The hot corner is really starting to heat up, especially in the dynasty world. After a handful of years of decreased depth, we now have increasing depth both at the top and in general. The first five players in my 2023 dynasty third base rankings below fall within my Top 25 overall, and overall, there’s a copious amount of young, rising talent at this position. Although, the longterm defensive home for a few of these young bats is still in question.
- For now, at least, Bobby Witt Jr will have third-base eligibility. How long will he maintain his dual SS/3B eligibility is the real question. The same goes for Gunnar Henderson who will be dual 3B/SS eligible this season but likely sticks at shortstop longterm. I’ll talk about both of these guys more in my shortstop dynasty rankings article.
- Even if Witt loses eligibility after this season, this will remain an immensely exciting top tier consisting of Jose Ramirez, Rafael Devers, Austin Riley, and Manny Machado. Both Machado and Ramirez recently turned 30, but I have zero concerns about either of their production falling off any time soon. However, with that said, both of them fall into the retool trade category for me. That doesn’t mean you should run to sell them, but you could probably deal them right now for two pieces that could help you more longterm without losing much value right now. For example, before the 2020 season, I traded Mookie Betts for Bo Bichette and Luis Robert in my home keeper league. Deals like that help managers maintain top-end success longterm.
- After back-to-back subpar seasons, Alex Bregman finally won over the hearts of fantasy managers once again with his performance in 2022. In 656 PA, Bregman finished with 93 runs, 23 home runs, 93 RBI, and a .259/.366/.454 slash line. Valuing Bregman right now ultimately depends on your contention window. In a neutral park or literally anywhere outside of Houston, Bregman would be several spots lower in my rankings. His quality of contact metrics are middle of the road 7.3% BRL, 88.9 mph AVG EV, 37.8% HH), but Bregman has been able to maximize his production with a career 43.2% pull rate, really taking advantage of the short Crawford Boxes in left field. So, for now, Bregman’s production should remain around where he was in 2022. The approach is still stellar, highlighted by a 90.6% Zone Contact, 14.9% whiff, and 17.8% chase rates. If you’re a contender looking for his immediate production, Bregman would be a hold for me. However, if your contention window is looking to be a couple of years away, Bregman is an ideal sell candidate. His contract with Houston ends after 2024, and while he could always resign, the thought of him anywhere else isn’t nearly as exciting. If you fall into the 2+ year contention window, I’d entertain the idea of trading Bregman, possibly for one of the younger options listed below along with a nice second piece.
- This position is in the middle of receiving a timely injection of young talent. The quartet of Miguel Vargas, Josh Jung, Jose Miranda, and Brett Baty all debuted during the 2022 season and all realistically could develop into Top 15 options at this position annually. Miranda is the only one of this group to have extended time in the Majors, and he really took off over the final three months of the season. From June 27th on, Miranda slashed .287/.350/.443 in 346 PA with 11 home runs and 50 RBI. Given what he showed in the minors, Miranda hitting .280 longterm with 20-25 home runs annually is certainly realistic. You could say the same for Jung and Baty too, just with a slightly lower average for Baty. All should be low-end starters or high-end CI options. Vargas is the one I’m the most excited about. All he’s done since signing with the Dodgers six years ago is consistently hit for a high average (.313 in MiLB) while demonstrating increased power over the last couple of seasons (.207 ISO in 2021 and 2022). He can also provide a bit of speed as well. Wrap it all up and Vargas has the skills to be a .290/20+/10 type with plenty of runs and RBI hitting in the always potent Dodgers lineup.
- There are two main buy-low targets for me at this position right now. The first is Max Muncy. In the three full seasons (18/19/21) leading up to 2022, Muncy averaged 90.3 R, 35.3 HR, and 90.3 RBI while hitting between .249 and .263 with an OBP between .368 and .391 each season. An injury limited him early in 2022, but Muncy was able to return to form late in the season. Over his final 226 PA beginning August 1st, Muncy slashed .247/.358/.500 with 29 runs, 12 home runs, 37 RBI, .253 ISO, and .373 wOBA. That wOBA was barely below Betts and Freeman during that span. Muncy also recorded a 92.3 mph AVG EV, 14.7% barrel rate, and 50.7% hard-hit rate after August 1st. If you’re a contending team or looking for a boost at this position without breaking the bank, Muncy is your guy.
- My other buy-low is Ke’Bryan Hayes. Even through his struggles and inconsistencies at the plate, Hayes has still provided value with his legs. Over the last two seasons, Hayes has swiped 29 bags in 232 games. Only Jose Ramirez and Josh Rojas have more steals during this timeframe. But of course, we’re all waiting for Hayes’ bat to wake up and make him a Top-100 overall player. Admittedly, I’ve never been the highest on Hayes, but I’m still a believer that top 100 overall can happen for him. The main problem for Hayes has been his ground ball rate, which sits at 52.4% for his career. Hayes has shown that he can make good contact (89.3% zone contact, 91 mph AVG EV, 46.8% HH in 2022), but most of that is into the ground. If Hayes is able to drive the ball in the air a bit more in 2023, there’s a decent chance he could push 20/20 over a full season. He’s definitely worth targeting in dynasty leagues right now given his upside.
- With Alec Bohm, it’s time we all accept him for who he is. Bohm has shown the ability to hit for a high AVG and has the metrics to back that up. He does chase a bit too much, but also only had a low 21.1% whiff rate, above-average contact rates, and only struck out 17.4% of the time. On top of that, Bohm doesn’t struggle against any pitch classification, posting an xBA right around .290 for all three. We’ve all been hoping for more power to show up in games, and more could given his solid QoC metrics. However, Bohm’s swing isn’t geared for driving the ball in the air consistently, and will likely need a slight swing adjustment to unlock any sort of impactful game power. That might come at the expense of some AVG too. At this point, let’s just all accept him as a .280/15 type that can exceed 150 R+RBI annually in a good Phillies lineup. Any additional power is gravy.
- You may be asking, why am I more willing to buy Hayes than Bohm right now given that they’re both young bats with good QoC metrics that hit the ball in the ground too much? Well, at least with Hayes, he can provide that speed element when Bohm provides little to none. I’d also be willing to take a stab on Bohm as a buy-low if the price was right, but I’m slightly less bullish on him.
- Two big names that haven’t exactly provided big production in quite some time now are Anthony Rendon and Yoan Moncada. Honestly, I’m only targeting these guys if the person that rosters them is looking to trade them away for pennies. Rendon hasn’t been productive since 2020, posting back-to-back seasons in 2021 and 2022 with an AVG under .250, OBP under .330, and SLG under .400. Yes, injuries have played into that, but that’s another issue altogether. Rendon can’t stay on the field and since he provides zero speed anymore, he needs the bat to catty him. With Moncada, all we’ve really gotten from him is that one great season in 2019. Overall, his metrics haven’t been terrible either. Moncada has trimmed the K rate a bit over the last two seasons while being around league average in many approach and QoC metrics. I’d be more willing to buy Moncada than Rendon right now in dynasty at their likely respective price tags.
- If you’re looking for notes on the prospects included in these rankings, you can find those in my Third Base Prospect Rankings article.
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2023 Dynasty Third Base Rankings
|1||Bobby Witt Jr.||KCR||22.7|
|10||Elly De La Cruz||CIN||21.1|
|50||Deyvison De Los Santos||ARI||19.6|