Alright. Throughout the day I've analyzed some of the Top Young Third Basemen in the majors. Now, I'll rank these guys in the order I think you should pick them up if you are in need of a 3B/CI. First will be short-term rankings. Please keep in mind that rookies are the toughest players to predict because we are basing these predictions on easily compromised minor league numbers and speculation. A guy like Ryan Braun could hit for a good average if his 2007 AAA numbers carry over, but as this is somewhat unlikely, I'm not going to count on him hitting .300 for me.
Alongside each player I've listed stats. These are not scientifically created. They came off the top of my head, and they are only there to compare the different skills of the different players. If your team needs steals, you'd be better off taking Iwamura or Gordon or Braun. If you need power and can afford a slightly lower BA, Reynolds might be your man. The numbers are for comparative purposes only, so please do not hold me to them.
Another note: these rankings are very flexible. A lot of the value of these guys comes in their actually playing (in the case of Encarnacion and Reynolds) and in their spot in the order. Most of these guys are batting at the back of their team's order, and if they were to be moved up their RBIs and Runs would change accordingly.
One more thing. After I plopped down the raw numbers next to each player, I realized that none are perfect. Some are strong in only one category, some two. But none can help you in all three, so the order I have them in will change based on every team's need. Pick up the one that suits your team.
Akinori Iwamura | .277 | 18 HR | 22 SB
Edwin Encarnacion | .280 | 20 HR | 8 SB
Alex Gordon | .263 | 20 HR | 20 SB
Ryan Braun | .273 | 15 HR | 15 SBs
Kevin Kouzmanoff | .283 | 22 HR | 3 SB
Mark Reynolds | .263 | 25 HR | 3 SB
Andy LaRoche | .280 | 12 HR | 5 SB
Long-term rankings will come tonight!