Ladies and Gentlemen: 30 days, 30 MLB position rankings. Nine positions and the top starting pitcher ranked from each team in three parts each. Each player on the list is based on who the projected starter is for a team for the 2020 season by position. On day ten of this series, we’ll look at the third basemen ranked 30-21.
Check out my previous rankings from this series:
30. Carter Kieboom, Washington Nationals
2019: 11 games, .128/.209/.282 splits, .491 OPS, 2 Home Runs, 2 RBIs
After Anthony Rendon left in free agency, Carter Kieboom has some big shoes to fill at third base. While the 22-year-old has a lot of potential, I can’t rank him any higher based on what we’ve seen from him at the MLB level so far. If Kieboom struggles, Ryan Zimmerman may see some time at third in 2020 as well.
29. Jeimer Candelario, Detroit Tigers
2019: 94 games, .203/.306/.337 splits, .643 OPS, 8 Home Runs, 32 RBIs
As they did in 2019, Jeimer Candelario and Dawel Lugo will likely split time at third base for Detroit in 2020. After a solid year in 2018, Candelario struggled to make an impact at the plate last year. Defensively, Candelario is below league-average as well as he committed six errors last year with a .967 fielding percentage at third. He’s hoping to turn it around for the Tigers in 2020.
28. Rio Ruiz, Baltimore Orioles
2019: 127 games, .232/.306/.376 splits, .682 OPS, 12 Home Runs, 46 RBIs
After spending three years as a backup with the Braves, Rio Ruiz finally got the opportunity to play in 2020. While Ruiz wasn’t terrible, he didn’t play very well, either. Ruiz doesn’t hit for average and doesn’t have a lot of power in his bat. Defensively, he’s below league-average as well, with a -5 Rdrs at third in 2019.
27. Colin Moran, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019: 149 games, .277/.322/.429 splits, .751 OPS, 13 Home Runs, 80 RBIs
Part of the Gerrit Cole-Astros trade, Colin Moran didn’t do much to stand out in 2019. While Moran does a good job of getting on base, he doesn’t have a ton of power in his bat. However, his defense is why he is so low on this list. After committing 14 errors at third in 2019, Moran is arguably the worst defensive third baseman in MLB. 2020 may be a make or break year for the 27-year-old.
26. Maikel Franco, Kansas City Royals
2019: 123 games, .234/.297/.409 splits, .705 OPS, 17 Home Runs, 56 RBIs
After six underwhelming seasons in Philadelphia, Maikel Franco finds himself with a new team in 2020. Franco has shown signs of being a top-tier power-hitting third baseman but has never been able to put it together for a full season. Franco got off to a hot start in 2019 but fell into a major slump in June. Hopefully, with less pressure on him to perform, Franco can turn it around this season.
25. Todd Frazier, Texas Rangers
2019: 133 games, .251/.329/.443 splits, .772 OPS, 21 Home Runs, 67 RBIs
Once a 40 home run hitter back in 2016, Todd Frazier has fallen off the last few seasons. After an underwhelming year with the Mets in 2019, Frazier signed a deal with the Texas Rangers. If Frazier struggles in 2020, Nick Solak may have the opportunity to take his playing time. It will be interesting to see how that plays out next season.
24. Matt Carpenter, St.Louis Cardinals
2019: 129 games, .226/.334/.392 splits, .726 OPS, 15 Home Runs, 46 RBIs
After an MVP caliber year in 2018, Matt Carpenter completely fell off last season. Posting 36 home runs two seasons ago, Carpenter could not live up to the expectations. Tommy Edman had a solid year while playing third, but will be listed on the left fielders’ list for these rankings. If Carpenter struggles, Edman may take over at third base with Tyler O’Neill taking over left field.
23. Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves
2019: 80 games, .226/.279/.471 splits, .750 OPS, 18 Home Runs, 49 RBIs
After Josh Donaldson left, the Braves have a gap to fill at third base. While Johan Camargo may get playing time at the hot corner as well, 23-year-old Austin Riley is the more intriguing option. As a rookie, Riley smashed 18 home runs while playing just 80 games. Defensively, he was right around league-average, but projects to be a solid defender at the MLB level. It will be interesting to see if Riley breaks out in 2020.
22. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
2019: 106 games, .239/.321/.468 splits, .789 OPS, 23 Home Runs, 63 RBIs
A one-time all-star in 2014, Kyle Seager has fallen off these past two seasons and battled injuries in 2019. Seager still has some pop left in his bat but doesn’t hit for a high average. He especially struggles while facing right-handed pitchers. Once a gold-glove winner, Seager is now slightly above league-average in the field with a 3 Rdrs last season.
21. Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants
2019: 129 games, .254/.325/.437 splits, .762 OPS, 20 Home Runs, 69 RBIs
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Once at the top of the third base hierarchy, Evan Longoria has fallen off quite a bit these past two seasons. While he’s far from terrible, his power isn’t what it once was during his prime. Longo had the worst year of his career with the glove as he made 15 errors in 119 games at third. Hopefully, he can turn it around, although, at 34, Longoria likely doesn’t have much left in the tank.
Come back tomorrow for day eleven of my ranking where I’ll rank third basemen from 20-11.
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