Top 10 Best MLB Third Basemen for the 2024 Season

Mainstays like José Ramírez and Manny Machado are joined by newcomers Royce Lewis and Josh Jung on the list of the top third basemen in the game.

Jose Ramirez
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 03: Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians is greeted by teammates after scoring a run in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on October 03, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

One of the deepest positions in the sport with a strong sextet who have stayed at the top of the rankings for the past several seasons, third base is beginning to see something of a youth movement building.

Previous stalwarts at the hot corner like Justin Turner and Kris Bryant have moved off the position, while Josh Donaldson had another setback at age 37. Similarly, Anthony Rendon has faced several injury setbacks over the past few years, as has Yoán Moncada.

Though we don’t know what will come of the newest class of young third basemen, one could make a convincing case that the top six players on this list will all have a spot awaiting them in Cooperstown if their career trajectories stay on course.

These are the top 10 third basemen in baseball.

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The following rankings were made by our senior staff members at Just Baseball. Jack McMullen, Peter Appel, Aram Leighton, Ryan Finkelstein, Leo Morgenstern and Colby Olson each created their top player lists at each position, and we took the composite average score to set our 2024 rankings.

Honorable Mentions: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Max Muncy

Ever since Ke’Bryan Hayes debuted in 2020 and finished sixth in National League Rookie of the Year Award voting, he’s been poised to break out. That still hasn’t happened at the plate, despite his reaching 15 home runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023 during another injury-plagued campaign.

Hayes posted an .874 OPS after returning from lower back inflammation on Aug. 1 and started his offseason even better. He won his first Gold Glove Award, ending divisional rival Nolan Arenado’s 10-year Gold Glove streak at the third base.

Since the start of the 2018 season, only six players in the game have hit more than Max Muncy’s 175 home runs. He followed a down campaign in 2022 with his first 100-RBI season in 2023. He also took over for Turner at the hot corner for the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking his first season as a full-time third baseman in his eight-year career. While his defense can be spotty, expect Muncy to continue drawing walks and swatting extra-base hits in his age-33 season.

10. Matt Chapman

Age in 2024: 31

2023 Stats: 581 PA, .240/.330/.424, 17 HR, 54 RBI, 4 SB, 110 wRC+, 3.5 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 12 DRS, 4 OAA

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Chapman’s name may never come up when discussing the best third basemen in the sport — that will happen when you spend seven seasons in Oakland and Toronto — but a large majority of clubs would love his consistency on their roster.

His 141 home runs since the start of 2018 are good for sixth-most among third basemen, and regardless of which version of WAR you prefer, he ranks in the top five at the position during that time. Include his four Gold Glove Awards, a total that’s surpassed by only one active infielder, and one would have to conclude that Chapman does it all quite well.

Wherever he ends up in free agency, Chapman will bring arguably the greatest ability around: availability. Since his rookie campaign in 2017, no one at the position has played more games. His resumé might be missing a 100-RBI season, his power numbers have dipped in recent years, and he’s striking out at a 30% clip since 2019. But is he still one of the top 10 third basemen in the game? Undoubtedly.

9. Josh Jung

Age in 2024: 26

2023 Stats: 515 PA, .266/.315/.467, 23 HR, 70 RBI, 1 SB, 110 wRC+, 2.5 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 0 DRS, 5 OAA


Jung followed up a disappointing showing in 2022 with a 2023 performance that earned him a fourth-place finish in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

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The No. 8 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft earned a place in the 2023 All-Star Game by hitting .280 with 19 home runs and 56 RBI in the first half. A left thumb fracture derailed his second half, but he came back to slash .308/.329/.538 in the playoffs, aiding the Texas Rangers to their first World Series Championship in the 62-year history of the franchise.

If the sophomore slump strikes Jung in his age-26 season, it may be down to the law of averages. His .340 BABIP was substantially higher than the league average of .295 last season. However, Jung does have an innate ability for hitting the ball on the sweet spot, which is why he excelled in average exit velocity (87%), barrel percentage (77%) and hard-hit percentage (82%). Perhaps his postseason success (.867 OPS in 17 games) will give him further momentum to continue as one of the best on the left side of the infield.

8. Isaac Paredes

Age in 2024: 25

2023 Stats: 571 PA, .250/.352/.488, 31 HR, 98 RBI, 1 SB, 137 wRC+, 4.3 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 2 DRS, 0 OAA


Three third basemen hit at least 31 home runs and recorded at least 98 RBI last season. You may have identified Muncy and Rafael Devers rather quickly (and been wrong about plenty of others). The one you missed? Isaac Paredes of the Tampa Bay Rays. Part of the Chris Archer trade tree that dates back to 2018, Paredes was acquired from the Detroit Tigers for Austin Meadows ahead of the 2022 campaign.

A league-average defender, the soon-to-be 25-year-old earned his 4.2 bWAR entirely from his bat. Though he may not make hard contact and barrel up a baseball often, Paredes puts the ball in play and draws his walks better than average.

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The aesthetics of Tropicana Field leave a lot to be desired, but Paredes loved the left field foul pole positioned 315 ft. from home plate. Since only two qualified hitters pulled more balls in the air than Paredes, it was a match made in St. Petersburg. Expect this classic product of the Rays to continue to produce for manager Kevin Cash.

7. Royce Lewis

Age in 2024: 25

2023 Stats: 239 PA, .309/.372/.548, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 6 SB, 155 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 2 DRS, 2 OAA


To some, an even bigger surprise than Paredes has been Royce Lewis. Despite having only 70 career games under his belt, the first-overall pick from the 2017 MLB Draft has already made a substantial impact since his debut in 2022. He missed the majority of that season with a right knee injury, and although he came back in late May of 2023, he would take two more trips to the IL in July and September.

Yet when healthy, he’s put up a 149 OPS+ with the Minnesota Twins. Homering in 6.3% of his plate appearances last year, Lewis would have finished with the fourth-highest home run rate in the AL had he qualified.

Two home runs in his first two postseason at-bats, something only two other rookies had ever accomplished, plus two more home runs in the Division Series gave him four in just six playoff games. If he can avoid the infirmary during the first half, put the age-25 third baseman down for his first All-Star appearance in 2024. 

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6. Nolan Arenado

Age in 2024: 33

2023 Stats: 612 PA, .266/.315/.459, 26 HR, 93 RBI, 3 SB, 107 wRC+, 2.6 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 1 DRS, 5 OAA


The oldest player in the top 10, Arenado suffered his worst all-around season as a big leaguer in 2023. He still managed 26 home runs and 93 RBI for the first St. Louis Cardinals squad to lose 91 games since 1990. But gone was his annual Gold Glove Award, ending a streak of 10 consecutive victories to start a career, something only he and Ichiro Suzuki have ever accomplished.

As consistent as fellow El Toro High School third baseman Matt Chapman may be, Arenado is a notch above. The 32-year-old may have only one Silver Slugger Award to show for the past four seasons, but he was third in NL MVP voting in 2022 and is one of the hardest-working players of the era. There’s little doubt Arenado will address his (relatively) high strikeout rate (16.5%), his low walk rate (6.7%) and his ground ball percentage (38.8%), which took a nasty jump last year.

5. Rafael Devers

Age in 2024: 27

2023 Stats: 656 PA, .271/.351/.500, 33 HR, 100 RBI, 5 SB, 124 wRC+, 3.1 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -9 DRS, -9 OAA

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A seven-year veteran and still only 27 years old, Devers is in the prime of his career. He just notched the third 30-homer and 100-RBI season of his career, something only five other active players have done more often (Arenado is tops with seven on the back of his baseball card).

Devers has never been an average defender at third base, but Boston is fine with him being slightly below average. Outs Above Average suggests he is one of the worst at the position (-24 OAA) since his debut in 2017, but most of those ahead of him have been so bad that they required a move to first base. Regardless, Raffy rakes. Simply take a look at his Baseball Savant page to find more red than a Red Sox alternate jersey. Expect more of the same from Beantown’s $331 million man.

4. Manny Machado

Age in 2024: 31

2023 Stats: 601 PA, .258/.319/.462, 30 HR, 91 RBI, 3 SB, 114 wRC+, 3.5 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 4 DRS, 11 OAA


Machado is the last great hope for a player to reach 3,000 career hits in our lifetime. What gives him more favorable odds than anyone else is his ability to post, even when suffering injuries. Case in point: He returned after missing only 13 games with a fractured hand suffered on a hit-by-pitch in 2023. The year before, he played well enough through a severe ankle sprain to finish second in NL MVP voting.

At 944 RBI in his career, Machado will reach 1,000 at some point this season. If Joey Votto and Evan Longoria happen to call it quits, Machado will be one of only eight active players to reach the milestone (so long as he’s able to pass José Abreu’s 953 RBI en route.)

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His 115 OPS+ last year may have been his worst since 2019, but his .268 BABIP — 124th out of 135 qualified hitters — could have had something to do with that. All of which is to say, Machado will bounce back to his Hall of Fame caliber self. 

3. Alex Bregman

Age in 2024: 30

2023 Stats: 724 PA, .262/.363/.441, 25 HR, 98 RBI, 3 SB, 125 wRC+, 4.3 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 5 DRS, 0 OAA


Whether it is because he’s coming off a 4.9 bWAR season in 2023 or going into 2024 in the last year of his deal with the Astros, Bregman is poised to provide run production to the top of the order once again. While he has garnered down-ballot MVP attention the last two campaigns, the almost 30-year-old has suffered a drop in OPS+ since his first four big league seasons, going from 144 between 2016-19 to 123 from 2020-23.

Still, Bregman is as professional of a hitter as there comes. Taking a page out of former teammate Michael Brantley’s book on selectivity, he has ranked above the 90th percentile in each of the past six seasons in K%, Whiff% and Chase Rate. He’s also coming off one of the best defensive seasons of his career, earning a spot as a finalist for the AL Gold Glove Award.

Just as Bregman can depend on agent Scott Boras to make sure he gets paid next offseason, you can depend on Bregman to be one of the best at third base again.

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2. Austin Riley

Age in 2024: 27

2023 Stats: 715 PA, .281/.345/.516, 37 HR, 97 RBI, 3 SB, 127 wRC+, 5.2 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 9 DRS, 0 OAA


Since the start of the 2021 season when he helped Atlanta win their first World Series in 26 years, Riley has been the best third baseman in the National League. (Don’t believe me? Both versions of WAR recognize his superiority.) He’s just one of seven players in MLB with 30 home runs in each of the past three seasons. A trio of top-10 finishes for NL MVP in that time further underlines his value.

Riley has improved his walk rate each year but may never be a huge on-base guy with sluggers like Matt Olson and Marcell Ozuna hitting behind him in the lineup. No one’s pitching around him. His defense at the hot corner has also improved, especially after rumblings of a position change throughout his time in the minors. A finalist for the NL Gold Glove Award last season, Riley put those worries to bed.

Entering his age-27 season, 2024 may end up Riley’s best yet with a stacked lineup surrounding him once again.

1. José Ramírez

Age in 2024: 31

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2023 Stats: 691 PA, .282/.356/.475, 24 HR, 80 RBI, 28 SB, 123 wRC+, 5.1 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 1 DRS, 6 OAA


Top 10 in AL MVP voting the last four years and six of the last seven. Five selections to the All-Star Game. Four Silver Slugger Awards. One infamous TKO.

The on-field captain of the Cleveland Guardians has been incredibly reliable since transitioning from shortstop to third base in 2016. Other than missing a month with a fractured hamate bone in 2019, Ramírez has been incredibly steady over the last eight seasons. Over that time, only Mookie Betts and Mike Trout have accumulated more WAR. 

Ramírez simply does everything well. He strikes out less than almost every big leaguer (12.0% for his career), yet frequently has an expected slugging percentage in the 80th percentile. There’s also his sneaky speed which has aided him in swiping 20 or more bases six times. He’s a perennial finalist for the Gold Glove Award but has yet to add one to his trophy case.

It’s been the makings of a Hall of Fame career that could eventually see Ramírez join an even smaller club of players with 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases when it’s all said and done.