It’s funny how things change so quickly in just a few years. It wasn’t that long ago when second base was the dearth of the infield (excluding catcher of course, since it’s pretty consistent in its lack of offensive depth). Yet this year it’s the hot corner that is light in depth. Sure there are at least two superstars in ARod and David Wright leading the pack as elite players. Following the big two you have perennial slugger Aramis Ramirez and a potential future MVP in Evan Longoria but after those two guys things start to look scary. Yet then you quickly move onto older guys like Chipper Jones, Troy Glaus and Mike Lowell who can certainly still be effective. Chipper led the majors with a .364 BA in 09 but he’s 37 years old and misses a lot of time and Glaus and Lowell are big time injury risks themselves. Then you have a group of “never was” superstars in Ryan Zimmerman, Garrett Atkins and Adrian Beltre who have shown flashes of brilliance but leave you reaching for the Mylanta every week. There’s also a group of somewhat promising young players such as Alex Gordon, Mark Reynolds and Ian Stewart that have a chance to break out but are certainly no locks mixed in with a group of flat out question marks in guys like Jorge Cantu and Ty Wiggington that somehow manage to come out of left field and rack up points. The bottom line is that third base is not what it used to be and it should be interesting to see how things shake out in 2009.
FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If you have the opportunity to jump on one of the big four (ARod, Wright, Ramirez and Longoria) then do it. You can make it up in deeper areas such as first base, starting pitching and dare I say it, second base. If you’re left out in the dark after that, don’t pay too high for the rest of the field. Look to get two solid starters in the middle rounds. And if you’re in keeper leagues there is some good news as a few big prospects such as Pedro Alvarez (Pirates), Mike Moustakas (Royals), Matt Dominguez (Marlins) and Brett Wallace (Cardinals) are on their way up in the next 1-2 years to help add needed depth to a traditionally strong position.