Teams generally expect massive offensive production out of their corner infielders, including third base. While that’s usually the case, aside from Adrian Beltre (.561), Pablo Sandoval (.552 SLG), and Aramis Ramirez (.510 SLG), no other third basemen in baseball had a slugging percentage over .500 during 2011. In addition, only Mark Reynolds (37 HR), Adrian Beltre (32 HR), Evan Longoria (31 HR), Aramis Ramirez (26 HR), and Pablo Sandoval (23 HR) enjoyed twenty-plus homerun seasons. Considering the seeming downward trend of complete-package third baseman, it’s possible un-flashy, yet all-around solid players like Alberto Callaspo could be in-line for a bigger spotlight.
Alberto Callaspo never really showed much power in his career, but then again, as a natural middle-infielder, it wasn’t really expected. In fact, prior to the Major Leagues, Callaspo only played 26 games at third base in the Minors. It wasn’t until 2010 did Callaspo get a real look at the hot corner, playing 1134 innings at third for the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels. The switch-hitter posted a pretty bad .265/.302/.374 line in 2010–but added a valuable 6.3 UZR/150. The combination of subpar offense and great defense was enough for a 1.4 fWAR–a value that only improved 2011. Continue reading