38-year old righty swinging Casey Blake likely has the edge for the starting 3B job heading into spring training. Blake played in 63 games for the Dodgers last year and he was 51 of 202 (.252 avg, .713 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 4 homers, 26 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He has now played in 1,265 games in his first 13 years in the majors and he is 1,186 of 4,500 (.264 avg, .778 OPS) with 644 runs scored, 167 homers, 616 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. Blake played in 45 games at 3B last year for the Dodgers and he had 6 errors while showing below average range.
26-year old righty swinging Jordan Pacheco will likely challenge Blake this spring. He comes into this season as the Rockies’ #17 prospect according to Baseball America. He played in 21 games for the Rockies last year and he was 24 of 84 (.286 avg, .687 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 2 homers and 14 RBIs. He also played in 97 games in AAA-ball last year and he was 101 of 363 (.278 avg, .721 OPS) with 57 runs scored, 3 homers, 50 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He had 2 errors in 7 games at 3B last year for the Rockies while showing outstanding range.
23-year old righty swinging D.J. LeMahieu comes into this year as the Rockies’ #13 prospect according to Baseball America. LaMahieu played in 37 games for the Cubs last year and he was 15 of 60 (.250 avg, .546 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers and 4 RBIs. He also played in 108 games in AA+AAA-ball last year in which he was 132 of 414 (.319 avg, .777 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 5 homers, 50 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. He had 4 errors in 11 games at 3B for the Cubs last year while showing good range. He could also win the starting 3B for the Rockies with a big spring.
27-year old righty swinging Brandon Wood played in 105 games for the Dodgers & Pirates last year and he was 54 of 250 (.216 avg, .610 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 7 homers and 31 RBIs. Wood has now played in 272 games in his first five years in the majors and he is 130 of 700 (.186 avg, .513 OPS) with 65 runs scored, 18 homers, 64 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Wood has whiffed an amazingly awful 218 times while only walking 32 times so far in this career, as he is a hacker at the plate. Wood played in 61 games at 3B last year and he only had 3 errors there while showing good range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 3B IN 2012: C-