MLB Now recently ranked the top 10 third basemen in the game of baseball, and Austin Riley received some high recognition from the national media outlet.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 20, 2023
It’s nice to see Austin Riley receive some national recognition, but I have a gripe. I try not to bash on lists like these because they are extremely difficult, and there are no correct answers, but for the life of me, I do not understand how these guys talk baseball every day and come up with a list this miserable.
I love Austin Riley, and the Braves third baseman belongs in the top five, but there’s absolutely no way he should be ahead of Nolan Arenado, who arrived fifth on the list. Arenado should probably own the top spot, but there’s no way he should be lower than second. He’s the best defensive infielder in baseball and coming off his best season. The Arenado disrespect here is insane and, frankly, downright idiotic.
The top six on this are correct; the order is messed up, though. After that, it gets even more confusing. Justin Turner? He won’t even be playing third base for the Red Sox this year, as he moves into a more permanent DH role, and Max Muncy hit below the Mendoza Line in 2022. That’s some Los Angeles cooking right there. Yandy Díaz is acceptable, and I’m a DJ Lemahieu fan, but this list can’t be legit if it doesn’t include Matt Champman, another guy who is elite defensively at the position with a plus bat.
Regardless, it’s nice to see Austin Riley finally receive some love from the national media. He has become one of the premier offensive players in the league, regardless of position, and I only expect him to improve.
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire