Andy LaRoche and Wilson Betemit

Andy LaRoche is the best power hitting prospect the Dodgers have had since Paul Konerko. He has good hands, a decent arm but no range or speed. Still, he can flat out hit and has bucket loads of confidence and swagger. He entered the spring in a battle for third but, unfortunately, has done nothing to advance his case to start over Betemit, at this time.

That said, at some point in late 2007 or 2008 he will become the Dodger de facto third baseman. He’s that good and his talent (25-30 Home Run Power) will win out in the end. Another good thing is that his shoulder appears to be healed (he had surgery at the end of last season). Look for him to open the season in Las Vegas.

For now, Wilson Betemit has the inside track on the position. Betemit, however, is far better suited for part-time utility work and his hold on the job is not iron clad. It’s very possible that Nomar will eventually see enough time over at third to qualify in most leagues since Grady Little will be trying to get first baseman James Loney’s potent bat into the line-up as often as possible.

Don’t draft Betemit as anything more than a role player, since there are better third base options out there, but do add LaRoche, if you are in a keeper league. He is going to be a good one



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