In the second half of the 2012 season, baseball’s RBI leader wasn’t Robinson Cano as it had been the year before. It wasn’t Adrian Gonzalez, Buster Posey, or Albert Pujols either. It wasn’t even Triple Crown winning Miguel Cabrera. No, in the second half of the 2012 season the RBI crown went to none of those All-Star players. In fact, it didn’t even go to an All-Star at all.
It went to Chase Headley.
Despite hitting in the black hole that is Petco Park, no player in the MLB managed more RBI in the second half of last season than Headley. In 75 games played after being snubbed from the All-Star game, the San Diego Padres third baseman hit a .308/.386/.592 line to go along with 56 runs scores, 23 home runs, and a league leading 73 RBI.
That’s nearly an RBI per game.
It’s also five more than Cabrera managed in the second half, 10 more than Gonzalez, 19 more than Pujols, and 20 more than Josh Hamilton. Yet those four players are going several rounds before Headley in 2013 drafts.
45th overall is where Headley ranks heading into the 2013 campaign on most fantasy baseball draft boards, which is sixth among third basemen. He’s certainly not a sleeper, but that makes him a fourth or fifth round pick. It also makes him an absolute steal.
Headley is good for 20 to 30 home runs, about 100 RBI, a .280 average and a dozen or so steals, making him just as complete a player as several of the third baseman going ahead of him in drafts. He’s only 29 years old, which leaves plenty of room for him to build on last season’s second half explosion, and if he can even come close to replicating those second half stats he could be a top three third baseman when it’s all said and done.
So if you happen to be searching for a solid option at third base without spending a top round draft pick, don’t forget about the Padres third baseman. In the fourth or fifth round, he’s about as good as good gets.