This list highlights the top ten sleepers at the third base position for the 2013 MLB season. My fantasy sleeper lists contain players that I believe will strongly outperform expectations and are worth considering during your fantasy baseball draft. Although all of the players on this list will not be worthy of a draft pick, players may prove their value after the season has started and may be a smart waiver wire acquisition for your team. View my list for top ten sleepers regardless of position for the 2013 season here on Yahoo! Voices. Looking for the top 10 overall third base rankings for 2013, check here on Yahoo! Voices.
#10. Greg Dobbs – Miami Marlins
Greg Dobbs is a 34 year old journeyman who has not had a breakout season with any of the three MLB teams he has played with. Dobbs played in 120 games last season and had a batting average of .285 with 5 home runs and 39 RBI. Dobbs is a stretch, but a decent sleeper option at third base if you are desperate.
#9. Ryan Wheeler – Colorado Rockies
Ryan Wheeler was recently acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade to the Colorado Rockies. This was not a popular move among Rockies’ fans due to their need of pitching, but Wheeler could have a breakout year in the Rockies lineup. In the 2012 season for AAA Reno, Wheeler had a .572 slugging percentage, 15 home runs, and 90 RBI in 93 games. Although he is still a deep sleeper, keep your eye on Wheeler during the beginning to middle of the season to see if he lands a starting spot in the infield.
#8. Josh Donaldson – Oakland A’s
The Oakland A’s had a surprise season in 2012 and made it into the ALDS where they lost to the Detroit Tigers. One of the standouts at the end of the season was third baseman Josh Donaldson. Donaldson had a solid August and September, and looked good in his five games in the postseason. In the two last full months of the season Donaldson had 8 home runs and 26 RBI. After playing in 75 games last season, look for Donaldson to play the entire 2013 season as the starting third baseman for the Oakland A’s, and to be a nice sleeper candidate.
#7. Eduardo Nunez – New York Yankees
After the signing of Kevin Youkilis, Eduardo Nunez became a deep sleeper for the New York Yankees. Nunez is currently listed as the backup option at third base, second base, and at shortstop. With many injuries including Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, Nunez should get a solid chance to start off the season playing nearly every day and should fill in throughout the year. He has only played three partial seasons in the majors and is 25 years old. Draft Nunez as an injury backup and to possibly start off the season on your roster as players start to get healthy after surgery, like Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez.
#6. Andrew Romine – Los Angeles Angels
With the loss of infielder Maicer Izturis due to free agency, an opportunity opens up for Andrew Romine on the Los Angeles Angels’ roster. In the past three seasons, Romine has played in a total of only 27 games. The Angels recently signed Luis Rodriguez and have Alberto Callaspo on the depth chart as the starter, but Romine should still get a shot somewhere on the infield. Romine is not a slugger, but a threat on the bases who has averaged a .277 batting average in the minors and has racked up 167 steals.
#5. Matt Dominguez – Houston Astros
The 23 year-old Matt Dominguez will get his opportunity to start at third base for the Houston Astros who are making the switch from the National League to the American League. Even if Dominguez struggles at third base, he should have an opportunity to become the designated hitter. In limited playing time over 48 games for the Florida Marlins and Astros, he averaged .273 with 5 home runs and 18 RBI. You should be able to pick up Dominguez on the waiver wire a couple weeks into the season. Track his progress and be ready to pick him up if he starts to find his groove offensively for the Astros.
#4. Trevor Plouffe – Minnesota Twins
Although he cooled off at the end of the 2012 season, Trevor Plouffe had a solid season from a power standpoint with 24 home runs and 55 RBI. Plouffe is the starting third baseman for the Minnesota Twins this season, and will look to improve his numbers in a full year with the team after playing in a career high 119 games. Plouffe is worth a look during the end of your draft, but he should be available on the waiver wire at the beginning of the season.
#3. Lonnie Chisenhall – Cleveland Indians
Jack Hannahan recently signed with the Cincinnati Reds, leaving the starting third base spot open to 24 year-old Lonnie Chisenhall. In 43 games, he batted .268 with 5 home runs and 16 RBI. Throughout his limited major league career and the minors, Chisenhall has been very efficient at getting on base with an .800 OPS in the minors and a .716 OPS in the majors over 109 games. As the starter for the Cleveland Indians, he has a real chance to become a valuable fantasy prospect.
#2. Luis Cruz – Los Angeles Dodgers
Luis Cruz will get the opportunity to start for the Los Angeles Dodgers at third base in 2013. Cruz has spent most of his career in the minors and played a career high 78 games in the majors this past season. In those games, he averaged .297 with 6 home runs and 40 RBI. The Dodgers should have a strong season and Cruz will get every opportunity to succeed at third base. Although he is still a sleeper, he is a solid pick for a backup 3B option for your fantasy team, and at least an option to watch on the waiver wire through the start of the season.
#1. Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds
Todd Frazier had a solid rookie season in 128 games with 19 home runs, 67 RBI, 6 triples, and a .273 batting average. Frazier will start the 2013 season as the Cincinnati Reds’ third baseman. Frazier finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. The one major roadblock for Frazier is the recent signing of Jack Hannahan. Although Frazier still looks like the starter, keep track of the depth chart and where the Reds plan on putting Hannahan in the lineup. Even with the addition of Hannahan, Todd Frazier is the #1 sleeper at third base for the 2013 season.
*All statistics from MLB via MLB.com