Submerge yourself into a garbage dump; take a deep breath…Ah, that’s the smell of the top 20 3rd basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball. Don’t turn your nose up! Don’t turn away from the stench! This is the reality about, uh, fantasy. You have to embrace the stank of the 3rd basemen. Enjoy! Here’s Steamer’s 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Subscriptions are up and running, and you can already get Rudy’s Draft War Room. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball:
NOTE: All my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.
NOTE II: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.
6. Nolan Arenado – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until here. I call this tier, “Hold onto your hat.” The tier name means…Ha, this is embarrassing. I’ve misplaced my notes on what the tier name means. Wait a second, I think I see them. I’m going to put on my very fancy fedora and walk over to that open window, where it looks like my notes are. One second…NOOOO!!! Torenado! That was my fanciest hat!
So, last year, I goofed up on Arenado in an all-timer goof-up. I called him a preseason schmohawk and he bounced back in a pretty dramatic way. He dropped his strikeouts, upped his line drives, still was crazy high on fly balls and his BABIP bounced back. There’s some concerning things under the hood. His number of pitches swung at outside the zone went up, and his contact went down. If you were to show me some of Arenado’s perfs, I’d tell you I wasn’t wrong calling him a schmohawk. Who could’ve anticipated his BABIP bouncing back 40 points? Oh, don’t give me that BS that you could’ve seen it coming. In the end, what he comes down to is: 30 homers, 3-ish steals, 70-80 runs, 95-110 RBIs and an average that will determine if he’s really a top 5 3rd baseman or a top 10 3rd baseman, because of that I likely should’ve never called him overrated. Ah well, live and learn, as it says on this beautiful needlepointed hat I have over by this open window—NOOOO!!! Not again! 2023 Projections: 77/30/101/.268/3 in 576 ABs
7. Alex Bregman – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Edman. I call this tier, “The Hatfields.” The 3rd basemen are so stacked up top, then the cliff where they fall off is insane. The cliff is named Mt. Edman. It’s in the Upper Appalachians, and it’s so precipitous that no one dare even peer over it. The tier difference between this tier and the next may as well have its own zip code. This tier doesn’t even speak the same language as the next tier. They’re so different that one tier likes soccer, even when it’s not a World Cup year! It’s crazy how different this tier and the next are. Yet, they’re right next to each other. There’s a fence between the tiers and on one side of the fence it’s the Hatfields and the other side it’s the McCoys. This tier and next tier have been in court for ten years over a five foot strip of land separating them. Call up this tier and say you’re the next tier, and they’ll say, “Speak to my attorney, you rat bastard!”
As for Bregman, he has the whiff of Arenado minus six to nine homers. You have to smell it real fast though, because there’s this damn drafty window. Think about it, they’re essentially the same on runs, RBIs, average and speed. What’s the difference? Some power. Bregman’s around a 25-homer guy and Arenado is a 30-homer guy. Both of them are also plus or minus three homers. So, if Arenado is minus three homers one year and Bregman is plus three, bingo-bango, they’re exactly the same. More on Bregman in the video at the top of the page. 2023 Projections: 97/24/90/.266/2 in 559 ABs
10. Eugenio Suarez – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Hayes. I call this tier, “The McCoys.” This tier thinks the last tier is all full of itself. This tier hates the previous tier’s guts, but won’t even bother telling anyone, except its closest confidantes. Most times you ask this tier about the previous tier and it says, “Who do you mean? A Bregman and some guys’ tier? Never heard of them.” That’s how much difference there is between these tiers! This tier got served papers by the tier in front of it and said, “I NEVER HEARD OF THAT TIER!” It’s a shame the two tiers don’t get along, because they’d find out they have a lot in common. For unstints, Eugenio is Arenado minus fifty points in average. He’s Bregman minus fifty points in average and plus five homers. About as succinctly as I can put it. Now I will put it less succinctly, because I did the research and I have to show my work. Suarez is around a 45% fly ball rate guy with a 19% HR/FB%, that gives us 30-32 homers. He was a 24% HR/FB guy in Cincy, but, alas, Seattle sucks for power. Funnily enough (not funnily), his expected homers in Cincy last year was 39; he hit 31. Not to side track this too much, but I’m beginning to think Cincy is the new Coors. Eugenio’s strikeouts went up, but he was actually more selective at the plate, and, while he’s a candidate to hit .199 or lower, I think he can stay on the better side of .225, even if he’s plodding on the basepaths and prolly won’t see a .302 BABIP again. Now take all that and tell your friends, so they can call you an Eugenius. 2023 Projections: 73/32/90/.227 in 538 ABs
11. Matt Chapman – Since we are on that “comparing one guy vs. another” shizz, I don’t know if comparing Chapman to Eugenio is necessary. They are handshake emoji. They are the same. They are mano a Chapmano. Tried squinting super hard about what was different between them and all I have is one is a cleanup hitter, who is hitting third in an okay lineup, and one is batting fifth in a slightly better lineup. They’re the new Hunter Dozier/Christian Walker, since Walker went out and got great and Dozier got worse. Call them Hugenio Suarezier and Catt Wapman. 2023 Projections: 78/30/86/.227/3 in 533 ABs
16. Ke’Bryan Hayes – Since there’s a ton of Alreadys in this post, let’s pause to discuss 3rd basemen. They’re a mess. The 20th best 3rd baseman last year was about the same as the 26th best 1st baseman, Albert Pujols. More troubling is how fast the good 3rd basemen bon voyage from the picture, and leave you with rationalizations like, “If I draft the 7-homer-hitting Ke’Bryan, I can take Miguel Sano late and hope he bounces back, and not ‘bounces back’ as in ‘falls down and bounces back off his belly.'” The 2nd basemen are not good either, but they were actually a tad better than 3rd basemen, and the landscape for 3rd basemen doesn’t look like it’s getting better in the near future. Plan of attack for 3rd basemen is likely going to be: Hold your nose and grab one that doesn’t stink too bad. The other way to look at 3rd basemen is to grab one that complements your team. Flattery gets you everywhere, so say something nice to me. Wait, wrong compliments. Complementary as in, you have an outfield that doesn’t have much speed, but has power, then you look at Ke’Bryan because he has speed for a 3rd baseman. You have lots of speed but light on power, Eugenio seems smart. It’s really gonna be a choose your own adventure for 3rd basemen. As for Ke’Bryan, can he eavesdrop on Oneil Cruz and his batting coach? Ke’Bryan’s fly ball rate would only make Yelich wistful. More on Ke’Bryan in the video at the top of the page. 2023 Projections: 73/9/81/.252/22 in 544 ABs
17. Ryan McMahon – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Escobar. I call this tier, “You oughta know.” This tier has less to do with Alanis Morissette, and more to do with you oughta know who these guys are. As for McMahon, already went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball..
22. Justin Turner – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the Red Sox. Mookie and Just Dong on the Dodgers; Kenley, Enrique and Turner on the Red Sox. Geez, why don’t you exchange promise rings while you’re at it? Turner’s basically the same as Just Dong. No power, no speed, solid average, solid counting stats, prolly a DH now. Call him Justin Dong Turner, which sounds like someone announcing new inventory in a sex toy shop.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 69/15/79/.274 in 481 ABs
23. Eduardo Escobar – Ain’t saying Eduardo Escobar is going to excite anyone by drafting him. If you get an erection for fifteen seconds after drafting him, call a doctor. Quite possibly the boringest guy in this tier with zero upside, and this tier is very boring. But Escobar is regularly drafted around 10 3rd basemen after this, but he’s regularly in the top 20 3rd basemen at the end of the year. Sure, that’s more of an indictment of the 3rd basemen than praise for Escobar, but what’s true is true, as Grey sounds like Confucius, and talks in 3rd person about 3rd basemen. 2023 Projections: 61/23/72/.234/1 in 481 ABs
24. Brendan Donovan – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Urias. I call this tier, “You really do know these guys, because I’ve already gone over them.” As for Donovan, already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball.
28. Yandy Diaz – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Berti. I call this tier, “After 12-teamers.” As I’ve said before, I do my rankings in order. So, by the time I get to my top 500, I just place everyone who has been already ranked. With that in mind, Yandy should be ranked overall around 300th overall to give you an idea where we are in the rankings. Maybe 325 overall. Maybe 285. Somewhere in that range. This is after 12-teamers, and guys above this could’ve been flyers. Not saying Jordan Walker won’t be drafted in any 12-teamers. Maybe he won’t in 90% of them, but you can see a last-round flyer on him, if you want to take the upside gamble, then go for it. For the most part, these guys and later will be on waivers in 12-teamers or shallower. As for Yandy, already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball.
32. Gio Urshela – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Acquired by the Angels. Not sure where Urshela could play with Rendon in front of him in the depth chart. Let’s see..Wait a second, I just looked at the Angels’ depth chart and Rendon is now on the IL. Let me try to blink again and see if Rendon magically appears back in the lineup. He does! It works! Let me blink once more to see if I can injure Rendon again. …Wow! It worked! I better stop blinking or else Rendon will continue to get injured. Everyone hold their eyelids.” And that’s me quoting me! Side note: After I wrote that up and projected him, the Angels went out and got Drury, so I lowered Gio’s projections. 2023 Projections: 44/10/42/.271/1 in 327 ABs
33. Yoan Moncada – He said last preseason he wants to steal 40 bases. I am not joking. That’s a direct quote. He has 30 steals in 643 career games. What’s the upside of Moncada? I am honestly asking. He’s played a decent number of games the last two years and has gone 14/3/.263 and 12/2/.212. Like, what are you hoping for? He suddenly hits .300 again? Well, that was buoyed by a .400 BABIP, so it ain’t happening. His Hard Contact has dropped almost 10% since then. He makes some pretty awful contact — weak and in the air. The best that I can see is a .230-hitting, 20 homer guy. Seems completely unlikely, and, if I were the White Sox, I’d move this anchor to the bench for anyone. Let Burger eat into his playing time, and let Moncada eat burgers. More on Moncada in the video at the top of the page. 2023 Projections: 61/15/58/.229/3 in 437 ABs
44. Josh Donaldson – This is a new tier, and the final tier. I call this tier, “Your butt fell asleep.” Whispering to not jolt your buttocks, “Butt, hey, why don’t we put you in bed?” You nudge your butt, but it’s not waking, so you carefully carry it into bed and lay it down, and tuck it in. That’s this tier. You’ve been sitting so long into a draft that you’ve reached this tier and your butt fell asleep.
As for Donaldson, he’s the best example of everything wrong with the present-day Yankees. Donaldson should be retired, and the Yankees are carting him around with Aaron Hicks as their lineup card is this month’s cover of AARP. As a one-time Yankees fan, it’s hard to watch what they’ve become. A Yankees team with some balls would cut Donaldson or put him on the bench as a utility guy for Peraza or Cabrera to play, but instead Donaldson will be protecting Aaron Hicks and DJ LeMahieu in the lineup. 2023 Projections: 49/13/54/.216/2 in 387 ABs
45. Jeimer Candelario – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the Nats. Last year, Jeimer was a sleeper of mine. This year, I’m pointing and laughing at Last Year Grey. ‘Hey, Last Year Grey, you stink!’ Got heeeeeem! I hate that guy. That Last Year Grey guy. Not a good person. Anyway, Jeimer kinda sucks. We found this out the hard way. By him sucking. Going to a lineup that features as their best hitter a guy named after a lady’s menstruation might not help Jeimer, but at least it won’t knock him to the bench. That’s right, he can continue sucking in everyday duty! Hey, I said ‘duty,’this blurb is really about Jeimer.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 52/15/56/.220 in 477 ABs
46. Anthony Rendon – Was just thinking how Rendon will never have multi-position eligibility because it would mean starting at two positions for more than five games. Ten games total? What are we doing, saying our birthday wishes out loud now? Rendon has 20 homers on the Angels. In three years! People drafting him are the most optimistic amongst us. Please, if you see one, befriend them. We could all use some of their sunshine in our lives. Just a bunch of glass-is-half-full, grinning, glassy-eyed optimists! 2023 Projections: 41/12/45/.233/1 in 303 ABs
48. Evan Longoria – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed by the Diamondbacks. Dumbbacks might be the team that’s done the most moves to make themselves worse, which isn’t an easy task when you have teams like the Pirates, who are actively trying to lose. Longo on the Dumbbacks feels like Manny Ramirez on the Rays or Kenny Lofton on the Yanks. Will just be completely forgotten by next year.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 38/13/41/.236/1 in 306 ABs