Third Base

There’s no doubting the top-tier caliber at the “hot corner” this year, but after that top group comes off the board, the drop-off is fast and furious. Secure the services of one of those top-tier options, especially in 15-team Leagues, and leave the challenges of filling the slot to the rest of your league mates.

After the Top-10, there are more questions than answers. Miguel Vargas doesn’t qualify at 3B to start the year but will early in the 2023 season.

  1. Jose Ramirez, CLE – Ramirez has gone 20-20 in the last four full seasons. I’m not going to bet against him making it 5-for-5.
  2. Bobby Witt Jr., KCR – A Fantasy monster, Witt brought it in his rookie campaign, slugging 20 homers and swiping thirty bases. His free-swinging ways are the only thing holding him back from being a Top-3 overall pick. SS-98
  3. Austin Riley, ATL – Riley broke out in 2021, mashing 33 homers. He bested that total by five last year, hitting 38 out of the park in his second full season. In a very deep and talented Braves lineup, he’s one of the best and will be for a long time.
  4. Manny Machado, SDP – 2022 saw Machado produce another outstanding season, slugging 32 homers, driving in 102 runs with an OPS of .897, and tossing in nine stolen bases for good measure. It also doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by Juan Soto and now Xavier Bogaerts in the batting order. Expect more of the same stellar play moving forward.
  5. Rafael Devers, BOS – In two of the past three seasons, Devers has bested 100 RBI and Runs Scored. Last year was down, and he still drilled 27 HR with 88 RBI. Many would yearn for a down season of that caliber.
  6. Nolan Arenado, STL – I can give you 50,000,000 reasons to like Nolan Arenado. The Rockies did just that.  
  7. Alex Bregman, HOU – Was the last year, 2018/2019, good? No, it wasn’t, but 23 homers and 93 RBI is a great bounce-back campaign after two disappointing seasons.
  8. Gunnar Henderson, BAL – A move to shortstop could be in the cards for Gunnar Henderson, but you’ll want to use him at third in 2023. The sky’s the limit for the budding star.
  9. Eugenio Suarez, SEA – Suarez has bested 30 home runs in the past four full seasons. 2023 will make it five. Just temper the average batting expectations.
  10. Matt Chapman, TOR – See Eugenio Suarez with a downgrade on the power to 25-to-30 homers.
  11. Jose Miranda, MIN – Miranda is currently penciled in at the hot corner, and a solid 2022 debut should be improved upon in 2023. Long-term, a move to First Basse could be in the cards. 1B-77
  12. Josh Jung, TEX – Please, let Jung stay off the IL in 2023!
  13. Max Muncy, LAD – 35, 35, 36, 21? One of these numbers is very unlike the other three. Is this a blip in the radar, or are we looking at a new norm? 2B-31
  14. Ke’Bryan Hayes, PIT – A hip injury suffered early in the 2022 campaign led to back issues and a disappointing 2022 campaign. The 20 stolen bases were impressive, but the lack of power (7 HR in 505 AB) is a concern.
  15. Alec Bohm, PHI – A strong lineup in Philly will provide him with plenty of RBI opportunities, but the 13 homers Bohm hit last year are light by traditional Third Base standards. Will he improve upon those numbers in his second season?
  16. Ryan McMahon, COL – The return of Kris Bryant will help and should lead to a 20 HR, 80 RBI season. We were hoping for so much more.
  17. Anthony Rendon, LAA – How many at-bats has Rendon recorded since inking that 7-year $245 million contract with the Angels after the 2019 season? The correct answer is 572. Betting on a healthy Rendon at this stage in his career seems like a longshot, but should it occur, he could prove to be a massive bargain in 2023.
  18. Brandon Drury, LAA – Drury went 28-87 with 87 runs scored and a solid .263 BA in 518 at-bats, split between the Padres and Reds. Can the 30-year-old duplicate those breakout numbers in 2023 as a member of the Angels? 1B-30, 2B-27
  19. Wilmer Flores, SFG – The Giants’ loss could, in fact also prove to be their gain. Full-time at-bats for Wilmer Flores at the hot corner is much better than him fighting for playing time in a super-sub role. 1B-45, 2B-61
  20. Yandy Diaz, TBR – Diaz has produced a .400+ OBP in two-of-the-past-three seasons. The power is limited, and there is virtually no running game, but he should score a pile of runs hitting at the top-of-the-order in Tampa Bay.
  21. Ha-Seong Kim, SDP – We witnessed a much better effort in Kim’s second year with the Padres. How much better? It was good enough that he played 131 games at shortstop in the absence of Fernando Tatis Jr., and it is cause for his current placement at the top-of-the-order in San Diego heading into 2023. SS-131
  22. Jordan Walker, STL – He’s listed at Third Base, but it’s the outfield that Walker will be calling home, which will occur in 2023. The question to be answered is when in 2023 will that occurs.
  23. Josh Rojas, ARZ 2B-26 – The rumor mill has the DBacks not happy with the defense from Josh Rojas, so they went out and inked Evan Longoria to a one-year deal. The 23 stolen bases amassed last year are intriguing, assuming he can find a steady diet of at-bats.
  24. Brendan Donovan, STL – The NL ROY finalist plied his trade at every position except Catcher last year and Is currently penciled in at 2B. In a weak 3B class, don’t forget about Donovan. 2B-38, OF-37
  25. Eduardo Escobar, NYM – He has settled in as a bottom-of-the-order 20 HR-65 RBI type bat, a far cry from the player we saw back in 2019. How long can he hold off the surging Brett Baty?
  26. Justin Turner, BOS – After nine seasons wearing Dodger blue, it’s going to seem very odd seeing him in a Red Sox uniform to wind down his career.
  27. Luis Rengifo, LAA – 17 homers to go along with six stolen bases makes for an intriguing late-round corner-infield option. His Minor League history suggests there could be an uptick in the stolen base numbers moving forward. 2B-99
  28. Ramon Urias, BAL – The Orioles are shuffling their middle-infield, and it appears that Urias is heading to 3B. This should allow him to close in on a 20-homer season. 2B-21
  29. Yoan Moncada, CWS – Oh, how the mighty have fallen, or is it simply a case that other than that blip in 2019, Moncada hasn’t shown any improvement since entering the League? Limited power, no speed, and a batting average hovering around the Mendoza line makes rostering Moncada an option in only the deepest of formats.
  30. Hunter Dozier, KCR – The trade of Adalberto Mondesi to the Red Sox opens the door for Dozier to play at third. Mid-teens power and 50-60 RBI work fine as an injury replacement type player but not as a full-time regular. 1B-42, OF-40
  31. DJ LeMahieu, NYY 1B-35, 2B-41
  32. Luis Urias, MIL 2B-46, SS-24
  33. Rodolfo Castro, PIT 2B-32
  34. Josh Donaldson, NYY
  35. Jeimer Candelario, WAS
  36. Brett Baty, NYM
  37. Curtis Mead, TBR
  38. Isaac Paredes, TBR 1B-29, 2B-43
  39. Evan Longoria, ARZ
  40. Brian Anderson, MIL OF-44
  41. Gio Urshela, LAA
  42. Jace Peterson, OAK
  43. Bryan Ramos, CWS
  44. Jon Berti, MIA 2B-37
  45. Patrick Wisdom, CHC
  46. Brad Miller, TEX OF-29
  47. J.D. Davis, SFG
  48. Joey Wendle, MIA 2B-33, SS-34
  49. Bobby Dalbec, BOS 1B- 89
  50. Harold Castro, COL 1B-50
  51. Jake Alu, WAS
  52. Nicky Lopez, KCR 2B-68, SS-52 
  53. Abraham Toro, MIL 2B-55
  54. Kyle Farmer, MIN SS-98
  55. Ezequiel Duran, TEX
  56. Eguy Rosario, SDP
  57. Taylor Walls, TBR 2B-35, SS-92
  58. Elehuris Montero, COL 
  59. Zach McKinstry, CHC 2B-21
  60. Jake Burger, CWS
  61. Edmundo Sosa, PHI SS-42
  62. Josh Smith, TEX OF-24
  63. Ryan Kreidler, DET SS-13
  64. David Villar, SFG
  65. Ildemaro Vargas, WAS
  66. Luis Guillorme, NYM 2B-67
  67. Josh Harrison, PHI 2B-90
  68. Andre Lipcius, DET
  69. Mike Moustakas, CIN 1B-24
  70. Tyler Nevin, DET
  71. Emmanuel Rivera, ARZ
  72. Jonathan Villar, FA 2B-29
  73. Kevin Smith, OAK
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