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September 16, 2013

Five to Watch

Hot Corner Conundrums

by Ben Carsley


Some would say that forecasting 2014 rosters in September 2013 is a fool’s errand. These people either a) don’t know fools, b) don’t run errands, or c) don’t play in dynasty leagues. For as any experienced owner knows, if you’re not already thinking about your keepers for 2014, you’re doing it wrong.

With that in mind, now is as good a time as any to take a look at five tenuous third-base situations around the league. While there are some potential future fantasy studs listed below, many of these youngsters face uncertain playing time and roster security headed into next year.

Given that the best third basemen about to hit the market include the likes of Kevin Youkilis, Eric Chavez, Michael Young, and Juan Uribe, you can expect that many teams will be looking internally to fill their holes at the hot corner.

Arizona Diamondbacks
The Incumbent: Martin Prado/Eric Chavez
Potential Challengers: Matt Davidson, Chris Owings

Thanks to the defensive versatility of Mr. Prado, the Diamondbacks have one of the most unique third base situations in baseball. The D’backs’ lineup is currently configured so that Prado generally plays third base against lefties but often shifts to left field or second base against righties, allowing Chavez to man the hot corner. With Chavez potentially set to depart this offseason and two of Arizona’s better prospects knocking on the door, fantasy owners will have plenty to pay attention to what happens this offseason and next spring.

Those two youngsters are Davidson and Owings: powerful prospects with significant swing-and-miss to their games, but with tantalizing upside nonetheless. Davidson is perhaps the best bet to see playing time at third base when Prado isn’t there next season. The 22-year-old hit .280/.350/.481 in Triple-A this season, and while the average was buoyed by a .359 BABIP that slugging percentage is legitimate. Owings has zero professional experience at third base but is a good defender at short and (pure speculation) could likely make the shift to third without issue. However, fantasy owners should hope he wrestles the shortstop job from Didi Gregorius, as he’s a much more exciting offensive option.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (09/16)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Injured... (09/10)
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Fantasy Article Five to Watch: The Sav... (09/20)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The... (09/16)

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