2018 Top Five MLB Third Basemen

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Updated: March 31, 2018
Ryan's Top 5 MLB Third Basemen

So far we’ve gone through and given you our top five first basemen, second basemen and shortstop thus far. Notable top spots at those positions are Paul Goldschmidt at First Base, Jose Altuve at Second and Manny Machado at Shortstop. Now we’re going to make our way to the hot corner and give you who we feel are worthy of the top five spots at Third Base. There are many guys that are worthy of being in this top five, but I was able to narrow it down. The No. 1 was between two guys but narrowly taking that top spot is none other than Newport Beach, California native Nolan Arenado.

1. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies

Nolan Arenado since coming into the Majors in 2013 has done nothing but hit. He’s a career .290 hitter with 148 home runs, 506 RBI’s and an on-based percentage of .340. In each of his five seasons in the league, he’s improved his stats. Last season, he improved his batting average by 15 points. He’s also the only third basemen in MLB history with three consecutive 130-RBI seasons. He’s also only only of five of his position to hit 120 HR’s in a three-year span. Hitting at Coors Field could be a bit of an advantage for Nolan as the air is very thin, but with Arenado’s power, facing him is always a problem for any pitcher anywhere he goes. In 2017, he scored 100 runs, mashed 37 bombs and had 130 RBI’s while only striking out 106 times. He also added 43 doubles and 7 triples to his impressive stat line. It should be fun to watch this prized infielder go to work against the NL West and the rest of the league again in 2018 and solidify his position as the top third basemen in Major League Baseball.

2. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs

Kris Bryant comes in at No. 2 as this is definitely no surprise as he’s already won an MVP in less than three full seasons in the league. His MVP season in 2016 was incredible and many people had high expectations for him last season and they were a bit let down as he didn’t perform as well. His OPS in 2017 however was better than during his MVP season, but his 29 home runs from a season ago, were shockingly less than the amount Giancarlo Stanton hit and his 73 RBI’s were 57 less than fellow third baseman Arenado. Positive things to take away from Bryant’s 2017 campaign however are that his walk percentage was up from 10.7 to 14.3 and his strikeout percentage went down from 30.6 to 22 to 19.6. In addition to the 29 homers and 73 RBI’s, Bryant had 111 runs scored and 38 doubles. Hopefully Kris can bounce back in 2018 and return to his MVP form from two seasons ago.

3. Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians

Jose Ramirez is in at the No. 3 slot and what more can I say about this Dominican Republic native? He finished number three in the AL MVP voting a season ago. His .318 batting average was the third time he’s reached .312 or higher in his five seasons in the league so far. He also more than doubled his home run total from 2016 with 29 dingers. His prior high was 11. He also set a new career high in RBI’s with 83, runs scored with 107 and hits with 186. If it wasn’t for Jose Altuve, the MVP winner and Aaron Judge having better seasons, Ramirez would have definitely won with the fantastic season he had. With higher expectations now set for Ramirez, look for him to try and up those career highs in 2018 at hitter friendly Progressive Field.

4. Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays

O Canada! We’ve got your No. 4 at the hot corner in the form of form of the “Bringer of Rain” Josh Donaldson. The Toronto Blue Jays third baseman is coming off a season in which he was injured most of the first half of the season with right calf issues. His poor numbers were evidence of this. Before the All-Star break, he only hit nine home runs. Post All-Star break and once he was healthy, he mashed 24 home runs to get his season total to 33 which is what he finished the 2017 campaign with. These 24 home runs were the best in the AL in the second half as we as his .992 OPS. He finished the year with a .270 year average and 78 RBI’s while posting a .385 on-base percentage. In 2018, he hopes to stay healthy the entire season get back to his 2015 MVP form and his three years norms of 36 HR’s, 107 RBI’s and 112 runs scored. Toronto and their fans could only hope this happens.

5. Alex Bregman – Houston Astros

Rounding out our Top 5 third basemen of 2018 is a guy who many could say was one of the heroes of the 2017 World Series for the Astros not named George Springer or Justin Verlander. He’s none other than Alex Bregman. It all started back last season on the Fourth of July. From that point on, he hit .321 with 40 extra baggers in 77 games played. In the 2017 postseason, he hit four homeruns. During that span, he posted a .927 OPS which was a .178 rise from his career numers in that category. At only 24 years old, he stole an unexpected 17 stolen bases and only expects to get better. He finished 2017 with a .284 average, 17 long balls and 71 runs batted in. Things are extremely promising for this young third basemen who can platoon positions this season and moving forward as he’s already a World Champion.

 

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