This continues my series where I rank the top 10 players at each position leading into the 2023 season, moving to arguably the most loaded position in the sport, third base. If you missed any of the previous editions of this series, follow the links below.
Top 10 Third Basemen
- Manny Machado
- Nolan Arenado
- Jose Ramirez
- Austin Riley
- Rafael Devers
- Alex Bregman
- Matt Chapman
- Eugenio Suarez
- Yandy Diaz
- Gunnar Henderson
This will likely be the most difficult list to decide on. From top to bottom, there are so many All-Star caliber third basemen. I went Machado at the top spot, but Arenado and Ramirez are worthy. Arenado might have been the best player in the NL last year, and Ramirez seems to be in the top five of the AL MVP race every year. Those three are interchangeable.
The next three on the list are also incredibly close. I gave Riley the edge because, over the last two seasons, he’s been one of the best offensive players in the game. Bregman is coming off a couple of slight down years, and Devers simply hasn’t been as good as Riley. However, any of these three players are good enough to explode for an MVP-caliber campaign in 2023.
Matt Chapman rings in at number seven. He wasn’t as impressive defensively last year as he usually is, but he made up for it at the plate, and he should bounce back with the glove next season. He’s been arguably the best defensive third baseman in the game for years, along with Nolan Arenado.
Suarez might not make some lists, but he made mine. The game has changed over the years, and the long ball rules the world. So what if Suarez led the league in strikeouts, he blasted 30+ homers for the fourth straight season (excluding the shortened 2020 campaign).
Diaz is cut from a different cloth than Suarez. He only had nine homers, but he’s a maestro at getting on base, finishing last season with a .401 on-base percentage. Diaz belongs on the list.
Wrapping things up is the rookie Gunnar Henderson. Sure, he only has 34 games under his belt, but he’s the consensus top prospect in baseball, and if we’ve learned anything from the last few years, it’s that these young kids can come up and become instant All-Stars. That could be the case this year with Henderson.
Who is on your Top 10 third basemen lists?
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire
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