Found January 12, 2013 on
As we continue through our series we move onto a stronger position on the diamond. Miguel Cabrera was obviously the class of the position, but many of you would be surprised to see how close the race ended up being for him. This is why the focus on all three facets of the game: fielding, hitting, and base running, are so very important. It’s the main reason why the MVP race should have turned our differently. 1) Miguel Cabrera– Detroit Tigers Fielding: -5.4 Hitting: 52.5 Running: -2.7 TRI: 44.4 Miguel Cabrera was considered the most valuable player in the American League by the BBWAA, but the BBWAA focused merely on his hitting. Once he left the batter’s box his value was virtually gone. In terms of the personality and leadership, Cabrera showed a lot by moving to third base. He didn’t have to do it and he certainly hurt his own value by doing it. So, in that sense a vote for MVP made some sense, but if value is a mathematical question then there can be no question that Cabrera was not the most valuable player. 2) David Wright– New York Mets Fielding: 10.2 Hitting: 33.2 Running: -0.5 TRI: 42.9 A run and a half is hardly anything in the grand scheme of things. Wright didn’t get a lot of consideration for the NL MVP because a large part of his value came from his glove. Wright hasn’t traditionally been a good fielder, so his reputation proceeded him. It’s just funny how some people are seen as immortal while others as merely good when the difference between the two is negligible. 3) Chase Headley– San Diego Padres Fielding: -1.6 Hitting: 41.4 Running: -1.5 TRI: 38.3 If baseball were like the stock market, Josh Byrnes would be trying to dump Headley right now. He had a career year offensively and even won the Gold Glove despite his below average finish with the glove. The odds are not in favor of him doing this again. Of course, he should still be very good and with that he brings the Padres their best chance of being competitive. Still, he could bring back three or four prospects in return at this point. 4) Adrian Beltre– Texas Rangers Fielding: 4.9 Hitting: 32.9 Running: -0.5 TRI: 37.3 With the Hall of Fame vote in the rear view mirror, one wonders what will happen when Adrian Beltre finally rides off into the sunset. He started at 19 and has been putting up solid numbers ever since. He had a couple of huge campaigns, but otherwise has been largely seen as a disappointment. That’s because he didn’t put up huge numbers consistently. When he retires, it will become a question of whether he will be judged on the numbers he had or the numbers people thought he should have had. 5) Aramis Ramirez– Milwaukee Brewers Fielding: 2.5 Hitting: 31.0 Running: -2.1 TRI: 31.4 Ramirez’s fielding numbers are proof that players can have career fielding seasons as well. Usually, Ramirez is a butcher, but somehow everything came together. The hitting has always been there and likely will be there for the life of his contract with the Brewers. They wanted a replacement for Prince Fielder. That will never happen, but he could be enough to complement Corey Hart and Ryan Braun. 6) Ryan Zimmerman– Washington Nationals Fielding: 1.6 Hitting: 17.8 Running: 1.1 TRI: 20.5 The Nationals made Zimmerman their future when they dedicated more than 100 million to him this past offseason. Zimmerman has never had an issue with quality, but he has always had problems remaining healthy. If he can give the Nationals 600 plate appearances a season he will consistently finish among the top five at the position. He is one of two third basemen in the top ten (Brett Lawrie is the other) to have positive scores in all three categories. It may not count for much, but it does make him a solid all-around player. 7) Brett Lawrie– Toronto Blue Jays Fielding: 15.8 Hitting: 0.7 Running: 1.0 TRI: 17.5 Lawrie ran neck and neck with Mike Moustakas for the title as top defensive third baseman. Interestingly enough, his scores were almost reversed as a rookie. He might make a comeback offensively and if he does he will vault himself into the top three at the position. With a healthy Jose Bautista and the incoming Jose Reyes, there will be more opportunities for him to produce runs. 8) David Freese– St. Louis Cardinals Fielding: 0.8 Hitting: 20.5 Running: -4.0 TRI: 17.3 Last season was David Freese’s first healthy season. As it turns out, he isn’t the stud that we thought he was after the 2011 World Series, but he is a borderline all-star performer. With Albert Pujols in Disneyland, the Cards needed some others to step up. Freese stepped up and produced good offensive numbers last season. 9) Evan Longoria– Tampa Bay Rays Fielding: 0.4 Hitting: 18.6 Running: -2.1 TRI: 16.9 These were Longoria’s numbers even after missing about half of the season. You can see why the Rays made him their franchise player. Now, they have added Wil Myers to the fold. If he turns out to be the player people think he will be then the Rays will have quite a one-two punch. He was my darkhorse pick for MVP last year and he might have been without the injury. He can still sneak up and claim the award this year. 10) Pablo Sandoval– San Francisco Giants Fielding: 2.3 Hitting: 12.4 Running: -0.5 TRI: 14.2 Much like Longoria, Sandoval came into the season with a lot of promise and all in all he lived up to it. He produced again offensively and defensively and exploded in the playoffs when it mattered most. Like Longoria, he lost some considerable time to injury and could have finished among the top five guys had he been healthy the whole season. The question with Sandoval is whether injuries occur naturally or because of a lack of conditioning. He seems to be fighting his weight on a regular basis.   The post Total Run Index Series: Top Ten Third Basemen appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.

Wanna hit like a Triple Crown winner? Miguel Cabrera shows you how in the latest MLB 13 cover video

If you want to lead your Beer League softball team in home runs, hits and RBIs this season, take a look at the latest MLB 13 cover video featuring Miguel Cabrera. Oh yeah and don’t forget to go out and vote for Cabrera in this year’s cover voting! I don’t think there’s any curses associated with this honor…  

Five team statistics the Mariners must improve on in 2013

Mariners have offensive woes Big Question: What else can the Seattle Mariners improve on to win in 2013? In a world of statistics, team totals are often overlooked. The average baseball fan knows that Miguel Cabrera won the triple crown with his monster numbers last season, but most have no idea if the Tigers led the league in those numbers or finished dead last (they finished 10th...

Fantasy Baseball 2013: Top 20 Fantasy Third Basemen

Third base is a strong position in fantasy terms, but much like some of the other infield positions, the picks get a little shaky at the end of the line. Most fantasy leagues have between ten and twelve teams. Even if your league has 15 teams, you don’t have to necessarily worry about the guys at the bottom of our top twenty. However, you hardly go through a fantasy season without...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.