Chase Utley is making me looking like a genius. Utley, No. 1 in our second base rankings, went 5-for-5 with a two-run home run Sunday as Team USA topped the San Francisco Giants 12-7 in a World Baseball Classic tuneup. If he keeps it up, Utley could bat 1.000 this season. That would be awesome But we've shifted over to third basemen now, so I'll try to stay on topic.

There's no surprise at the top - Alex Rodriguez is one of the two best players in the game (along with Albert Pujols). Still, you'd have to twist my arm to get me to draft the guy. Just a matter of principle - I've never been a big fan, but this picture really sealed it for me. Disgusting. Like I needed another reason to dislike the guy. I'm staying on topic. Seriously.


David Wright's just a monster. In fact, his 2005 numbers look an awful lot like Utley's, but his ceiling is higher. For one, he just turned 23. For another, he'll have a spot in the middle of an imposing Mets batting order. Trust me, this guy is just getting started.

Speaking of young, Miguel Cabrera doesn't turn 23 until next month. Hard to believe he's got two 33-homer seasons under his belt already. His .323 batting average a year ago was third-best in the NL, but count me among those who are concerned about the lack of a supporting cast in Florida. How many chances will he have to drive in runs with Eric Reed or Hanley Ramirez leading off? Who's going to pitch to Cabrera, given the rest of the rag-tag cast in Florida? I worry, is all I'm saying, and I agree with Childs that Wright is a slightly better pick. But Cabrera still has late first-round talent. Throw in the ultra-versatile Chone Figgins and you're looking at four third basemen worthy of a pick in the top 20 pick in mixed leagues.

The talent pool drops off a bit after the first four, though Aramis Ramirez and Troy Glaus won't exactly drag you down. I'm not so high on Morgan Ensberg, who really tailed off in the second half last season. He had 24 homers and 65 RBIs before the All-Star break, 12 and 36 after. I think his second-half stats are more in line with what you should expect. His 36 HRs in 2005 will be his career high when all is said and done.

Don't forget about Scott Rolen, who's recovering from shoulder surgery. His power numbers could slip a bit, but he went .314-34-124 in 2004. Even with a dropoff, he'll put up solid numbers and could be a bargain on draft day. Same goes for Mike Lowell, a top-five caliber third baseman just a few years ago. Last season had to be a fluke. Didn't it?

Keeper leaguers take note - there's lots of young talent to like here, including Ryan Zimmerman, who hit .397 after being rushed to the majors. Zimmerman, the fourth overall pick in last summer's draft, needs some time to develop, but he's going to be a great hitter in time. Edwin Encarnacion should approach 20 homers in his first full season in the bigs, but he's only 23 and a bit of a free swinger, so anticipate some rough spots.

Over in the AL, Toronto's Aaron Hill is an emerging talent who could be worth taking a chance on near the end of a draft. He hit .359 in his first six weeks in the majors before coming back to earth in the second half. Cleveland could be tempted to go with youngster Andy Marte over incumbent Aaron Boone. Marte, 23, is among the best prospects in baseball and hit 20 or more homers in the minors in three of the past four seasons. With a little plate discipline, he'll be among the top 15 at his position a year from now. If Marte doesn't make the opening day roster, look for him to be up and playing regularly by August.

A couple of guys from the second base list - Milwaukee's Bill Hall and Tampa Bay's Jorge Cantu - qualify at third as well. Neither one will hurt you.