Written by: Ray Butler
It’s time to rank one of the most star-studded positions in baseball. This one was a lot of fun, not because it was easy to rank LORG at third base (it wasn’t), but because third base is currently home to some of the best baseball players of our lifetime. Here’s how we stack up:
#1. Gregg Morris- Third Basemen: Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sano
Gregg has two hilariously good third basemen now in Machado and Donaldson (thanks McKinnon) and a guy who has an MVP ceiling in Miguel Sano. Sano hasn’t pieced it all together at the MLB level yet, but Machado and Donaldson are to sure to be key pieces in what is sure to be an offensive juggernaut for Gregg in 2017.
#2. McKinnon Ray- Third Basemen: Kris Bryant, Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers
If we’re strictly comparing Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant as third-base fantasy players (which is the entire point of a list like this), I’ll take Arenado. That means that Eduardo Nunez did juuuuuuuuuust enough to give McKinnon the silver medal at this position. Nothing has changed since I wrote about Bryant in the first base list; he’s still spectacular. I guess Nunez is still a thing (he’s actually an above average role player whose stolen base value will keep him fantasy-relevant, even in San Francisco), and he’ll see plenty of action in McKinnon’s lineup as Bryant moves around at first base and the outfield. Semi-bold prediction: Within two seasons, Rafael Devers will be a way-hotter fantasy commodity than Jake Lamb (who McKinnon just traded away).
#3. John Morrison- Third Basemen: Nolan Arenado and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
John doesn’t rank this high on the list due to his quantity at the third base position, but man is the quality a thing of beauty. Somehow still one of baseball’s best kept secrets, Arenado is basically a cheat code that should continue to tally similar numbers to his ridiculous 2016 stats. And while it’d be fairly idiotic to say that Vlad Guerrero Jr. has the ceiling of Nolan Arenado, I’m fairly certain it’s not too far off……………………..
#4. Ray Butler- Third Basemen: Jonathan Villar and Kyle Seager
Villar’s rover abilities in the 2016 season led him to earning third base eligibility (along with 2B and SS) and he’ll be used as a super-utility player once fellow Syndergaawd Trea Turner earns shortstop eligibility. Kyle Seager has improved in basically every offensive stat category two seasons in a row, and he’s easily one of the most underrated top 50 fantasy players in all of baseball.
#5. Caleb Stumpf- Third Basemen: Alex Bregman, Matt Carpenter and Justin Turner
Caleb has a nice mixture of young promise and veteran consistency at the third base position. Bregman is one of the more intriguing players in the entire league heading into the 2017 season, and he could theoretically be a top 50 overall player this time next season. This will likely be Carpenter’s last season with 3B eligibility (though Caleb will enjoy it), but he and Turner should be consistent contributors in 2017.
#6. Ben Roach- Third Basemen: Todd Frazier, Maikel Franco and Javier Baez
Like Caleb, Ben also has a fantastic mix of high-ceiling youngsters and a veteran power hitter at the third base position. I really feel like we’re close to seeing Franco’s ceiling. If he can hit for a little more power and get on base a little bit more, he’ll easily be a top 10 three-bagger this time next season.
#7. Matt Smith- Third Basemen: Anthony Rendon and Yuli Gurriel
Reunited, and it feels so good! Anthony Rendon rejoins Matt’s squad (a team I suspect will continue to look to get younger) four weeks before Opening Day. Yulieski Gurriel, though, will be the more intriguing third base-eligible player on Matt’s team. What will a full MLB season look like for the Cuban star.
#8. Bobby Morrison- Third Basemen: Adrian Beltre and Jedd Gyorko
Adrian Beltre just keeps producing. It looks like he’ll eventually ride into the sunset in Arlington, a launch pad for a guy who hit 32 bombs last season (and only stuck out 66 times in 583 at-bats, GEEZ!). Gyorko won’t ever be a star, but is a must-start when he gets the bat going.
#9. Zach Gerhart- Third Basemen: Evan Longoria
Longoria hit a career high 36 bombs last season and had a career low on base percentage of .318. The Rays may finally be committed to batting Kevin Kiermaier in the top third of the batting order, so Longoria may have more chances to drive in runs this season. It feels like Longoria is like 35 years old, but he’s actually only 31, so he still has several productive seasons ahead of him.
#10. Adam Stumpf- Third Basemen: Jose Ramirez, Jurickson Profar and Yoan Moncada
Lots of youth and lots of ceiling. Adam has three third base-eligible players who (if they keep their eligibility) should all be ranked higher on this list next season. The prized possession of this trio is certainly Moncada, who some think has (yeah, I’m about to say it) hall-of-fame potential. A rebuilding team, Adam could certainly move one of these pieces to a current contender before the trade deadline this season.
#11. Frank Selesky- Third Basemen: Jake Lamb, Ryon Healy and Nick Senzel
Lamb had a breakout 2016 season, but the peripherals look a tad iffy and it’ll be interesting to see if he can sustain success over multiple seasons. Healy will see most of his time at first base during the 2017 season, but the A’s youngster has some breakout potential and could give fans a halfway-decent reason to remember that Oakland still has a time in the MLB. Obviously, Nick Senzel is the third baseman of the future for Frank’s team; there’s an outside chance we see him get a cup of coffee this September.
#12. Van Moore- Third Baseman: Mike Moustakas
A nice buy-low option, Moustakas should be a nice fill-in at third base for Van for the time being until someone better and younger comes along. Eventually, Kevin Maitan will likely be Van’s third baseman. Moose is said to be 100% healthy following major knee surgery early last season, and if the Royals have any magic left in their tank, he’ll almost certainly play a significant role in bringing it all to fruition.
On deck: LORG 2017 Shortstop Ranks
Link to LORG 2017 Catcher Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/01/lorg-2017-catcher-rankings/
LORG 2017 First Base Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/03/lorg-2017-first-baseman-ranks/
LORG 2017 Second Base Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/05/lorg-2017-second-base-rankings/