10. Pittsburgh Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez
When looking at Pedro Alvarez’ .244 BA last season, you may wonder how can he be part of top 10. My take is it was his first full season in the big leagues. Never mind the batting average, let’s talk about the power he displayed. In his first full season at third base he smacked 30 HRs and drove in 85 RBI on an up and coming Pittsburgh Pirates team. Alvarez will be asked to provide the same power as last season. He will bat in the middle of the lineup once again with plenty of RBI chances. If he can improve on his batting average, he will become even more dangerous.
2013 Prediction .249BA 29HR 99RBI.315OBP.440SLG
9. Toronto Blue Jay 3B. Brett Lawrie
Brett Lawrie is a Canadian born player, playing right in his backyard for the hometown Tor0nto Blue Jays. There is so much promise for the second-year stud as he has shown speed on the bases and power at the plate. With the addition of Jose Reyes, Lawrie will now bat in the middle of the order to provide Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista with some needed protection. Brett put up decent numbers last season before missing the last two months with an oblique strain. The injury has been a lingering problem for Lawrie as he just removed himself from the WBC this past week. The key for Brett Lawrie is to just get well. He could miss opening day.
2013 Predicitons .282BA 20HR 76RBI 24SB .330OBP.450SLG
8. San Diego 3B Chase Headley
Stats don’t lie. 31HR 115RBI and OBP of .376. This individual was a Silver Slugger and won the Gold Glove last year. Kind of strange that those numbers didn’t even warrant a trip to the All-Star game last season. I mean this guy earned these numbers playing half his games in a pitcher’s park in San Diego. Padres aren’t known for scoring a lot of runs and Mr. Chase Headley managed to lead the NL in RBI last year. Could you imagine what type of publicity Chase Headley would receive today if he played in a bigger market? Put Headley as the starting third baseman for the New York Mets and he would be the one with the $100 million dollar contract.
2013 Prediction .272BA 27HR 100RBI 16SB .360OBP .440SLG
7. San Francisco Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval
If we are keeping score at home, Kung Fu Panda has two more World Series rings than the legendary San Francisco great, Barry Bonds. Oh, I forgot, he won the 2012 World Series MVP as he joined Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only members to hit three home runs in a World Series game. Two of the long bombs Sandoval hit were off of Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. Pablo didn’t stop there. He played Winter ball and was the MVP of the Venezuelan League. With all the accolades Pablo has received, he has yet to post a 30 homer/100 RBI season. Is this the year that the 26-year-old, 2-time all-star puts it all together?
2013 Prediction .297BA 28HR 94RBI .350OBP.480SLG
6. Milwaukee Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez
Hard to believe Ramirez has been in the Major Leagues for 15 years! He has been a pleasant surprise for the Brew Crew, as he protected MVP Ryan Braun in the lineup with the departure of Prince Fielder just a year ago. Aramis proved to the baseball lords that he could put up numbers outside of Wrigley Field. Ramirez led the majors in doubles with 50 last season and also maintained a .300 average. Though he is now in his mid-thirties, expect Aramis to continue protecting Braun in the lineup and putting up MVP numbers.
2013 Prediction .300 26HR 101RBI .344OBP.497SLG
5. Washington Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman
Who says that the Washington Nationals aren’t serious about winning? They paid Zimmerman over $100 million to man the position at third base. Ryan is the second highest paid third baseman behind Alex Rodriguez because he has some serious game. Just last year he bounced back from an injury plagued season to put up 25HR and 95RBI while batting in the #3 hole. Zimmerman went and had shoulder surgery during the offseason and though his surgery was successful, he may come out of the gates a little slow this spring. As the season progresses, look for Ryan to enjoy another successful season at third base.
2013 Prediction .285BA 30HR 100RBI.350OBP.471SLG
4. New York Mets 3B David Wright
Is David Wright ready to be the darling in New York? Well he does wear a “C” on his uniform, just not in pin stripes. Jeter is still the man in the Bronx while David owns Manhattan. Mr. Wright is definitely the right man at third. He has been a cornerstone for the Mets for the past nine seasons. The 6x-All-Star, 2x Gold Glove, and 2x Silver Slugger will own every statistical offensive mark in a Mets uniform before he is done. So while he is now in his prime, it’s time to go after the National League MVP. That award is within his reach and it will be the first time a Mets player would hold such an honor.
2013 Prediction .294BA 27HR 89RBI.366OBP.464SLG
3. Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria
An injury plagued season kept Evan from having another decent year at the plate. Any time he is in the lineup, he is sure to do damage with his wooded piece. Just last season, he spent 13 weeks nursing a hamstring tear that cost him and his team another playoff berth. The former Rookie of the Year hits for average, has power all over the field, is willing to take a pitch, and draws walks. He is a 3X All-Star, 2X Gold Glove, and has a Silver Slugger’s Award at the ripe old age of 27. He is now entering his prime and barring injuries could make a run at Most Valuable Player.
2013 Prediction .295BA 31HR 102RBI .365OBP.510SLG
2. Texas Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre
By far the best defensive third baseman in the majors, as he has now collected back to back Gold Gloves (total 4) since joining the Texas Rangers. This 3x All-Star could have easily been last year’s MVP with his .321 BA, 36 HR, 102 RBI, getting on base 35% of the time, and with a slugging rate of .561! Texas will lean heavily on Adrian’s production even more this year with the departure of Josh Hamilton and Michael Young. Beltre is the clear leader on this team now and will bat cleanup again, protecting the likes of newly acquired Lance Berkman. Adrian will turn 34 in early April and is entering his 16th season in the BIGs. The question is, how much longer will the talented third baseman play at an elite level?
2013 Prediction .305BA 33HR 117RBI .355OBP.519SLG
1. Detroit Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera
Without a doubt the 7x-All-Star, Miguel Cabrera is flat out the best third baseman in baseball. He became the American League MVP last season by achieving the triple crown (first time since Carl Yastrzemski in ’67) which primarily gave him a slight edge over Mike Trout as being the best player in baseball. The 29 year old, Cabrera reached career highs in average, home runs, RBI, and collecting his first ever 200 hits in a season. With the addition of Prince Fielder last season, Miguel was able to take advantage of pitchers and that contributed to his historical season. Cabrera is now entering into his prime years with the Tigers and with Prince protecting him, so don’t be surprised if Miguel continues putting up triple crown-like numbers.
2013 Prediction .322BA 39HR 131RBI.401OBP.574SLG
Players who could easily crash the party.
David Freese – Freese made the All-Star game for the first time last year and the World Series MVP is capable of cracking the top 10. 2013 Prediction .300BA 22HR 86RBI.351OBP.436SLG
Will Middlebrooks – Numbers should improve even more now. He will be the every day player for a full season and also half of his games are in Fenway, which should contribute to a successful second year. 2013 Prediction .290BA 22HR 76RBI.310OBP.430SLG
Todd Frazier- Todd has the chance to put up some pretty nice numbers hitting in Great American Ballpark. 2013 Prediction .258BA 25HR 70RBI.314OBP.433SLG