3rd, 2nd, SS, and in the OF, you could learn to like him too! His numbers were worthy of his being named the Angels MVP, look for a very solid season from Figgins. .297/6/62."

IN REALITY:

And now the good stuff, 2006 Baseball's 3rd Baseman!

"2006 CREAM OF THE CROP!

1 Comments:

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