Some things in life seem like they should be easy. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight. Picking up a kid and throwing them in a pool without your shoulders being sore. Driving and texting (which obviously is a joke and don’t do it).
Ranking baseballers accurately isn’t an exact science, and predicting things is hard in all aspects of life. I prefer to predict sports because the consequences are low, much like the returns on my retirement account.
Third base seemed so easy from the beginning. Jose Ramirez, of course, he’s far and away in his own tier. Manny Machado, guaranteed stud in the second round. Why on earth would you even mess with Yandy Diaz, he’s got no power. Come on, it’s too obvious.
I only covered first and third base this season. First base was refreshingly stable as the year went on. Third base was not. No, not at all. By my count, 6 new guys came into or solidified a rank in the top 15. Great young talent coming up at the hot corner. Let’s see how they shake out.
Only one guy for the first round and that’s Bobby Witt Jr. OBP leagues are obviously lower on him due to a .312 in that stat, so take this with a grain of salt. Will have or by the time this is posted have a 30-30 season with an above average batting average. He was also a productive source of runs and RBI given that he is a Royal. I probably would prefer to get him in the second but someone’s going to reach on a potential Trea Turner with actual power. Absolute #1 overall potential.
Tier 2: Really really really really good but don’t steal bases
That would be Rafael Devers and Austin Riley. Riley has absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be close to 40 bombs and a 100, or as cool people say a C-Note in R and RBI every year until the Braves get bad. Rafael Devers can have that exact same stat line. Both are great second round picks.
Tier 3A: Young Guns
Gunnar Henderson‘s season stats have been solid since the first two months of really bad stats that probably made owners jump off of his cliff and cut him and forget about his youth and prospect pedigree. I’m banking on continued improvement here, but it’s for sure possible, nay, even probable that he continues his upward trajectory.
Josh Jung was a godsend for teams who waited to draft a third baseman until his thumb got an owie. Again, I’m thinking he improves a bit, but he’s good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, I just like him.
Yandy Diaz I talked about in the first base article. Summary: good real life hitter but the power didn’t stick.
Elly De La Cruz: Just an absolute meteor of talent hurtling toward baseball fields. Elly reminds me a little bit of Bobby Witt, if he can get his approach up to his talent we have something. Remember, this is a tier, you have my permission to put him first in it. I’m not taking him in the first two rounds or anything crazy but someone might. If it’s you, that’s not the worst decision I’ve ever seen. That would be this:
— CCTV IDIOTS (@cctvidiots) September 11, 2023
Tier 3B: Classic Radio which is from my childhood and is still current and relevant.
Call these guys like Pearl Jam, who if you didn’t know has a lot of albums and even newer ones since they wrote Jeremy.
Jose Ramirez, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado: All of these guys could possibly bounce back to first or second round status. I should replace possibly with the word probably. Their age, though, suggests for all of them that their best days have passed.
I think Tier 3 and 4 are interchangeable. If you want stability, you would take a guy out of tier 3B. They very well all could rank higher than the young guys. Players who value upside will want to draft a guy out of Tier 3A.
After reading this and thinking, I like how I have the guys separated by a theme. That’s good, creative writing there. The kind of content that money cannot buy, and clearly hasn’t by the size of my house and the age of my truck.
Tier 4: Guys who got better and saved the depth of the 3B position
Royce Lewis: Classic Twin player who is productive when healthy but hurt all the time. No reason he can’t hit .300 though, and the speed plays.
Alex Bregman: Slow and steady wins the race, they say. Good for a .270 AVG, 90+ runs, and RBI, and after I write this I might need to adjust later and move him to tier 3B. Better than you think, and I think, apparently.
Jeimer Candelario: I’m assuming that his last month was a result of a recently reported tight back, and also assuming the Cubs want to retain his services for next year. He’s probably near the bottom of this tier but is a legit starter in a 10 team for next season IMO. That stands for In My Opinion if you use cool text chat.
Ha-Seong Kim: I don’t know why he decided not to hit or steal bases for the first two years of his career. Maybe he was protesting the new rule changes, like he wanted them, and said “I’m not hitting or stealing bases until the shift is gone and the bases are bigger and pickoff rules change!” That’s a lot of steals though. Good target if you miss the main guys because I don’t think most drafters will buy fully into what he did this season.
Tier 6: Corner IF/Deep League Guys
Wow, when you read this it’s hard to believe I was saying how shallow third base was going in. All of these guys have been valuable parts of your teams. There’s a lesson here that I will follow going forward: Shallow positions aren’t shallow, they will be filled. The hard part is figuring out who will fill in these positions. All of these guys have flaws:
Muncy: contact rate/AVG
Turner: He’s almost my age
Burger: contact rate/AVG
Paredes: really doesn’t have one but he fits in here better than the above tiers
If you waited and drafted, or found one of these guys on the wire, you weren’t sad about it. In fact, you may have been as happy as Beaker on his day off where he doesn’t have to get fried. Or maybe you do get fried on your day off, use sunscreen morons!
Alright, it’s been fun covering third base and been a learning process for sure. Thanks for reading, as always, and remember to hit Razzball up on the hoops side soon. Best free, daily content source on the web.