Hardcore baseball fans can argue for hours about who is best among Major League Baseball’s talented third baseman. Baseball has all-star worthy players at every position, but the hot corner is breeding not just all-star caliber players, but MVP’s.
Here’s the landscape of third basemen: There are four superstar players and then everyone else is a notch below. Who’s the best among those four?
One of those aforementioned MVP’s is Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. The 25 year-old is only in his third season in the big leagues and has already established himself as one of the best players in the league. Playing in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field certainly helps him maintain close to a .300 BA, but his power is undeniable, and his average combined with his power is certainly MVP worthy. Bryant is good for 34 homers, 104 RBI, 110 runs and a .286 average over a 162 game season.
Playing for the world champion Cubs may gain Bryant more notoriety than others, but those “others” should not be overlooked. Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies is a machine on offense as well as in the field. Arenado has four gold gloves to his name and also is good for 32 long balls, 109 RBI, 94 runs and a .286 batting average over a full season. Not too shabby for a 26 year-old. Perhaps aided by the Mile-High City in Colorado where baseballs fly out, but in any case his numbers are undeniably incredible.
The next third baseman to examine is Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles. It’s hard to believe the 24 year-old is already in his sixth season, but he has already catapulted into the conversation for the best third baseman. Machado has earned two gold gloves playing third base, his secondary position, (He is a shortstop by nature), and while his offensive numbers aren’t like those of Bryant or Arenado, they are still well above average. He goes for 29 homers, 84 RBI, 95 runs and a .281 batting average over the course of a season. Certainly in the upper echelon of those who man the hot corner.
Staying in the American League, Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays rounds out the great third basemen debate. Although Donaldson is hampered this season by injuries, he has made himself a household name in Toronto; winning MVP his first season there. Although he is the elder statesmen of the four third basemen, the 31 year-old doesn’t let his age hold him down. Over his time with Canada’s team, he averages 39 home runs to go along with 111 RBI, 122 runs and a .290 batting average.
Every player has their advantages and depending on the surrounding team, your choice may change. Who is the best third baseman in baseball right now?
All statistics courtesy of baseballreference.com.