3 Breakout Third Basemen for 2023

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Third base is rightly critiqued for its sharp drop of star talent around Alex Bregman or maybe Gunnar Henderson if you are in on him. I see Max Muncy as a bridge to Questionsville around pick 135. Some of my breakouts live in Questionsville, but are cheap enough to take on those potential red flags. These are guys I like above their market price and have them easily outperforming their draft cost.

Josh Jung | TEX

My Projection: .250/.321/.443, 22 HR, 72 R, 78 RBI, 4 SB in 571 PA

It was a weird debut sample for Jung that featured some impressive pop (.214 ISO), but at the cost of way too many strikeouts (38%) in 102 PA. In the end, it’s a tiny sample coming off injury and Jung showed solid plate skills during his minor league ascent (21% K, 8% BB), capable of a much better AVG while not exactly giving back all the power (.311 AVG, .227 ISO in 675 MiLB PA). He is the 20th 3B off the board in Rotowire Online Championship leagues (236th) and I have him 14th with upside to hit low-.270s with a mid-20s HR total.

Ke’Bryan Hayes | PIT |  

My Projection: .269/.341/.409, 13 HR, 69 R, 57 RBI, 21 SB in 608 PA

Hayes salvaged some fantasy value last year with 20 SBs, but the .244 AVG and 7 HRs were very disappointing in his first full season. Back and shoulder issues nagged him throughout the season including an IL stint in August which cut into his power output and left him with just a .101 ISO. Hayes had a .160 ISO in 506 PA at Triple-A and was tabbed with 50 Raw Power in his last prospect report. A fully healthy season will allow him to tap into his power more as well as raise his AVG.

Spencer Steer | CIN |

My Projection: .267/.345/.420, 15 HR, 63 R, 67 RBI, 3 SB in 538 PA

Steer is kind of a Jung-lite, exchanging some of the power upside for a sturdier hit tool, but given their respective parks, their production could be near equal. Steer’s ADP lives up to the Jung-lite title, too. In fact, that might undersell just how cheap he is, going as the 37th 3B (359th). The modest MLB sample (76 wRC+) doesn’t really move the needle down for me as it’s too small of a sample to draw much from at 108 PA and his plate skills (24%K, 10% BB, 8% SwStr) were in order. The Reds might be an even better park-juiced offense to buy into than the standard Rockies with more appealing options at a lower cost.

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and Content Director for OOTP Perfect Team. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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j dmember
11 months ago

Shhhh on Jung… I’m thinking you are low on hr’s and sb’s especially if he hits 6th or 7th.