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NL Third Basemen: Day Four
by Tim Polko

Today's Fantasy Rx

National League Third Basemen without Positive Draft Value

Quick Key to the tables:
B = Bats.  T = Throws.  Age = Player's Age as of October 1, 2006.
Proj. = Rotohelp's projected 2006 stats and fantasy values for each player.
2006 = Each player's final 2006 stat line and fantasy values.
AB = At-bats.  H = Hits.  BA = Batting Average.  HR= Home Runs.
RBI = Runs Batted In.  SB = Stolen Bases.  R = Runs.
Pos = Position qualification based on 20 appearances or max. # of games in 2006.
4x4 = BA, HR, RBI, and SB in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters.
5x5 = BA, HR, RBI, SB, and R in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters.
RAR = Runs Above Replacement; aRAR = RAR adjusted to
consider a player's 2006 defensive rating in Scoresheet fantasy baseball.

We ranked players by position in order from the highest draft value in a 4x4 league to the lowest. As the majority of fantasy leagues allow you to keep anyone traded to the other league, we listed all players in the league where they began the season.

22.  Bill MuellerLA DodgersAge: 35B:S   T:R

A significant knee injury cost Mueller the majority of the 2006 campaign and prompted his retirement in the fall. The eleven-year veteran and 2003 AL batting champ finishes with respectable .291/.373/.425 averages and immediately moves into a position with the Dodgers' front office. He also appears in a perfect position to return for the stretch run if needed, and given his previously excellent plate discipline, Mueller wouldn't hurt you as roster filler if desperate for a cornerman in September.

23.  Vinny RottinoMIL BrewersAge: 26B:R   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Milwaukee for my comments on Rottino.

24.  Justin LeoneSD PadresAge: 29B:R   T:R

Leone continues to work his way along I-5, spending a couple of years in Tacoma and Seattle, followed by a 2006 split between Portland and San Diego. Now a minor league deal with San Francisco insures he'll remain on the west coast, most likely at AAA Fresno. Last summer he posted a .260/.353/.437 performance with 20 HR, 73 RBI, and a 61:106 BB:K in 454 AB for AAA Portland(PCL), and while he seemingly offers more upside than Pedro Feliz, he shouldn't see any extended action with the Giants. I don't consider Leone a particularly good fantasy option in any format.

25.  Joel GuzmanLA DodgersAge: 21B:R   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Tampa Bay for my comments on Guzman.

26.  Mike EdwardsPIT PiratesAge: 29B:R   T:R

Seemingly a favorite of Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy, Edwards re-upped with the Pirates on a minor league deal, which should keep him at AAA Indianapolis(IL) for a second summer. Of course, last year he only managed a .259/.322/.369 output for the Indians on a 28:48 BB:K in 328 AB, along with little power or speed, so he doesn't offer Pittsburgh more than short-term filler as an injury replacement. While Edwards still owns decent skills, his unimpressive play over the last two years gives him little appeal to any competitive fantasy team.

27.  Vinny CastillaSD/COLAge: 39B:R   T:R

Another recent retiree, Castilla unsurprisingly collapsed at the plate in San Diego after the Padres acquired him last winter for Brian Lawrence. Arguably the Nationals won that deal since they at least recouped some of Lawrence's contract via insurance while Castilla cost the Padres at least a couple of games by the time of his release in July. He only returned to the majors in September with the Rockies so he could finish his career in the city where he experienced his only extended success. As 2006 proved, Castilla merits no fantasy consideration even if he unexpectedly returns to the game this summer.

28.  Manny AlexanderSD PadresAge: 35B:R   T:R

After spending the second half of the 1990s as a key utility infielder on the Orioles, Mets, Cubs, and Red Sox, Alexander failed to reach the majors from 2001 through 2003 and then only saw scattered playing time over the past three years. His .265/.323/.363 production with 7 HR and 37 RBI on a 35:58 BB:K in 430 AB for AAA Portland(PCL) unfortunately represented a notable downturn from his .800+ OPS in each of his three preceding seasons in the PCL, so his difficulties in San Diego didn't surprise me at all. Alexander simply isn't a good fantasy option in any standard league.

29.  Andy GreenARI DiamondbacksAge: 29B:R   T:R

The 2005 PCL MVP, Green did not echo his minor league success in any way in Arizona. Missing August with shoulder problems allowed Alberto Callaspo to emerge as the Diamondbacks' new utilityman, and despite the upside suggested by Green's minor league numbers, Arizona allowed him to sign in Japan with Hokkaido for 2007. While he appears perfectly capable of contributing in the majors, we won't see him back in the States until 2007 at the earliest.

30.  Abraham O. NunezPHI PhilliesAge: 30B:S   T:R

Hopefully the arrival of Wes Helms will shift Nunez into a smaller role or at least severely limit his at-bats against southpaws. His respectable plate discipline should translate into a much better BA if he focuses on right-handed pitchers, however with a poor 2.66 G-F and negligible speed skills significantly limiting his quantitative potential, he simply doesn't offer you much upside. Only even consider Nunez during Dollar Days if his spring training performance indicates a good chance for a BA spike given semi-regular infield work with the Phillies.

31.  Mark BellhornSD PadresAge: 32B:S   T:R

With plenty of playing time available throughout the Padres' infield, Bellhorn nevertheless allowed his awful .64 contact rate to torpedo his otherwise decent skills. He remains a patient hitter with good pop, but San Diego never seemed a good fit for someone whose clearly belong in a favorable hitters' park. Still unsigned at the moment, the overloaded market for second baseman likely leaves Bellhorn with an NRI at best, and given his BA problems, he won't merit much thought on draft day unless he lands somewhere like Texas.

First Base Week begins tomorrow.

Today's Fantasy Rx: Andy Green's departure to Japan leaves us without any particularly good fantasy target here, though I anticipate a significant rebound from Abraham Nunez in his second season with the Phillies. No one else here even deserves a minimum bid with Joel Guzman as the only overly respectable reserve-round target for AL teams.

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