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2021 MLB Rankings: Third Base 30-21

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2021 MLB Rankings: 30 days of MLB rankings! In this series, we will be ranking every projected starting player for the 2021 season at each in position, each in three parts. On day nine of this series, we’ll look at the top ten shortstops in MLB. 

Check out the previous rankings from this 2021 MLB Rankings series: 

Catchers 30-21 | Catchers 20-11 | Catchers 10-1First Base 30-21First Base 20-11 | First Base 10-1Second Base 30-21Second Base 20-11Second Base 10-1Shortstop 30-21Shortsop 20-11| Shortstop 10-1

2021 MLB Rankings: 30-26

30. Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies 2020: NR

2020: 7 games, .095/.095/.143 splits, .238 OPS, 0 Home Runs, 2 RBIs

Downgrading from having the best third baseman in Nolan Arenado to the worst in Brendan Rodgers is a historically bad occurrence for the Rockies. In a limited sample size of 32 career games, Rodgers, the former third overall pick, has struggled mightily. However, he’s going to get the chance to play every day at third for Colorado in 2021.  

29. Carter Kieboom, Washington Nationals 2020: 30

2020: 33 games, .202/.344/.212 splits, .556 OPS, 0 Home Runs, 9 RBIs

Through 44 career games, Carter Kieboom has struggled considerably to find his place at the MLB level. While he draws a lot of walks, his lack of aggressiveness has been his downfall, and he only had one extra-base hit in 2020. Defensively, he had a great season with an Rdrs of 5, but his lack of promise offensively is why he is ranked so low.  

28. Nick Solak, Texas Rangers 2020: NR

2020: 58 games, .268/.326/.344 splits, .671 OPS, 2 Home Runs, 23 RBIs

Another former top prospect failing to live up to expectations, Nick Solak has struggled through two MLB seasons. With Todd Frazier signing with Pittsburgh, Solak will get the chance to be the Rangers’ everyday third baseman in 2021. If Solak struggles, utilityman Brock Holt could cut into his playing time.  

27. Travis Shaw, Milwaukee Brewers 2020: (28-1B)

2020: 50 games, .239/.306/.411 splits, .717 OPS, 6 Home Runs, 17 RBIs

After a horrendous year in 2019, Travis Shaw had a decent season with Toronto in 2020. Now back in Milwaukee, Shaw is penciled in as the Brewers’ third baseman, although he may split time with Luis Urias. After a breakout year in 2018, Shaw has yet to re-find the power or consistency he had during that campaign.  

26. Rio Ruiz, Baltimore Orioles 2020: 28

2020: 54 games, .222/.286/.427 splits, .713 OPS, 9 Home Runs, 32 RBIs

Rio Ruiz doesn’t do anything spectacular, but on a lackluster Orioles’ roster, he gets the chance to play every day at third base. Ruiz flashed a bit of power but is not consistent enough at getting base. Defensively, he’s right around league-average. While Ruiz doesn’t bring much to the table, he’s the best option for Baltimore heading into 2020.  

2021 MLB Rankings: 25-21

25. Jeimer Candelario, Detroit Tigers 2020: 29

2020: 52 games, .297/.369/.503 splits, .872 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 29 RBIs

In the shortened season, Jeimer Candelario had the best year of his career as he recorded an OPS+ of 135 at age 26. More of a first baseman in 2020, Candelario is projected to move across the diamond for the 2021 season. Candelario showed that he has some potential in 2020 but needs to put it all together for a full season. 

24. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners 2020: 22

2020: 60 games, .241/.355/.433 splits, .788 OPS, 9 Home Runs, 40 RBIs

At this stage in his career, Kyle Seager is not the hitter that he once was. While he still possesses decent power, his batting average dropped considerably. To his credit, he does a great job at limiting strikeouts. Defensively, he’s fallen off as well, posting a poor Rdrs of -5 in 2020. Not to mention, he likely won’t be returning to Seattle past 2021. 

23. Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants 2020: 21

2020: 53 games, .254/.297/.425 splits, .722 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 28 RBIs

Speaking of third basemen well past their prime, look no further than Evan Longoria, who continued to struggle in 2020. While he was far from being awful, Longoria is nowhere near the hitter he once was, specifically in his power and vision. Defensively, he’s still solid but nowhere close to his former Gold Glove form.   

22. Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves 2020: 23

2020: 51 games, .239/.301/.415 splits, .716 OPS, 8 Home Runs, 27 RBIs

In his first season as the Braves’ everyday third baseman, Austin Riley flashed some power but yet to take that leap to the next level. Riley clearly has the potential to be a 30+ home run hitter but needs to work on his discipline at the plate. Defensively, he’s very much a liability as he recorded an Rdrs of -8 at third in 2020.  

21. Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays 2020: NR

2020: 50 games, .286/.342/.435 splits, .777 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 17 RBIs

A man who plays around the infield, Joey Wendle is projected to be the Rays’ third baseman to start the 2021 year. While he may platoon with Yandy Diaz, Wendle, a left-handed batter, should be in the lineup against righties. At the plate, he’s nothing special but does a solid job at getting on base. Defensively, third base is his best spot as Wendle posted an Rdrs of 3 in 2020. 


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