Tom Nichols continues his preview of the Dragons roster, covering third base in this installment:

David Vidal is expected to take over as the Dragons starting third baseman in 2011.

After signing with the Reds, Vidal spent most of the summer of 2010 with the Arizona League Reds in Goodyear.

Vidal primarily hit in the third spot in the batting order for the AZL Reds and batted .297 with six homers and 34 RBI in 36 games. Vidal also played briefly with Billings in 2010 and got a one-week cup of coffee with the Dragons. But if you combine his numbers at Miami Dade with what he did in the AZL, you get some pretty impressive production. In 78 games (a little more than one-half of a Midwest League season), he belted 20 home runs and drove in 95 runs.

Vidal, who was born in Puerto Rico but went to high school in Miami, could be a player who shows up on the prospect landscape with a solid 2011 in Dayton.

Frank Pfister is a candidate to return to Dayton in 2011 in more of a utility role. His primary position is third base, but he played solid defense in 10 games at first base for the Dragons in 2010. Pfister might be a better defensive first baseman than any of those players profiled in the first base preview. Pfister is 24 years old, slightly older than most Midwest League players, but every good MWL needs a veteran leader, and Pfister could fill that role.

Oliver Santos is another natural third baseman who is also in the mix for a utility role with the Dragons in 2011. Like Pfister, Santos is 24 years old. He played for Delino DeShields at Billings in 2010 as the Mustangs’ everyday third sacker and batted .274 with no home runs and 29 runs batted in. He appeared in 62 games. His defense is reported to be outstanding (he committed just seven errors in 2010).

From the way it sounds to me, Vidal might be a player to watch. Nichols talks alot about Pfister’s leadership role, etc., but when you’re old for your league and will likely be repeating a level, your future is limited. Santos is 24 also, and he’s another that really will need to step up to continue his professional baseball career.