2019 Third Base Rankings: Top 30

We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2019 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 Jim Finch, Hunter Denson, Seth Bias and Jake Blodgett. Our four “experts” each ranked their top 30 Third basemen for the 2019 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. 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 Jake Hunter Seth
1 Jose Ramirez Indians 2 1 1 1
2 Nolan Arenado Rockies 1 2 2 2
3 Alex Bregman Astros 6 3 3 3
4 Manny Machado FREE AGENT 3 5 4 4
5 Javier Baez Cubs 5 4 6 5
6 Kris Bryant Cubs 8 7 7 6
7 Anthony Rendon Nationals 4 11 5 9
8 Matt Carpenter Cardinals 9 6 8 7
9 Euganio Suarez Reds 7 9 9 10
10 Vladimir Guerrero Blue Jays 10 8 11 11
11 Josh Donaldson Braves 11 16 13 8
T 12 Travis Shaw Brewers 12 17 10 14
T 12 Matt Chapman Athletics 13 15 12 13
T 12 Justin Turner Dodgers 14 10 14 15
15 Miguel Andujar Yankees 16 12 18 12
16 Wil Myers Padres 15 13 16 17
17 Max Muncy Dodgers 18 14 15 19
18 Jurickson Profar Athletics 17 22 17 16
19 Mike Moustakas Brewers 19 19 19 20
20 Rafael Devers Red Sox 23 18 20 18
21 Eduardo Escobar Diamondbacks 20 20 21 22
22 Asdrubal Cabrera Rangers 22 25 23 26
23 Jake Lamb Diamondbacks 24 29 22 23
24 Jeimer Candelario Tigers 27 27 24 21
25 Kyle Seager Mariners 25 30 25 25
26 Maikel Franco Phillies 21 N/R 26 30
27 Ian Happ Cubs N/R 28 28 24
28 Yuli Gurriel Astros N/R 24 N/R 27
29 Brian Anderson Marlins N/R 26 27 N/R
30 Joey Wendle Rays N/R N/R 29 28
Honorable Mentions: Jung-Ho Kang, Miguel Sano, Carlos Santana, Jed Lowrie, Evan Longoria, Nick Senel, Tim Beckham, Eduardo Nunez

Who is the top third baseman you’d be willing to reach for?

Hunter: You can read more about my obsession with Alex Bregman’s 2018 in my recent article. Aside from Bregman, I would also reach for Vladito as well. Lack of major league experience is always a worry with top prospects, but I am willing to take a risk on the young Blue Jay given his out of this world production in the minor leagues.

Jim: I value consistency, and generally some sort of track record if I am going to reach. Anthony Rendon has both of these and can be had 30+ picks after Alex Bregman. If Bregman loses a handful of home runs and a few each in runs and RBI, do you know who you have. Anthony Rendon, that’s who. I may also reach a little for Eugenio Suarez if Rendon is gone, and for similar reasons

Seth:  Obviously, Ramirez is a stud. I’ve never actually owned Arenado or Machado in a league. I’m probably targeting someone like Matt Carpenter, and I’m definitely grabbing a share or two of Matt Chapman.

Jake: Third base is incredibly deep, so I don’t feel the need to reach. I would rather sit back and wait for the discount on Kris Bryant. A slight off year in 2017 and an injury plagued 2018 have turned a lot of people against the former MVP. I’m snagging him everywhere I can.

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

Hunter:  Kris Bryant’s shoulder issues worry me, and I cannot justify spending a top 40 pick on him until I see that his power is back and unaffected. I could see jumping in if his price dipped, but the depth of this position makes me less likely to reach for the talented Cub.

Jim: I can’t say I’ll be avoiding anyone in the top-15, but there are a few I will not pay full value for (Bregman, Andujar, Guerrero). I wouldn’t mind owning any of them, but you can get similar value at least a few rounds later with little risk.

Seth:  I’m avoiding Bryant, Andujar and Vlad Jr. I covered the first 2 already, and I’m just not comfortable taking a rookie without a single at-bat as high as Vlad is being drafted. If it’s a keeper or dynasty league, ignore that advice. If it’s a re-draft league or just a one year league, I’m skipping Vlad.

Jake:  He may bounce back in a huge way in 2019, but I don’t trust Josh Donaldson. There have been too many signs that he is starting to enter his decline, and people still might be willing to pay the glory days price for him. I hope he has a great year, but I’m not counting on it.

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

Hunter: I like Wil Myers as my top CI option once I have filled 3B. While he missed a lot of time last year with various injuries, he still generated solid power/speed value (11 HR/13 SB). A move back to OF should help him stay healthier in 2019 and allow him to get back to at least 20/20 levels this coming season.

Jim: If I land a big 3B guy (Arenado, Ramirez, Machado), I want to make sure I have a formidable insurance policy. Odds are most people will target third base for CI so I’m looking at Rendon and Suarez as my primary or early CI to cover one of the above 3. Carpenter is my fallback option, or Donaldson (bounce back potential). I also like Matt Chapman as well as Wil Myers given their current ADP.

Seth:  I’m probably keeping to my strategy from question 1. Have both 3B and CI covered by the time Matt Chapman or Travis Shaw is off the board.

Jake:  Miguel Andujar could have some issues with playing time in 2019 given all of the infield signings for the Yankees, but the market is appropriately cooling as a result. I like him to build on last season’s numbers, and you can’t go wrong banking on that lineup’s production.

Late round pick who could make an impact?

Hunter:  We haven’t seen him play in two seasons, but Jung Ho Kang is a player who could provide a lot of value with minimal investment. His worst full season OPS was .816, a level I think is attainable if he can play regularly.

Jim: I’m secretly loving Asdrubal Cabrera in Texas. 20+ homers with a .275+ average available after the top-150, with eligibility at both middle infield positions… yes please. Ditto that sentiment for Maikel Franco who showed an improved average last year with similar power. Sometimes it takes those promising rookies a few years to develop – post-hype sleeper.

Seth:  I like all of Brian Anderson and Renato Nunez. Anderson has a strong hit tool, Nunez has legitimate power, and both are in line for playing time on rebuilding clubs.

Jake:  Ian Happ was a trendy breakout pick last season, but everything really went downhill after he went yard on the first pitch he saw. I wouldn’t target him, but he’s someone to watch because the raw talent is still there.


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