Most Underrated: Third Baseman

By: Chris Dommermuth

Every week, we break down a position for fantasy baseball. I’ll have an overrated and underrated player for the position that week. Overrated doesn’t mean they’re “busts,” or even bad players. It just means the given player is being drafted way too high for the production he’ll give you this upcoming season.

The most underrated third baseman is far-and-away Aramis Ramirez. I’m hearing a lot of negative talk about his home and away splits. He has hit much better at Wrigley field, over the last few seasons, but it hasn’t been as crazy as people are making it out to be. For instance, he hit .282 last season on the road. If he does that for the season, I think owners would be fine with that.

Aramiz Ramirez has a career .270 batting average in Miller Park. That’s more of the Brewers always having a solid pitching staff, then the ball park in itself. The Brewers have had some pretty quality arms come through like Ben Sheets, C.C. Sabathia, Zach Greinke, Yavani Gallardo, Doug Davis (don’t laugh), Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf and Chris Capuano (O.K. now you can laugh). Miller Park is more of a hitters park than anything, he should be able to sustain the power at home.

He’ll hit no matter where he plays, and with Ryan Braun now in the lineup for the whole season, Aramis will have better lineup protection the whole season then he did the last few seasons with the Cubs. Ryan Braun, Corey Hart. and Rickie Weeks are better then Geovanny SotoCarlos Pena and Alfonso Soriano. Don’t believe me? Look at the stats (I’m kidding, I know you blindly follow my opinion).

Over his last 8 seasons, Aramis has averaged 28 HR’s, 96 RBI’s, and a .297 batting average. That includes his injury shortened 2009 where he only played 82 games. So over a full season, those numbers are closer to about 30 and 100.

His bat has slowed some, which is understandable for any player coming out of the prime of their career, but he’s still just going into his age-34 season. His strikeout numbers were the lowest they’ve been since he was 26. That leads me to believe he’s become a smarter hitter as his skills start to diminish. His drop off through age shouldn’t be too steep if he keeps his improved plate discipline.

Aramis is being taken in the 6th round with an ADP (average draft position) of about 68. He’ll likely match some of the stats of Ryan Zimmerman and Pablo Sandoval, but it being taken a couple rounds later. If the price for Youk, Panda, Wright or Zim strikes you as too high, don’t be afraid to snap up Ramirez as a possibly underrated asset at a weak position. Look for him to finish the season with a line of .300/30/95. Getting that production in the 6th round would be a steal and I guarantee he finishes the season in the top-5 of ESPN.com’s player rater.

For other underrated players by position, click the links below:

Catcher

Firstbase

Secondbase

Shortstop

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