3rd Basemen to SELL:
- Adrian Beltre
Don't get me wrong, Beltre is a good 3rd baseman, a very good one in fact. The problem is that he has pretty much settled into a steady state of production - you're going to get around .280 - 25 HR - 92 RBI - 85 runs - 10 steals from him in all likelihood. That's roughly what he's averaged over the past 3 seasons with not much variation from year to year. It's not often you see a hitter post his career season at 24 years old, but it appears that may just be the case with Beltre's 2004 season when he hit .334 with 48 home runs and 121 RBI. The number of owners out there expecting a repeat of this performance are quickly dwindling. You can get Beltre's production from Edwin Encarnacion, only using a pick 3 to 4 rounds later or spending $6-9 less of your auction money.
- Mike Lowell
Lowell is going pretty high in drafts - high enough assuming he comes even close to replicating his 2007 success, but not high enough to justify his likely 2008 production. At 33 years of age, Lowell hit .324 in 2007, his next best single season average was .293 in 2004. Lowell hit 21 home runs in 2007, a mark he's bested just three other season (24 in 2002, 27 in 2004 and 32 in 2003). Lowell's 120 RBI in 2007 is also a career high - his next two best seasons were 2001 (100 RBI) and 2003 (105 RBI). Don't get too pulled in by the Red Sox hype, the excellent surrounding lineup or even the World Series MVP.
3rd Basemen to BUY:
- Edwin Encarnacion
Encarnacion finally started to show consistency in the 2nd half of 2007. Perhaps most important was the fact that his K-Rate dropped to .146 from his 1st half K-Rate of .195. For 2008, a .300-25-100-90-10 line for Encarnacion is definitely within reach.
- Kevin Kouzmanoff
Just take a look at Kouzmanoff's 2007 2nd half line of .317 / .524 / .890 with 11 home runs as a decent indicator of what he can do in 2008. Ffor 2008, Kouzmanoff should hit around .300 with 24 homers, 85+ RBI and 75+ Runs.
Other posts in the spring training buy/sell recommendations series: