You remember back to March when I gave away all my position player rankings for free, right? For those of you who want to revisit my greatest hits, here’s where you would go to get all my rankings for hitters – 2011: BBGuys Hitter Capsules.
I’m nothing if not accountable, so I’ll review my top-10 predictions at each position as well as point out my biggest “hit” outside of the top-10 and my biggest “bust.”
2011 THIRD BASE Top-10
1 Evan Longoria
2 David Wright
3 Alex Rodriguez
4 Ryan Zimmerman
5 Aramis Ramirez
6 Mark Reynolds
7 Michael Young
8 Adrian Beltre
9 Pedro Alvarez
10 Casey McGehee
Longoria hit a terrible .244, and his steal total fell by 12 down to three, but he still powered 31 homers and drove in 99 runs thanks to a furious second half finish (20 homers and 57 RBI in 72 games). He’s plenty young enough (26) to put it all together and run off some massive seasons.
Wright had hit at least 25 homers with 100 RBI and 85 runs scored in five of the last six seasons, so his 14 homers, 61 RBI and 60 runs were obviously a massive disappointment. Thrown in a career worst .255 average, from a guy who has hit .300 in his career, and you were rightly ticked off if he was on your squad.
Rodriguez lost his record streak of 30-100 seasons at 13 as he appeared in only 99 games which limited him to 16 homers and 62 RBI. In the end it was the worst season of his career as he also scored a career worst 67 runs with another career worst in his OPS (.823).
Zimmerman appeared in only 101 games limiting him to a .289-12-49-52 line, but if we give him 550 at-bats at that pace he would have hit .289-17-68-72 which wouldn’t have been too awful given all his starts and stops. He needs to stay healthy.
Ramirez hit two homers in April and May. Two. He then blasted 17 the next two months, hit .377 in August, an in the end produced yet another terrific season for the Cubs (.306-26-93-80-1). The cream almost always rises to the top.
Reynolds always gets dogged for the terrible average (.221) and all the strikeouts (196), but he should get some credit to. He was second at the position with 37 homers (Jose Bautista had 43), and he was one of only four third baseman with 25 homers, 80 RBI and 80 runs scored and one of three with 30-80-80 (Bautista and Beltre).
Young only played 40 games at third, but at the dish he was his normal fantastic self. Young hit .338, the best mark of his career, and also posted a career best 106 RBI. Toss in 88 runs scored and he gave his owners exactly what they were hoping for and a little bit more.
Beltre was injured and appeared in only 124 games, but he still powered 32 homers, knocked in 105 and his a strong .296. He was everything the Rangers hoped he would be when they signed him.
Alvarez was an abject failure. He appeared in 74 games and, amazingly for a guy who was the second overall selection in 2008, he hit .191 with four homers in 235 at-bats. To think, many people chose him over Mark Reynolds.
McGehee wasn’t a choice I loved. In fact, I warned in The Guide that he was the only third sacker who had 85 RBI who failed to score 75 runs in 2010, and I also pointed out how his minor league track record didn’t match his offensive fireworks with the Brewers. I should have gone with my gut and ranked Pablo Sandoval, who I had 11th, ahead of McGehee.
Hit: Jhonny Peralta #14
Obviously he was more useful as a shortstop eligible player, but with all the injuries at third Peralta could have played there all year and done very well. Peralta hit 21 homers, knocked in 86 runs, scored 68 times and hit a career best .299. All-around it was a fine year, and in context of all the injuries at third, it was a top-10 effort.
DL stints seemed a prerequisite at third this year. Here are the games played totals of some of the preseason elite: Longoria (133), Wright (102), Arod (99), Zimmerman (101) and Sandoval (117).
By Ray Flowers