Here’s a look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends’ third base rankings for AL-only fantasy baseball leagues.
1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Although Miguel Cabrera is playing first base this year, he maintains eligibility at third base in most fantasy baseball leagues.
Regardless of whether you use him at first or third base, he’s the premier player at his position.
Seriously, what more can be said about Cabrera after his second straight MVP-winning season? If it weren't for Chris Davis (53 HR, 138 RBI) having a breakout season last year, we’d be talking about Cabrera as a back-to-back Triple Crown winner.
Cabrera’s career average looks like this: .321 BA, 33 HR, 115 RBI, 97 R, 3 SB. Playing first base could help Cabrera avoid nagging injuries and become even more effective.
2. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
Adrian Beltre is coming off a .315-88-30-92-1 line. Over the past four years, he’s hitting .314 with 87.3 runs, 31.5 home runs and 100.3 RBI.
The Rangers figure to have a potent offense with the addition of Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo. Beltre remains an elite option.
3. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Evan Longoria bounced back last year with a .269-91-32-88-1 line. He should be able to improve his batting average while providing ample runs, home runs and RBI.
He no longer offers you the added bonus of stolen bases, as he has six in the past three seasons combined, but he offers plenty elsewhere.
4. Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics
Josh Donaldson exploded on the scene with a .301-89-24-93-5 line. He’s not as established as the top three choices, but you can’t overlook last year’s success.
Donaldson is a little bit of a risk, but the potential is there.
5. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
Manny Machado (knee) should be ready for Opening Day, which should help the phenom build on the solid .283-88-14-71-6 line he posted in his first full season. Obviously, his health is a concern, but at 21 years old, he’s loaded with potential. Machado is the poster boy for upside.
6. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
Kyle Seager posted his second consecutive season with at least 20 home runs. He hit .260 with 79 runs, 22 home runs, 69 RBI and nine stolen bases.
With an average of 21 home runs and 11 stolen bases over the past two years, he is sneaky power-speed combination player.
7. Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays
Brett Lawrie was a popular breakout candidate last year but finished with a .254-41-11-46-9 line. If he can get back to his production of 2011, when he hit .293 with nine home runs and seven stolen bases in a 43-game cup of coffee, he will be a stud.
He has the potential for 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases.
8. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
Xander Bogaerts should have eligibility at both third base and shortstop, which gives him added value. He hit just .250 with seven runs, one home run, five home runs and one stolen base in 18 regular-season games but stepped up his game in the playoffs.
Bogaerts hit .296 with nine runs in 12 games en route to a World Series title. In Boston’s potent lineup for a full year, Bogaerts should have a solid year.
9. Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox
Will Middlebrooks saw his average dip big time from .288 as a rookie to .227 as a sophomore, but he still managed to hit 17 home runs in 94 games. He definitely packs power, as he has 32 home runs in 169 games and 615 at-bats.
He’s slated to be the everyday third baseman, which should lead to solid power numbers.
10. David Freese, Los Angeles Angels
David Freese saw a dip in production, hitting .262 with 53 runs, nine home runs and 60 RBI. He is a .286 career hitter who slugged 20 home runs in 2012. He should rebound in his first season in Anaheim.
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