Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/21/12
Everybody loves blind resumes. Fans love testing their baseball knowledge and we also love surprises. One of the biggest surprises about third base this year was the resurgence of power at the position. In 2011, there were only five third basemen that hit 20 or more home runs. In 2012, that number rose to 12, which is an increase of 140%. Both of the following players had good seasons despite only playing in a combined 236 games. (ADPs taken from MockDraftCentral.com) The stats are pretty close here. Player B has the slight edge in home runs and had five more RBI, while Player A has the slight edge in batting average and tallied five more runs. Neither player really contributed in terms of steals. Player A, Pablo Sandoval, was a top third baseman coming into most drafts, and was thought to be a great bargain in the fifth round. Player B, Todd Frazier, wasn’t on any owner’s draft board, but impressed with a great rookie season off the waiver wire. Looking ahead to 2013, owners are not sure what they are going to get from Sandoval. His career high for every 5X5 category came in 2009, and in the past two seasons he’s only played in 225 games. Although Sandoval dealt with some hamstring issues midseason, it’s evident that the injury is behind him. The postseason stats that the reigning World Series MVP put up are enough to relieve any doubts about a lingering injury. Looking at Sandoval’s expected stats, thanks to slash12 over at Beyond the Boxscore, will show you that his batting average lines up with his expected numbers. His .282 xAVG and .300 xBABIP are almost identical to the .283 and .301 numbers that he actually put up. Although his power numbers did drop last year, Sandoval hit 42% (5 out of 12) of his home runs in September. That, combined with the gaudy postseason numbers, assure me that the low power numbers were just an aberration. Look for Sandoval to have a nice rebound season next year and be one of the top third basemen in fantasy. Frazier on the other hand, seems less likely to repeat his nice rookie season. Although he batted .273 with a .312 BABIP, his expected stats tell you that he should have really batted .264 with a .303 BABIP. Also, 32% (6 out of 19) of Frazier’s home runs classified as “just enough” homers; shots that barely cleared the fence. With Scott Rolen retiring, Frazier will probably get a full season worth of at bats next year. But even with more playing time, I don’t see his power numbers rising. However, playing full time will allow Frazier to accumulate more runs and RBI, and that partially compensates for the drop in power and average. According to ESPN’s Player Rater, Frazier was ranked as the 21st third baseman last year. However, he also spent time filling in for Joey Votto at first base and played a little outfield as well. While he might not be a top twelve third baseman, the position eligibility really increases his value. Frazier is definitely worth a roster spot and if he can cut down on his strikeouts (22.2 K%) and stay in the Reds lineup for the whole season I could see him being a viable starting third baseman for fantasy teams next year.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker