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2023 Dynasty Third Base Rankings

A major shift at third base feels imminent. A handful of superstars have dominated the position for years but some recent struggles have paved the way for the next group to make a splash. While it’s not time to write off these aging sluggers just yet, some rising stars are making a push up the rankings. Which young names have already started to rise?

The prospect side of things can be a bit murky at third base. Like second base, many future third basemen are currently playing shortstop and will eventually slide over. Still, the current prospect pool looks strong, though the leader of that list, Jordan Walker, will likely lose eligibility next season. If that’s the case, the position will be left in good hands with Junior Caminero and Elly De La Cruz.

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Player Notes

  • Tier 1 is as strong as ever with Jose Ramirez narrowly clinging to the top spot. The perennial MVP candidate is slashing .281/.361/.452 through 155 plate appearances. However, the power has taken a step back as he has just four homers this season, including one over the last 13 games. Ramirez is still producing at a high level it’s worth keeping an eye on his falling barrel rate and career-high 29% whiff rate. Just behind him is a pair of 26-year-old sluggers in Rafael Devers and Austin Riley. Devers leads the AL with 11 long balls but is hitting just .250 due to some strikeout issues, specifically with chasing balls. Riley doesn’t seem like his usual self; his hard-hit (42.6%) and barrel (7.3%) rates are currently career lows. All three third basemen in Tier 1 are still elite sluggers and I wouldn’t expect the iffy starts to last all season.
  • On the flip side, a pair of other superstar third basemen are showing noticeable signs of regression. Manny Machado has registered a brutal .692 OPS through 142 plate appearances this season. Whle he’s slashing .351/.429/.676 over the last nine games, his underlying data is hard to look at. His barrel, sweet spot, and hard-hit rates have all fallen dramatically to new career lows. Machado’s worsening whiff and chase rates have resulted in a career-high 22.5% strikeout rate. Similarly, Nolan Arenado’s OPS sits at an ugly .608 despite having a .913 mark through the first 14 games. He’s also seen sizable dips in his batted-ball data with a soaring strikeout rate (career-high 20.8%). After they both finished top-3 in 2022 NL MVP voting, is this slow start temporary or a sign of the dreaded post-30 downfall?
    Arenado Fangraphs
  • As mentioned, barring a change, Jordan Walker will lose third base eligibility next season, making Junior Caminero and Elly De La Cruz the next in line for top prospect status. Caminero was a popular breakout candidate this offseason and he’s exceeded the lofty expectations. The 19-year-old is slashing .356/.408/.678 with 12 extra-base hits (eight home runs) and 45 R+RBI through 98  High-A plate appearances. His strikeout rate has jumped to 23.5% which could cause some issues down the road. As he gets more experience, I’d expect that number to drop with his elite hit tool. De La Cruz is one of the most exciting prospects in the game and became a unanimous top-10 name over the last year. He’s still raw but very projectable; the loud tools have masked a 30%+ strikeout rate at nearly every level. De Laz Cruz could be a legitimate 40-40 threat with the Reds but the plate approach has to improve first.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum from Arenado and Machado, Matt Chapman and Max Muncy have bounced back in a tremendous way in 2023. Chapman, the AL April Player of the Month, leads the AL with a .349 average and is pacing the entire league with 17 doubles. He’s sporting a 1.038 OPS with five homers and a 24.8% strikeout rate, his lowest since 2019. A .459 BABIP is obviously unsustainable but Chapman has some of the best underlying data in baseball. His improvements are real and, even with an inevitable dip in his average, looks to be in line for a career year. Muncy sits atop the home run leaderboard with 12 and has a .385 OBP despite a .218 average thanks to an elite walk rate. His strikeout rate has ballooned to a career-high 29.2% but he’s barreling the ball as well as anyone. The average will probably stay in the low .200s as it has for most of his career but the power is back.Matt Chapman Fangraphs
  • Speaking of power, Patrick Wisdom is just behind Muncy with 11 bombs already this season. He knocked 53 over the previous two years but looks to be on his way to his first 30-homer campaign. However, it’s paired with a ridiculous 36.3% strikeouts rate, resulting in a .229/.317/.587 slash line. This is nothing new; since the start of 2021, Wisdom is hitting .218 with a 36.8% K-rate. Without the elite walk numbers that Muncy has, Wisdom will be heavily limited by his poor plate discipline. As of now, I still don’t view him as much more than a cheap, corner-infield power bat.

Quick Hits

  • Gunnar Henderson is off to an ugly start after his terrific 2022 season. The rookie infielder is slashing .174/.339/.304 with three homers and a 31.3% strikeout rate. He walks enough (19.1%) to mask some of the holes but he’s flat-out looking overwhelmed this year.
  • Christian Encarnacion-Strand has been incredible in his first taste of Triple-A action. The 23-year-old slugger is slashing .404/.433/.807 with seven homers and 14 RBI through 13 games. His 1:13 BB:K leaves something to be desired but that shouldn’t prevent him from an MLB promotion in the near future.
  • Injuries put a halt on Brady House’s 2022 season but he’s back this year and looking like the top prospect he was believed to be. The 20-year-old is slashing .297/.403/.516 with seven extra-base hits and an 11:17 BB:K through 18 Single-A games. He slipped off most prospect rankings in the offseason but is on his way back with a hot start.
  • Tyler Black is one of the hottest names in the minor leagues. Over his last seven games, he’s registered a .346/.528/.539 slash line with 11 stolen bases and three extra-base hits. The 22-year-old has an elite plate approach, posting an OBP over .400 at every level of the minor leagues. His power and speed in 2023 are a bit of a surprise but should earn him a promotion to Triple-A soon.

2023 Dynasty Third Base Rankings

Tier 1
1Jose RamirezCLE30.7
2Rafael DeversBOS26.6
3Austin RileyATL26.1
Tier 2
4Bobby Witt Jr.KCR22.9
5Manny MachadoSDP30.9
6Jordan WalkerSTL21.0
7Josh JungTEX25.3
8Gunnar HendersonBAL21.9
Tier 3
9Nolan ArenadoSTL32.1
10Brett BatyNYM23.5
11Alex BregmanHOU29.1
12Junior CamineroTBR19.9
13Elly De La CruzCIN21.3
Tier 4
14Matt ChapmanTOR30.0
15Max MuncyLAD32.7
16Curtis MeadTBR22.5
17Yandy DiazTBR31.8
18Alec BohmPHI26.8
19Jordan WestburgBAL24.2
20Anthony RendonLAA32.9
21Jose MirandaMIN24.9
Tier 5
22Christian Encarnacion-StrandCIN23.5
23Ke'Bryan HayesPIT26.3
24Patrick WisdomCHC31.7
25Coby MayoBAL21.4
26Isaac ParedesTBR24.2
27Cam CollierCIN18.5
28Colson MontgomeryCHW21.2
29Yoan MoncadaCHW28.0
30Eugenio SuarezSEA31.8
31Luis UriasMIL25.9
32Brandon DruryLAA30.7
33Justyn-Henry MalloyDET23.2
34Yiddi CappeMIA20.7
35Casey SchmittSFG24.2
Tier 6
36Rodolfo CastroPIT24.0
37Colt KeithDET21.7
38Ryan McMahonCOL28.4
39Ha-Seong KimSDP27.6
40Brady HouseWAS19.9
41Tyler BlackMIL22.8
42Brendan DonovanSTL26.3
43Josh RojasARI28.9
44DJ LeMahieuNYY34.8
45Luis RengifoLAA26.2
46Zack GelofOAK23.6
47Spencer SteerCIN25.4
48Wilmer FloresSFG31.8
49Sterlin ThompsonCOL21.9
50Warming BernabelCOL20.9
51Blaze JordanBOS20.4
52Taylor WallsTBR26.8
Tier 7
53J.D. DavisSFG30.1
54Gabriel AriasCLE23.2
55Jake BurgerCHW27.1
56Will WagnerHOU24.8
57Jon BertiMIA33.3
58Nick SenzelCIN27.9
59Deyvison De Los SantosARI19.9
60Addison BargerTOR23.5
61Bryan RamosCHW21.2
62Nolan JonesCOL25.0
63Brian AndersonMIL30.0
64Elehuris MonteroCOL24.7
65Edmundo SosaPHI27.2
66Gio UrshelaLAA31.6
67Ramon UriasBAL29.0
68Jhonkensy NoelCLE21.8
69Andres ChaparroNYY24.0
70Jacob BerryMIA22.0
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  1. Red says

    A bit surprised to see JD Davis so low, but perhaps there are still playing time concerns there. Any thoughts on where Maikel Garcia might fit if he ends up at 3B long term?

    Great work!

    1. Tyler Bowen says

      Less playing time concerns with Davis currently but more performance-related. Admittedly maybe a bit low on him but I’m not really buying in completely on what he’s doing. If he can stay consistent for a full year with the Giants he’ll definitely move up.

      As for Garcia, he’d probably be around the back-end of Tier 6 as of today. I think I’m lower than consensus on him.

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