With teams in the midst of spring training, it’s time to break down some more position rankings. As we finish up the rest of the infield, breaking down the best 3rd baseman are up next on the docket. Who are the Top 10 third basemen entering the 2017 season?
- Josh Donaldson (Blue Jays)
Josh Donaldson tops the list as the best 3rd baseman in baseball. It’s hard to argue against the 2015 AL MVP award winner. He wasn’t too shabby in 2016 either slashing a batting line of .284 average/.404 On Base Percentage/.549 Slugging Percentage. Donaldson also jacked 37 homers as well. The Blue Jays All-Star has had a WAR of 7.3 or better the past four seasons. That’s flat out an incredible achievement.
2. Kris Bryant (Cubs)
You can make the argument that Bryant is becoming one of the faces of baseball. The reigning NL MVP is just 25 and might realistically be the best infielder in baseball. Bryant just hit a .292/.385/.554 batting line and plays multiple positions in the field. I have Donaldson over Bryant but it’s extremely close.
3. Manny Machado (Orioles)
Manny Machado is an elite player in more ways than one. First, he can flat out hit with a batting line of .294/.343/.533. He also jacked 37 homers this past year showing an elite power stroke. He is also an elite defensive player creating a 2.2 War with his glove alone. Machado, 24, is also athletic enough to play a terrific shortstop as well.
4. Nolan Arenado (Rockies)
The Machado and Arenado argument couldn’t have been much closer to who is the 3rd best at the position. Arenado’s batting line of .294/.362/.570 is very comparable to Machado’s. Over the past two seasons, Arenado has hit 42 homers at home and 35 on the road which shows he isn’t just a product of hitter-friendly Coors field. The Rockies 3rd baseman was also a 2.2 defensive WAR player.
5. Adrian Beltre (Rangers)
Beltre will turn 38 by the start of the upcoming season but that doesn’t mean he still isn’t a productive player. Beltre could realistically be the best defensive 3rd baseman ever and was a 3 WAR defensive player at his peak. Now he may be a step slower but he still is great defensively and still swings a hot bat hitting .300 and 31 home runs in 2016.
6. Jake Lamb (Diamondbacks)
Lamb, 26, seems to be on the cusp of something great. Lamb hit .249 this year despite a bad second half at .197. He did jack 29 home runs to go with along with a dynamic slugging percentage .509. Entering his 4th season, expect the Diamondbacks third baseman to put it all together in 2017.
7. Alex Bregman (Astros)
Bregman is one of the highly touted prospects from a year ago. While he only hit .264 in brief major league action, he scorched minor league pitching. Heading into age 23, expect Bregman to become one of the bright young stars in baseball.
8. Jose Ramirez (Indians)
Ramirez is a bit of a one year wonder of sorts. In 2015 he hit just .219 and upped his average all the way to .312 this past season. Ramirez is a spark plug for the Indians offense stealing 22 bases and constantly creating havoc for opposing pitchers.
9. Kyle Seager (Mariners)
Seager is the older brother of Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager who tops the list as best at the position. The Mariners 3rd baseman is pretty darn good in his own right. He hit 30 home runs this past season to go with a .278 average. He is also a superior defensive player with a 2.0 WAR with his glove.
10. Evan Longoria (Rays)
Longoria is still the Rays face of the franchise. After a career-high 36 home runs in 2016, it’s safe to say Longoria still has tread left on the tires. Longoria, 31, is about to enter his 10th season as a Tampa Bay Ray which is something that’s unheard of for a small market team.
Honorable Mention: Justin Turner (Dodgers), Anthony Rendon (Nationals), Mike Moustakas (Royals), Todd Frazier (White Sox), Nick Castellanos (Tigers)