Welcome to my positional prospect rankings series for 2023. The offseason is always a fun time, especially in the world of dynasty and prospect rankings. This is the time of year when we have additional time to dissect our rankings in many different ways and dive deeper into prospect profiles to see if we have them ranked appropriately. The two most beneficial ways to break them down are by team and position. In this series, I’m going position by position, continuing with my top Third Base Prospect Rankings here today.
- Right off the bat, we have a trio of potential superstars, but I’m not sure any of them will play at the hot corner long-term. Out of the three, the one with the lowest percent chance of sticking sat this position is Jordan Walker. Could he? Absolutely. But St. Louis happens to have some fellow named Nolan Arenado and his 10-straight gold glove awards locked in at this position through 2027. Walker played in the outfield exclusively during his Arizona Fall League tenure and will play out there moving forward. It doesn’t really matter where Walker winds up as his offensive profile is so damn good. Think about if Eloy Jimenez could steal some bags. That’s what we’re potentially looking at here with Walker. As for Gunnar Henderson and Elly De La Cruz, both will likely play shortstop (or elsewhere for Elly).
Jordan Walker with a deep double.#STLCards #Cardinals pic.twitter.com/R0x6neG9R6
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) November 4, 2022
- On the flip side, one prospect that won’t have eligibility here yet that I project to land here long-term is Noelvi Marte. Out in the Arizona Fall League, Marte only played third, and with his added bulk, I highly doubt he sticks at shortstop longterm. After a lackluster first two months of the season, Marte cranked up the heat in late June, slashing .333/.425/.575 with 11 doubles, 13 home runs, and 18 steals in 245 plate appearances from June 25th on. He also walked 12.7% of the time while trimming the strikeout rate to 16.7%. Marte still appears to be adjusting to his bigger frame, but once he does, watch out. Marte could settle in as a .270/30 type in a great home ballpark with the ability to still add around 10 steals annually. Now is a great time to buy in dynasty leagues.
Noelvi Marte BP, AFL Fall Stars game.#ATOBTTR pic.twitter.com/pwR0NwbT90
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) November 6, 2022
- I’m going to group Miguel Vargas, Josh Jung, and Brett Baty together here as all three will likely make an impact at the Major League level this season. All three have showcased plenty of potency with the bat throughout their respective minor league tenures. If I had to pick just one to invest in longterm, it would be Vargas. Overall, the AVG/HR between he and Jung will probably be fairly similar, but Vargas can also add a bit of speed as well. With Baty, he has the upside to hit .260+ with 25 home runs annually, but he has a tendency to be too aggressive at times which could limit him a bit.
- Vargas: 1850 PA, .313/.390/.488, 112 2B, 49 HR, 47 SB, 10.5% BB, 15.4% K, .175 ISO
- Jung: 675 PA, .311/.381/.538, 43 2B, 30 HR, 8.3% BB, 21.2% K, .227 ISO
- Baty: 1033 PA, .289/.390/.493, 60 2B, 38 HR, 12.6% BB, 25.8% K, .204 ISO
All three of Brett Baty's 109+ EV hits from my live looks last week.
In order, 109, 112, 114.#LGM pic.twitter.com/9tDL9p9jWL
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) April 25, 2022
- Switching from some near proximity bats to an FYPD bat, Cam Collier is one that we could see push Top 25 overall status by the end of 2023. Collier went the JuCo route in 2022 and established himself as one of the most potent bats in the entire draft class with a great feel for hitting and solid projection left on his frame to add additional bulk and power. He’s already shown that he can drive the ball consistently, but with more line drives than fly balls. Additional added bulk coupled with more batted balls in the air could push Collier into the 25+ homer territory at Great American Ballpark along with a good average and 5-10 steals as well.
- One of my favorite prospects at this position right now is Junior Caminero. Originally signed by Cleveland A, Caminero came to Tampa Bay in November 2021 and began breaking out in a big way last season. In 271 PA between rookie ball and Lo-A, Caminero slashed .314/.384/.498 with 11 home runs and 12 steals. At just 19 years old, Caminero was highly-impressive in the Lo-A South Atlantic League with a .299/.359/.505 slash line. He’s also had a stellar showing in winter ball with a .286/.357/.571 slash line in 32 games along with 10 home runs and five steals. Thanks to his above-average or better hit tool and raw power with the potential for more, Caminero is rising up rankings quickly and could flirt with Top 25 overall status this season. Go get him.
- If you’re looking for a buy-low target at this position with plenty of upside as well, look no further than Coby Mayo. The 2020 4th round pick made it all the way to Double-A at age 20 last summer, and even though the results don’t stand out, Mayo projects favorably longterm. There’s double-plus raw power here and a good enough hit tool, when paired with his excellent QoC, to settle in around .260 or so. If he can keep the strikeouts in check, Mayo has middle-of-the-order bat written all over him.
- One player I saw out in the Arizona Fall League that impressed me quite a bit was Colt Keith. In 80 AFL plate appearances, Keith slashed .344/.463/.501 with as many walks as strikeouts (16) and a trio of steals and home runs. This after an impressive showing in Hi-A last season where he racked up 26 extra-base hits (9 HR) in 48 games with a .301/.370/.544 line. Keith has the skills to produce a high AVG/OBP while adding 20+ home runs as well. Recent news of Detroit moving in the center field fence (and lowering the wall) is an added bonus here longterm as well. Keith is definitely on the rise and could be top 50 overall soon.
Colt Keith double to left with commentary from @mjgovier.#DetroitRoots pic.twitter.com/rr82KRsBol
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) November 6, 2022
- While Keith impressed in the AFL, Warming Bernabel did not. In fact, Bernabel had one of the worst AFL performances this season. However, I’m not going to let a 15-game AFL sample size alter my opinion of him too much after back to back solid seasons in the minor leagues. Bernabel doesn’t stand out in any one area, but can contribute across the board with .275+/15+/15+ upside in Coors Field. Don’t rush to sell in dynasty leagues given his AFL performance. In fact, if you can buy low on him, I’d definitely kick the tires.
- FYPD Targets: Cam Collier, Jacob Berry, Tyler Locklear, Sal Stewart, Max Wagner, Trey Lipscomb
- Redraft Targets (In Order): Gunnar Henderson, Josh Jung, Jordan Walker, Miguel Vargas, Brett Baty, Jordan Westburg, Spencer Steer, Addison Barger, Elly De La Cruz, Curtis Mead, Mark Vientos, Enmanuel Valdez, Jordan Groshans
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2023 Third Base Prospect Rankings
Other positions can be found here, along with overall prospect rankings, dynasty rankings, and team prospect rankings.
|2||Elly De La Cruz||CIN||21.1||2023|
|21||Deyvison De Los Santos||ARI||19.6||2024|
Media Credit: Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire