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 eleven of this series, we’ll look at the third basemen ranked 20-11.
Check out my previous rankings from this series:
20. Eric Sogard, Milwaukee Brewers
2019: 110 games, .290/.328/.404 splits, .731 OPS, 13 Home Runs, 40 RBIs
Well-known for his glasses and nerdy look, Eric Sogard had an unexpected breakout season at age 33 in 2019. Having never hit more than three home runs in his first eight seasons, Sogard went well above that mark by hitting 13 last year. After Sogard’s solid start to the year with Toronto, the Tampa Bay Rays made a trade to acquire him at the trade deadline. After Mike Moustakas left for Cincinnati, Sogard signed to be the Brewers’ everyday third baseman in 2020.
19. Yandy Diaz, Tampa Bay Rays
2019: 79 games, .267/.340/.476 splits, .816 OPS, 14 Home Runs, 38 RBIs
After spending the first two years of his career as a backup with the Indians, Yandy Diaz got the opportunity to play more with the Rays last year. Despite missing a lot of time due to injury, he played pretty well. At the plate, he displays a lot of power and also does a solid job at drawing walks. However, on the field, he’s below league-average and had a -4 Rdrs in 2019.
18. Jean Segura, Philadelphia Phillies
2019: 144 games, .280/.323/.420 splits, .743 OPS, 12 Home Runs, 60 RBIs
As mentioned in the second base rankings, it’s unclear, between Jean Segura and Scott Kingery, who will play second and who will play third base in 2020. For the sake of these rankings, Segura is listed at third while Kingery was listed at second. Segura doesn’t hit for power but has always been a solid contact hitter. He also provides a decent amount of speed on the base paths. It will be interesting to see how he performs at a new position in the field in 2020.
17. Brian Anderson, Miami Marlins
2019: 126 games, .261/.342/.468 splits, .811 OPS, 20 Home Runs, 66 RBIs
On a team without much talent, Brian Anderson is arguably the Marlins’ best hitter. After a solid rookie year in 2018, Anderson performed even better last year, smashing 20 home runs. Anderson is well above league-average with his glove as well. Anderson doesn’t get a lot of attention, being on a bad team, but if he can improve as a hitter, he has all-star potential.
16. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
2019: 123 games, .272/.339/.433 splits, .772 OPS, 15 Home Runs, 69 RBIs
Sure, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is one of the bright young stars in MLB and has a very high ceiling. However, based on what we’ve seen from him so far in his career, 16 is a very fair ranking. At the plate, Guerrero didn’t display his power as much as most fans were hoping to see. In the field, he’s still a work in progress and struggled at third last year. At age 21, it will be interesting to see how much of a leap Guerrero can take in his game next season.
15. Gio Urshela, New York Yankees
2019: 132 games, .314/.355/.534 splits, .889 OPS, 21 Home Runs, 74 RBIs
After Miguel Andujar suffered a season-ending injury, Gio Urshela came out of nowhere and had a breakout year in 2020. Urshela has a lot of power while hitting over .300 as he posted 21 homers and 34 doubles last year. Defensively, Urshela struggles at times and made 13 errors in 2019. The Yankees are loaded with options, and with Miguel Andujar returning, it will be interesting to see how that affects the Yankees’ third base situation.
14. Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox
2019: 132 games, .315/.367/.548 splits, .915 OPS, 25 Home Runs 79 RBIs
A former top prospect with the Red Sox, Yoan Moncada had a lot of expectations around him after he was traded for Chris Sale. 2018 did not go his way as he struggled at hitting curveballs, leading to his striking out 217 times. However, in 2019, Moncada finally had a breakout campaign, hitting over .300 and smashing 25 home runs. Still only 25, Moncada should be exciting to watch for the foreseeable future.
13. Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
2019: 135 games, .290/.372/.509 splits, .881 OPS, 27 Home Runs, 67 RBIs
Following an injury-riddled year in 2018, Justin Turner had another great year in 2019, matching a career-high of 27 home runs. Turner does a great job of working at-bats deep into counts, without posting high strikeout numbers. In the field, Turner wasn’t as smooth as he was from 2016-2018, but was still above league-average in 2019. If he can stay healthy, Turner will continue to be a key piece of this Dodgers’ team.
12. Eduardo Escobar, Arizona Diamondbacks
2019: 158 games, .269/.320/.511 splits, .831 OPS, 35 Home Runs, 118 RBIs
A career league-average hitter, Eduardo Escobar took his game to a new level, posting career-highs across the board in 2019. In addition to hitting 35 home runs, Escobar also led the MLB with ten triples. In the field, Escobar is right above league-average and posted a .978 fielding percentage in 2019. It will be interesting to see if he can build on last year’s success in 2020.
11. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
2019: 129 games, .255/.327/.479 splits, .806 OPS, 23 Home Runs, 83 RBIs
After MVP-caliber seasons in 2017 and 2018, Jose Ramirez had a bit of a down year last season. Following a 39 home run, 34 steal season, Ramirez’s numbers dropped to 23 homers and 24 steals in 2019. Defensively, Ramirez has always been around league-average, but never close to the elite level. Third base is a stacked position, and Ramirez barely misses out on the top ten this year.
Come back tomorrow for the top ten third basemen ranking!
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