High third basemen – by G. Scott Thomas

Baseball’s greatest third baseman toils in relative obscurity in Cleveland.

Jose Ramirez has been a fixture at that place for the Indians/Guardians since 2016. Opponents know all about him, as indicated by the 20 intentional walks they gave him final season, probably the most for any batter in both league. Sportswriters are equally acquainted, which is why they yearly put him close to the highest of their Most Precious Participant lists.

However informal followers usually appear to be unaware. If Ramirez had produced two-year totals of 65 homers and 229 RBIs in a New York uniform, he is likely to be heralded as a nationwide star. However he achieved these statistics in 2021 and 2022 for Cleveland, which is unquestionably not a significant media market.

But there is no such thing as a doubt of Ramirez’s supremacy, in response to my rankings of present third basemen.

The rankings are confined to the 28 gamers who made a minimum of 750 plate appearances from 2020 via 2022 and spent greater than half of their time as third basemen. (All of every participant’s statistics have been taken under consideration, even these gathered at different positions.)

My components strains up the gamers at every place from prime to backside, then assigns scores of 1,000 factors to the chief and 0 factors to the tailender. The scores for everyone else are decided by their relative placements between prime and backside.

Ramirez heads the standings of third basemen with the requisite 1,000 factors, adopted by Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres at 978.

There’s a substantial gulf between the 2 leaders and the remainder of the highest 5. Nolan Arenado of the St. Louis Cardinals and Austin Riley of the Atlanta Braves are tied for third place with 819 factors apiece, and Rafael Devers of the Boston Pink Sox is fifth at 761.

I’m devoting successive Thursdays to a position-by-position overview of the highest gamers within the majors. Earlier installments targeted on catchers, first basemen, second basemen, and shortstops. We transfer to the outfield subsequent week.

Baseball’s prime 15 third basemen are listed beneath, with statistical breakdowns for the 5 leaders.

A brand new installment will arrive in your e-mail every weekday morning

  • Rating: 1,000 factors

  • WAR: 15.2 whole, 4.8 per 500 PA, 1.0 defensive

  • Averages: .276 BA, .539 SLG, .959 BPO

  • Scoring: 439 R generated, 139 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 367 G, 379 H

  • Notes: Ramirez isn’t merely one of the best third baseman in baseball; he’s top-of-the-line at any place. He completed second, sixth, and fourth within the balloting for the American League’s Most Precious Participant the previous three seasons. He has led the AL in doubles two occasions and in runs scored as soon as.

  • Rating: 978 factors

  • WAR: 15.0 whole, 4.9 per 500 PA, 1.7 defensive

  • Averages: .291 BA, .522 SLG, .891 BPO

  • Scoring: 415 R generated, 135 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 363 G, 397 H

  • Notes: Machado has by no means received an MVP trophy, although he has completed among the many prime 5 vote-getters on 4 events. The newest was final yr, when he positioned second within the Nationwide League race. If he hits 17 homers this yr, he’ll attain 300 for his 12-season profession.

  • Rating: 819 factors

  • WAR: 13.5 whole, 4.6 per 500 PA, 4.6 defensive

  • Averages: .270 BA, .502 SLG, .793 BPO

  • Scoring: 339 R generated, 115 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 353 G, 360 H

  • Notes: Arenado swings a robust bat — he led the NL in house runs in 2015, 2016, and 2018 — however he’s greatest recognized for his expertise within the discipline. He has received the league’s Gold Glove at third base repeatedly since his rookie season of 2013. That’s 10 trophies and counting.

  • Rating: 819 factors

  • WAR: 11.9 whole, 3.8 per 500 PA, 1.8 defensive

  • Averages: .281 BA, .514 SLG, .849 BPO

  • Scoring: 353 R generated, 113 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 370 G, 392 H

  • Notes: Riley, who simply turned 26, didn’t settle in as Atlanta’s third baseman till the Covid-shortened season of 2020. His breakout got here a yr later with 33 homers and 107 runs batted in. He completed seventh and sixth up to now two years’ elections for the NL’s MVP.

  • Rating: 761 factors

  • WAR: 8.7 whole, 2.9 per 500 PA, -1.5 defensive

  • Averages: .283 BA, .522 SLG, .845 BPO

  • Scoring: 385 R generated, 126 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 354 G, 390 H

  • Notes: Devers has been Boston’s third baseman since 2018, and he isn’t going anyplace. The Pink Sox have locked him up with a contract that runs via 2033. His mixed totals for 2021 and 2022 have been 65 homers and 201 RBIs.