Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hottest of the Hot Corner: Ranking MLB's Top 16 Third Basemen—No. 1

MLB: Yankees vs Tigers MAY 10
Part 16 of 16

No. 1 Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

Baseball's highest paid player continues to accumulate numbers and attention. The 12-time All-Star and 3-time MVP is not universally embraced around the baseball world, but Alex Rodriguez keeps turning in eye popping performances.

"A-Rod" missed substantial time the previous two seasons, but still reached the 30-HR and 100 RBI thresholds. In 2007, he amassed other worldly numbers— 54 HR's, 156 RBI's and a .314 batting average.

2,554 hits, 585 HR's, 1,721 RBI's, .304 BA, . 389 OBP, .574 SLG— the numbers border on ridiculous.

Of course, the slugger's statistics are a bit tainted due to his admission of performance enhancing drugs. Clearly, he has Hall of Fame numbers— but that's another debate for another time.

As long as every player he drives home or every time he crosses the dish himself counts as one run, past "PED" use has little bearing on his current ranking amongst his peers at the hot corner. A-Rod is still hanging onto the top spot, but Longoria and Wright are closing in fast.

The Final Word

As you can see, Major League Baseball boasts a fine array of talent at the hot corner. Some have been long recognized stars, while others are still in the process of establishing themselves as household names.

Although the biggest names such as Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen are advancing in age, the position will remain in good hands for many years to come. A highly talented cast of young players have a chance at gaining similar stature— led by David Wright, Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, Pablo Sandoval, Mark Reynolds, and Casey McGehee.

And, how long will it be before David Freese pushes his name into the new wave of stars?

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