Paul Sporer’s 2023 Third Base Rankings by Paul Sporer January 26, 2023 Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports The Hot Corner is tough this year. There is a pack of stars atop the heap, but then a substantial drop-off where things completely open up. You could find yourself behind the 8-ball if you wait too long. Meanwhile, you could aim to make things worse for your leaguemates by taking some multi-eligible players and slotting them throughout your lineup. 2023 Third Base Ranks RK NAME TEAM LG POS 1 José Ramírez CLE AL 3B 2 Manny Machado SD NL 3B 3 Bobby Witt Jr. KC AL 3B/SS 4 Rafael Devers BOS AL 3B 5 Austin Riley ATL NL 3B 6 Nolan Arenado STL NL 3B 7 Alex Bregman HOU AL 3B 8 Ke’Bryan Hayes PIT NL 3B 9 Gunnar Henderson BAL AL 3B 10 Josh Jung TEX AL 3B 11 Max Muncy LAD NL 2B/3B 12 Brandon Drury LAA AL 1B/2B/3B 13 Alec Bohm PHI NL 3B 14 Ryan McMahon COL NL 3B 15 Jose Miranda MIN AL 1B/3B 16 Anthony Rendon LAA AL 3B 17 Jordan Walker STL NL 3B 18 Matt Chapman TOR AL 3B 19 Ha-Seong Kim 김하성 SD NL 3B/SS 20 Yandy Díaz TB AL 3B 21 Luis Urías MIL NL 2B/3B/SS 22 Justin Turner BOS AL 3B 23 DJ LeMahieu NYY AL 1B/2B/3B 24 Eugenio Suárez SEA AL 3B 25 Rodolfo Castro PIT NL 2B/3B 26 Joey Wendle MIA NL 2B/3B/SS 27 Gio Urshela LAA AL 3B 28 Yoán Moncada CHW AL 3B 29 Eduardo Escobar NYM NL 3B 30 Josh Rojas ARI NL 2B/3B 31 Jeimer Candelario WAS NL 3B 32 Luis Rengifo LAA AL 2B/3B 33 Spencer Steer CIN NL 3B 34 Wilmer Flores SF NL 1B/2B/3B 35 Ramón Urías BAL AL 2B/3B 36 Brendan Donovan STL NL 2B/3B/OF 37 Brian Anderson MIL NL 3B/OF 38 Evan Longoria ARI NL 3B 39 Isaac Paredes TB AL 1B/2B/3B 40 Jace Peterson OAK AL 3B 41 Kyle Farmer MIN AL 3B/SS 42 J.D. Davis SF NL 3B 43 Jon Berti MIA NL 2B/3B 44 Patrick Wisdom CHC NL 3B 45 Curtis Mead TB AL 3B 46 Brett Baty NYM NL 3B 47 Emmanuel Rivera ARI NL 3B 48 Josh Smith TEX AL 3B/OF 49 Bobby Dalbec BOS AL 1B/3B 50 Josh Donaldson NYY AL 3B 20 gm qualification; 5×5 Roto; Blue indicates new tier NOTES: The lack of premium talent at the Hot Corner makes José Ramírez a legit 1.1 consideration for me. Make no mistake, his skills alone do that, too, but there are a handful of candidates for that top spot and when trying to parse through them, his eligibility at 3B is a big selling point for me. Manny Machado is just as rock solid as it gets and almost feels like a bit of a bargain as a wheel pick, going regularly in the 14-18 range in 15-team leagues. He has even gone as late as 20 during January which is a steal with his ironclad production and dearth of premium 3B. I understand why Bobby Witt Jr. is a firm mid-1st rounder with his power-speed capability, but there is some risk with his slash line output and team support for the R/RBI which is why he fell just behind Machado for me (less than a dollar difference in projected value). There’s a world where you can open with the pair and put Witt at SS and Machado at 3B which would have the ancillary benefit of further draining the pool for the rest of your leaguemates. Rafael Devers and Austin Riley are literally 2 cents apart for me! Devers gets the edge in AVG and Riley gets the edge in R/RBI while both looking like great bets for 30+ HRs. Pick your poison. Nolan Arenado is kind of a Last Chance Saloon for top of the scale 3B with nearly 50 picks between him and the next one off the board. The 32-year-old has remained excellent despite leaving Coors with a .273/.335/.513 line, averaging 32 HR, 104 RBI, and 77 R in his two years with the Cardinals. He remains a bona fide superstar. If I happen to miss on those first six 3B, I have no problem “settling” for #7, Alex Bregman. I don’t quite have him on Arenado’s level, but Bregman’s just 4 HRs and 9 RBIs behind him with 10 AVG pts and 6 R edges over him in my projections. He is my true Last Chance Saloon for a bankable 3B. I like guys in the following group, but they all come with legit questions. I expressed some genuine excitement about the upside of both Ke’Bryan Hayes and Josh Jung in our podcast breaking down the position. I have Gunnar Henderson in between them, but I’m not quite as confident as the market on him. He is going right by Bregman with an 89 ADP in January Draft Champions drafts and I’m just not sure he’s a Top 100 guy in year one. I have the trio pretty close overall and given that Hayes (175 ADP) and Jung (218 ADP) are markedly cheaper, I will have much more of both over Henderson. Max Muncy is poised for a strong rebound. Check out my breakdown of him here. I’m not going to write up Brandon Drury at every eligible position because I’d run out of stuff to say! Check out my thoughts in the 1B breakdown. Is there a Bohm Breakout on the horizon? He will need to improve against righties. He had a 306-point platoon split in his OPS favoring his work against lefties (.935 OPS). Of course, with so many more righty starters in the league, just 28% of his plate appearances came against southpaws. He doesn’t have to completely close the gap, but unless his OPS against righties starts with a 7, he will struggle to be super fantasy relevant. Ryan McMahon has the standard Coors home/road split (182 pt OPS split last yr; 188 career) and likely should just be used at home as often as possible. I’m surprised he only hits .270 at Coors for his career. Obviously, it alllll comes down to health with Anthony Rendon. At a 244 ADP, the risk is covered in the cost for me, but I understand anyone who is just done with him after all the injury headaches throughout his career. Jordan Walker zipped up my rankings after reading that he has a strong chance to break camp with the club in Jeff’s Mining the News. I added just over 100 PA to his projection, up to 480, and he surged from 32 to 17 at the position. And 480 still builds in plenty of wiggle room in case he doesn’t just hit the ground running and put up a full season. I wanted to give my boy Matt Chapman a little AVG love on the heels of the new Rogers Centre dimensions, but Derek Carty put some cold water on that so for now I’ll keep it in the back pocket as potential as opposed to outright projection. He could muscle up for his 2nd 30+ HR season, though… just make sure you have some AVG padding. Or maybe you pair him with Yandy Díaz and put one of them in your CI or UT. I’ve got them for a combined .256 AVG, 39 HR, 163 R, 143 RBI, and 5 chip-in SBs. While I do have the Green Monster eating up some HRs for Justin Turner, I do like his AVG to push back up over .290 after back-to-back seasons right at .278 in Dodger Stadium. Speaking of AVG, I’m nervous about Eugenio Suárez’s which explains his ranking entirely as I still have him popping 29 HRs. I don’t necessarily think he is going to dip back to 2021’s .224 BABIP, but I’m very dubious of him holding the .302 mark from last year as his strikeout rate continues, peaking at 31% last year. Joey Wendle has some sneaky double-double potential if his 4% HR/FB regresses toward the 11% he had in 685 PA from 2020-21, though even just getting back to the career 8% he had coming into last year would get him there with a full season of work. He has averaged 15 SBs per 550 PA since 2018, too, and he’s a career .271 hitter. He’s a triple eligible glue guy, particularly for deeper leagues, and priced to buy at 384 ADP. Quick Hitters: I waaaant to get excited about Yoán Moncada, but I just can’t. There’s nothing in the profile to make me believe he is going to magically turn it on. At least he isn’t expensive at a 290 ADP. I’m not particularly rosy on Josh Rojas’s playing time outlook with just 460 PA projected. He is the kind of utilityman who plays everywhere because he can’t play anywhere and the D’Backs aren’t committing any single spot to him. Jeimer Candelario has some bounce back upside moving into Washington with his home park factor moving from 75 in Detroit to 106 in DC. Luis Rengifo tumbles back down the lineup with the healthy Angels coming back, but does have dual eligibility at 2B and 3B. I’ll take damn near anyone in Cincinnati, so Spencer Steer is definitely on my deep league radar. If Brian Anderson finds some health, he could surge in Milwaukee. Keep tabs on him in Spring Training. No chance I’m drafting Jon Berti at his 264 ADP. He stole 35 bases in 722 PA coming into 2022 and then ripped off a league-best 41 in just 404. He won’t come close to either the SBs or PA in 2023 and I’m not even interested in the 22 SBs I projected him for across 326 PA. I put Curtis Mead down for 90 games, but if he gets up earlier, there is some upside. He’s hit .306/.376/.517 with 17 HR and 11 SB per 500 PA in the minors. — What’s your plan at 3B this year?