The Top Ten Third Baseman in 2022
The third base position is one of the toughest to rank. There are multiple superstars coming off injuries and down seasons, while younger players have made a massive jump.
By Zach Smith
We have accounted for defensive and offensive production since 2019, with an emphasis on 2021. Peter Appel breaks down the best players holding down the hot corner:
Josh Donaldson – NYY Jeimer Candelario – DET Ke’Bryan Hayes – PIT Eduardo Escobar – NYM Ryan McMahon - COL
When he’s on, Bregman is one of the best all-around 3B’s. He’s an above-average defender, but his plate production has declined since 2020.
10. Alex Bregman Houston Astros
If Chapman can return to hitting .250 with 36 bombs and a .848 OPS like in 2019, on top of being the best defender on Earth, No. 9 on this list is going to be criminal in two months.
9. Matt Chapman Toronto Blue Jays
Justin Turner hasn’t stopped hitting since he joined the Dodgers in 2014. He’s got a higher wRC+ than Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rendon, and Manny Machado since 2014.
Moncada will swipe a few bags this year, but his main strength is that he’s a doubles machine, with a rocket for an arm, and counters his high whiff rate with exceptional zone discipline.
7. Yoan Moncada Chicago White Sox
If we get 90% of what Rendon was, we are looking at a fringe top-five third basemen. An elite bat, great defense, and championship mentality is what you get. We just hope he can rebound.
He’s not just one of the best hitters among third baseman; Riley is one of the best hitters in the game. Last year he slashed .303/.367/.531 with 33 home runs and 107 RBIs.
5. Austin Riley Atlanta Braves
Here’s all the stats Devers finished top three in 2021 at third base. Home runs, RBI’s, wRC+, batting average, slugging, doubles, hits, runs, wOBA, xWOBA. That’s basically everything.
He’s played nine years in the MLB and has nine Gold Gloves. That pretty much says it all when it comes to defensive prowess, although five Platinum Gloves add to that elite resume as well.
3. Nolan Arenado St. Louis Cardinals
He has hit at least 32 home runs in five-straight seasons, and in 2021, he hit 28 home runs and swiped 12 bags. Machado has also never struck out above 20% in his whole career.
In the past five years, he’s got three top-three MVP finishes. He’s a three-time All-Star, and a three-time Silver Slugger winner. Ramirez is the king of the hot corner.
1. Jose Ramirez Cleveland Guardians