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Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: 5 Third Basemen You Can’t Trust

Why you should be very cautious when looking at these names on your draft sheet come March.

 

Alex Rodriguez – Yankees

New fantasy managers will see A-Rod's name near the bottom of the stack and immediately want to bite. In short, don't even think about it.

'A-fraud,' isn't only banged up, but he was just plain awful last season, eventually being benched in the playoffs. Rodriguez is coming off another offseason hip surgery and might not even play until late into the 2013 season. After returning from a broken hand in '12, he only hit .261 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 111 at-bats. And let's not even talk about the newest HGH allegations popping up in the news.

At 37-years old, it's obvious this former great is in the twilight of his career.


Chase Headley – Padres

Headley is a former top prospect who blossomed post-hype and he's still young enough to continue his surge. After a season that saw him explode into the NL leader in RBIs and one of the league's best third basemen, it's needless to say I actually like Headley. However, I'm not likely to be fond of his price tag.

Headley will most likely go in the third or fourth round of your draft and that could make me a little nervous. They're moving the fences in at Petco Field, which will bode well for the 28-year-old, but that's about the only positive omen of a possible repeat performance.

Fangraphs.com listed Headley as having 11 'just enough' home runs last season — defined as 'balls that barely cleared the fence.' That number was third highest in the NL. He also had three 'lucky' home runs that were aided by weather conditions or chance. His 32.1 percent fly ball percentage was also the lowest of his career — add to that his 26 percent strikeout rate, and those numbers only prove he was the same player as he has been in recent years.

If he falls in your draft, take a stab. But definitely do not pay face value.

Scott Rolen – Free Agent

Although he's not worth the risk, it's guaranteed that Rolen will be taken in almost every single draft this spring. He's 37-years-old and still looking for a team. It's likely he'll possibly retire. Even if he doesn't hang it up, do you really want an old man that only hit eight homers and a .241 average last year? He's also guaranteed to fill up your DL spot at some point during the season. I'm taking a prospect with high upside long before wasting it on this old timer.


Manny Machado – Orioles

I love me some Machado! The 20-year-old is as exciting as they come. But he's just that; exciting and young.

Everyone and their mother knows about Machado at this point, so be sure not to over-reach for an inexperienced  20-year-old that hit .257 in his debut. And trust me, someone in your draft will reach. Don't let it be you.

He'll need some time to develop. Expecting anything more than 17 homers and a .270 average may be unreasonable for such a young player. And if you're saying to yourself, 'Mike Trout was just as young last season,' –  that kind of player comes once every 150 years.


Brandon Inge – Free Agent

Another aging vet looking for a team, Inge isn't worth a roster spot in any league. He's a big-time injury risk that will kill your batting average. If he finds a team, he won't get regular playing time and he most certainly won't hit much higher than the mendoza line. He's Adam Dunn with 35 less home runs.
 

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.

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