2018 Third Base Rankings: Top 30

We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2018 rankings. In addition to the rankings, we will pose a number of questions to our panel covering topics such as reaches and targets, players to avoid, and late-round impact players.

Taking part in our rankings will be Kevin Jebens, Jim Finch, Kenny Garvey, Josh Coleman, Dan Marcus, Mike Sheehan and Mike (the cop) Levin. Our seven “experts” each ranked their top 30 third basemen for the 2018 season.

Players marked N/R were not ranked inside the top 30 by that particular person. We used a 10 games started minimum requirement for eligibility, so if you don’t see someone, they either do not qualify or were not worthy (or everyone missed him — it happens).

If you feel we overlooked someone or would like to debate a player’s ranking, feel free to do so in the comment section below.

Rank Player Team Jim Kevin Josh Kenny Mike L Mike S Dan
1 Nolan Arenado Rockies 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 Kris Bryant Cubs 2 2 2 2 3 2 2
3 Manny Machado Orioles 3 3 3 3 7 3 3
4 Freddie Freeman Braves 5 6 4 4 4 4 4
5 Josh Donaldson Blue Jays 4 4 5 5 5 5 5
6 Jose Ramirez Indians 6 5 7 6 2 6 6
7 Anthony Rendon Nationals 9 10 9 7 6 7 8
8 Alex Bregman Astros 7 9 6 11 8 10 7
9 Justin Turner Dodgers 10 8 13 8 9 12 9
10 Mike Moustakas Free Agent 8 7 10 9 15 15 13
11 Kyle Seager Mariners 11 17 11 13 17 9 10
12 Adrian Beltre Rangers 16 12 15 15 10 11 16
13 Matt Carpenter Cardinals 20 16 8 16 14 8 14
T14 Travis Shaw Brewers 17 13 17 17 12 13 15
T14 Jake Lamb Diamondbacks 13 14 12 10 19 18 17
16 Rafael Devers Red Sox 12 15 21 12 13 20 12
17 Nick Castellanos Tigers 14 11 16 18 11 17 21
18 Miguel Sano Twins 19 22 14 19 16 14 11
19 Evan Longoria Giants 21 23 20 20 21 21 18
20 Joey Gallo Rangers 18 26 22 14 27 22 20
21 Eduardo Nunuz Free Agent 27 19 18 N/R 20 16 19
22 Ryon Healy Mariners 23 18 26 27 25 25 23
23 Euganio Suarez Reds 15 21 24 N/R 22 27 22
24 Marwin Gonzalez Astros 25 24 N/R 21 18 28 24
25 Todd Frazier Yankees 24 20 25 22 N/R 23 26
26 Maikel Franco Phillies 22 30 23 N/R 26 19 25
27 Josh Harrison Pirates 29 25 28 29 23 24 29
28 Wilmer Flores Mets 26 27 19 N/R N/R N/R N/R
29 Miguel Andujar Yankees 30 N/R 27 25 N/R N/R N/R
T30 Matt Davidson White Sox N/R N/R N/R 26 N/R 26 N/R
T30 Eduardo Escobar Twins N/R 28 N/R N/R 24 N/R N/R
Honorable mentions: Jose Reyes, Hernan Perez, Asdrubal Cabrera (2 of 7) – Colin Moran, Chase Headley, Matt Chapman, Matt Duffy, Jedd Gyorko, Brandon Phillips, Cory Spangenberg, Logan Forsythe, Jeimer Candelario, Solarte (1 of 7)

Third Basemen you will reach for if you don’t land Arenado, Bryant, Machado, Donaldson?

Kevin: Moustakas needs to be heavily considered. His breakout has a strong chance of holding — this shouldn’t be a one-year fluke.

Jim: The bottom line for Alex Bregman paints an average picture. However, his .315 average with 11 homers and 40 plus runs and RBIs over 267 at bats in the second half have me intrigued. I can see reaching a round or two early for him.

Kenny: He’s not a third baseman by trade, but he does have eligibility this year, and that’d be Freddie Freeman. I have him ranked ahead of Donaldson, so he’s an easy pick. A full season from Freeman is dynamite. The second option behind Freeman would be Rendon in that Nationals lineup.

Dan:  Alex Bregman isn’t likely to produce eye-popping numbers in a single category, but he is one of the few at third base who will produce at all five.

Josh: There’s not a more appealing position in 2018 than the Hot Corner. Arenado can sometimes fall to the second half of the round one, sign me up for Bryant all day in the 10-15 range, Machado in round twoM and Donaldson round three — yes please. The comfort level among the position is excellent as well. I will be completely at ease if I find myself with any of my Top-15 as a starting option.

Mike S: If you play in a league where you can slot Freeman at thirdm I would reach.  In leagues with more stringent GP rules, I would be pretty happy waiting to snatch up Rendon.  He seems to be all the way back.

Mike L: I think Anthony Rendon is criminally underrated. .403 OBP, 13.6 K% and went 301/25/100. REACH!

Which third baseman do you plan on avoiding in the draft?

Kevin: As part of the running theme this year, I’m avoiding low-BA, HR-only guys. So Frazier, Gallo, and maybe even Sano are getting passes.

Jim: Outside of the aging Adrian Beltre, I can’t see me avoiding any third baseman I ranked in the top-20. That being said, I am not fully confident in those I ranked from 11 to 20, so I maybe hedge my bets and double up.

Kenny: I’m steering clear of Donaldson. The Blue Jays aren’t in any kind of shape to be good, which could hinder the output from Donaldson. He’s top 5 at the position, but the position is relatively deep this year. He’s not worth the risk going that high.

Dan: Travis Shaw and Jake Lamb are both due for regression in one form or another, so it’s best to avoid both this year.

Josh: I really like Alex Bregman the player. After a lengthy struggle to begin 2017, he rebounded nicely and produced a really nice statline for roto. My issue with Bregman is simply the asking price. I’d much rather spend a little more on the Machado, Bryant, Donaldson trio, or slum in the Lamb, Moustakas, Seager portion of the draft.

Mike S: I will be avoiding Shaw and Lamb, but more so Lamb.  He still stinks against lefties and was bad enough that I had to drop him in some leagues toward the end of last year. The humidor will not do him any favors either.

Mike L: I want zero shares of Miguel Sano. This was the case before he got in trouble. Only hit .264 with a .375 BABIP. Ugly.

Who is your top CI target once your 3B slot is filled?

Kevin: Although the position is deep, I may reach early to fill CI. I’d happily take Beltre, a guy who gets little love due to his age, but he can still produce a high average and decent power when healthy. He’ll come cheap.

Jim: I like a number of guys depending on where they fall. Mike Moustakas would probably be my top guy, maybe Joey Gallo for his versatility and power, and I do have a soft spot for Eugenio Suarez.

Kenny: As I mentioned with the last question, third base is really deep as far as guys who would be comfortable starters. That being said, I don’t have a go-to target once I fill third. Any of the top 20-25 would be solid back-ups.

Dan: Nick Castellanos took a big step forward in 2017, and I can see most of the numbers sticking. Eugenio Suarez improved on his 2016 season, giving him a solid two-year floor of production to depend on. Plus I love his home park.

Josh: Factor in the depth and talent at the position, and I’m quite certain my CI will come from this player pool more often than not. If I’m able to nab one of my top-3 options I would not hesitate in the least to take Donaldson if the value presented itself. In most cases, however, I will likely find myself with multiple shares of players in 10-20 range.

Mike S: I am targeting Carpenter and Seager for this.  They’re underappreciated and coming off “meh” seasons.  I think both have a chance to be excellent corners at a value this year.

Mike L: I’ll take Adrian Beltre as my CI. He may not be a sexy pick because of his age, but this guy still mashes. Only one year removed from 293/32/104. Guy can hit in his sleep.

Late round pick that could make an impact?

Kevin: Look out for Wilmer Flores. If he ever gets a full-time gig, he could provide great sleeper value.

Jim: I would not completely write off Todd Frazier. Yes, the average is horrid, but he still has power and plays on a strong offensive team in a great home park. If the coaches can tweak his swing to get the average up to the .250 range, he can be a major bargain.

Kenny: Now that Colin Moran is in a place where he’ll play every day, I really like what he’s bringing to the table this season. He tweaked his swing last season in the minors and seems ready to explode at the major league level. Some honorable mention guys here are Miguel Andujar and Matt Davidson. I think both these guys could have monster campaigns in 2018 as well.

Dan: Maikel Franco should come rather cheap; he may even go undrafted in some leagues. I can see a bounce-back season with more talent around him now.

Josh: Finding value should not be difficult with this player pool. Kyle Seager has been a perennial Top-10 3B in ADP for a half decade — how quickly people forget. Cloudy personal conduct aside, Miguel Sano has top-15 hitter upside for me, and current ADP suggests I’m out of my mind. Do the Yankees and Mets like Miguel Andujar and Wilmer Flores as much as I do? My jaw would not drop if Matt Chapman hit 35 homers or Jeimer Candelario posted a .280 average with 20 bombs and 160 Runs+RBI.

Mike S: Castellanos showed signs of breaking out in the second half, but I’m going to go a little deeper and say Maikel Franco — I can’t quit him yet.  The K rate and power potential are there, he’s still only 25, and I’m betting on some mentorship from Carlos Santana.

Mike L: I think you can get great value from Eduardo Escobar. It seems like everyone on the Twins gets love besides him. If he repeats his 2017 success, he will be a great value pick. Currently has a lower ADP than guys like Yolmer Sanchez and Chase Headley, according to NFBC.


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