Submerge yourself into a garbage dump; take a deep breath…Ah, that’s the smell of the top 20 3rd basemen for 2024 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 2024 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2024 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 2024 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.

NOTE III: To watch us discuss the 3rd basemen:

1. Jose Ramirez – Already went over him in the top 20 for 2024 fantasy baseball.

2. Austin Riley – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Gunnar. I call this tier, “Slapsies.” You know that game were you place your hands on top of someone else’s and they try to slap your hands, but, if you move before they move, you get slapped for flinching? That’s the 3rd basemen this year. Just a giant game of Slapsies. Didn’t get Riley? That’s fine, reach for Devers–Too slow! Slapsies! Didn’t get Riley or Devers? No worries, grab–Slapsies! God damn it! My hands are throbbing! Okay, didn’t get anyone in this tier, there’s always the next tier–Slapsies! No, no, no, no! Slapsies! Okay, there’s the tier after–Slapsies! Slapsies! Slapsies! Then you end up with Jake Burger and you are literally playing hot hands off waivers with your red hands because he sucks. 3rd basemen? They suck!

As for Riley, he doesn’t suck. He’s also becoming overrated because he is a 3rd baseman. He’s fine. I won’t say he is overrated, because he is a 35/.275 hitter. That’s solid. That’s a top 25 guy. Is he dramatically different than Vlad Jr. who is going 20 picks later? Meh. He’s a 1st baseman though. Is Riley that different than Josh Jung (30/.270)? Meh, and he’s going 70 picks later and is a 3rd baseman. Riley is always incredibly healthy and in a great lineup. Well, Jung is in a good lineup too but the health thing, sure. That’s worth 70 picks, I guess. 2024 Projections: 105/35/117/.275/2 in 612 ABs

3. Rafael Devers – He’s as good as Riley, assuming the Red Sox are better. Can we assume that? Let’s see what happens when we do that…[wavy lines] Why the hell did I just become an ass? Oh God, you’re an ass too! [wavy lines] Wow, that was a weird dream. [looks down] Oh no! I’m still a giant ass! I was just assuming! So, Devers is literally exactly Riley but he might steal a few more bags and he likely will have ten to fifteen less runs and RBIs. 2024 Projections: 97/35/95/.289/5 in 591 ABs

4. Gunnar Henderson – Already went over him in the shortstops rankings.

5. Spencer Steer – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Bregman. I call this tier, “Can you tell me we had fun?” This tier name is my reply to you when you accurately point out 3rd basemen are no longer safe. So, did we have fun? Can you tell me we did? Because it didn’t feel like fun but we must’ve. All top guys at a position are fun. 3rd basemen couldn’t have been any different, right? Right?! Tell me I’m right! Tell me we had fun!

As for Steer, already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

6. Elly De La Cruz – Already went over him in the shortstops rankings.

7. Royce Lewis – So many guys are eligible other places than 3rd base, I find myself looking at each player who has *only* 3rd base eligbility and double-checking they don’t actually have another position they played at. Royce Lewis was a shortstop, no? I thought so, turns out he was not. Previous years, he was. Not last year. I double-checked five times. What’s that, a ten-check? I did a ten-check. Sounds like a made-up word that John Malkovich would’ve said in Rounders. “Ah, you have alligator blood not doing a ten-check.” Any hoo! I might be getting conservative in my old age, but rather than seeing a guy like Lewis, who went 15/6 in 58 games and that prorates to something nuts like 40/15, I see a guy who doesn’t have a chance in hell of playing 100 games. 2024 Projections: 64/20/71/.292/8 in 431 ABs

8. Manny Machado – How I do my rankings: I list all the names, then I put them in a preliminary ranking order, then I write the blurb and project them. Then, I move them around again. During the initial time when I’m just writing names, I jot down a note to mention when I get around to writing the blurb. Machado’s note read, “Out for at least spring training due to elbow surgery.” Now that I’m back to writing the blurb, I realize how consequential that note is. Doing more research, he’s going to miss four to six months from the moment of surgery. So, he’s a lock for 30/.260 if healthy. That “if” has its own subdivision. Then throw in this juicy if: If the Padres are playing for nothing, how motivated is Machado? Well, he’s not motivated when he should be motivated so I don’t know. Can the Padres trade him to the Yanks too? 2024 Projections: 71/30/82/.261/3 in 502 ABs

9. Nolan Arenado – Two years ago, I called Arenado an overrated schmohawk, and he showed me that I was one year ahead of his curve that was crashing into the X axis. His fading hard contact and now falling fly balls has finally caught up to him. If only there was some way to add some wind beneath his wings–NOOOO!!! Torenado! 2024 Projections: 73/26/92/.257/4 in 541 ABs

10. Alex Bregman – There’s gonna be a sense to some of you more perceptive readers that I don’t like some of the 3rd basemen in this tier, and, while that’s true, I also dislike the tiers of 3rd basemen after this more. 3rd base this year is a bit like: [hold nose, make draft pick]. Unless you get Steer, I like him a lot! I also like the guys I wrote sleeper posts for, and Gorman and…Well, there’s some guys I like, but it’s not exactly a stacked position. As for Bregman, meh, you know him. 2024 Projections: 96/25/86/.258/4 in 577 ABs

11. Josh Jung – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Hayes. I call this tier, “Matt Chapman sucks.” The particularly distressing thing about 3rd basemen is that it’s conceivable that they’d be drafted by someone to play at a position other than 3rd base. So, one person takes Steer at 1B, another person drafts Gunnar as their shortstop, another does the same with Elly, someone takes Kim as their MI, and you are now looking at Matt Chapman and you’re like, “Whew, glad I got him!” Then you get to April 10th and you’re like, “Matt Chapman sucks.” This tier is named Matt Chapman sucks because this is the last tier of actual 3rd basemen, before you’re picking through terrible options (and these aren’t great, for what it’s Cronenworth).

As for Jung, could see him building on his 22/.266 rookie season. Could also see that he’s never able to stay healthy, including last year, and there’s a reason his average might go down (29.3% K%, .340 BABIP). He hits the ball hard and lots of line drives and enough fly balls that his lack of taking pitches doesn’t have me too worried about a sophomore slump. I also don’t see a huge uptick without better contact. It could come, his minor league numbers say that, but there’s nothing saying it will definitely happen, i.e., he’ll be same as last year or slightly better, is realistic. Well, at least he’s not Matt Chapman. 2024 Projections: 83/27/91/.268/1 in 534 ABs

12. Noelvi Marte – Already gave you my Noelvi Marte fantasy. It was written while saying, “Come to daddy.” One slight update, since I wrote my Noelvi Marte post (in October), I decided I love the Reds minus Elly. Maybe because I live in Commiefornia. By the way, Reds Minus Elly is not related to the best Godzilla movie ever made, Godzilla Minus One, but I love that movie as much as the Reds. UPDATE: Out for 80 games on a PEDs violation. 2024 Projections: 61/16/73/.271/22 in 526 ABs

12. Isaac Paredes – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

13. Ke’Bryan Hayes – Already gave you my Ke’Bryan Hayes sleeper. It had just about enough of that racket! 2024 Projections: 78/21/73/.279/17 in 557 ABs

14. Ha-Seong Kim – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Keith. I call this tier, “Already went over them.” The tier name means…Damn, I misplaced my notes. Well, I’m sure I had a good reason to name it that.

As for Kim, already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

15. Nolan Gorman – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

16. Alec Bohm – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

17. Colt Keith – In one of Itch’s write-ups, he mentioned Keith is not a perfect match for 5×5 leagues, and it’s true. He’s got the speed of Albert Pujols running in mud. At 22 years old, I cannot figure out how he’s still in the minors though, because what he does give you (power and solid contact) he’s ready to provide that. He can play 2nd or 3rd. Actually, looking at the Tigers, he could play 2nd and 3rd base, at the same time. The Tigers have one actual infielder, and, no, I’m not counting Javier Baez. Okay, count him and they’re still missing two infielders. Colt Keith’s last year went: 27 HRs, 3 SBs in Double and Triple-A, that was a total of 507 ABs. He hit .325 in Double-A with a 22.8% strikeout rate, and .287 in Triple-A with a 19.3% K%. He also had a 11.6% walk rate in AAA. He hits the ball hard, has no real splits, and plays well enough 3rd base. He feels wildly overdue to be in the majors, almost obnoxiously so. It’s very hard to predict a guy to start the year with the MLB team if he hasn’t played in the majors yet, but I’m going to say Keith doesn’t start the year with the Tigers. Keep in mind that’s a guess, and his projections and ranking could change fast in March. UPDATE: With Colt Keith’s deal, he’s the projected 2nd baseman, so I’ve upped his projections and rankings. That he’s a lefty might still hinder his overall value, but the upside is worth drafting. 2024 Projections: 61/21/63/.264/1 in 479 ABs

18. Jake Burger – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Duran. I call this tier, “Your 3B is very po-po.” Your 3rd basemen is not slang for the police. It is slang for poor-poor. On a side note, Muncy for NL-Only? Great! Burger? Yum! Maikel Garcia in AL-Only? Absolutely! When I say shizz like, “You better figure your shizz out with your 3rd baseman, you giant dope!” I’m talking in the general sense, mostly about 12-team mixed leagues or shallower. These guys in shallower leagues are a total mess. In deeper leagues, they’re okay, but they will leave you wanting in other areas. Muncy and Burger, specifically, are going to hurt your batting average, and speed and–Well, they have power.

As for Burger, he looks like a young Muncy, stats-wise. I’m not sure I could pick Jake Burger out of a police lineup. Is he the one wearing a piece of cheese on his head and wrapped in greaseproof paper? I struggled with Burger’s ranking. He kinda belongs with Bregman. After all, he’s got more power, and only a fraction less average, but in the end I moved him down because Burger has a lot more risk, a worse lineup and zero track record. He looks like Muncy minus a handful of years of a track record and ready to go on a string of 35-homer seasons, but let’s see it at least twice before we coronate Jake Burger King. 2024 Projections: 71/32/83/.241 in 534 ABs

19. Max Muncy – Pretty impressive he continues to hit 35+ homers (when healthy). He might be approaching interesting career numbers if the A’s didn’t drag their feet for four (stutterer!) years of him in the minors. He spent three years in Triple-A! Maybe they thought that’s what the A’s stood for. Any hoo! That’s a side note that has nothing to do with anything. Speaking of things that have nothing to do with anything, Muncy looks like a young George Costanza, and his average continues to see shrinkage. 2024 Projections: 82/35/96/.207/2 in 491 ABs

20. Jeimer Candelario – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

21. Maikel Garcia – Already went over him in the shortstops rankings.

22. Jordan Westburg – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

23. Luis Rengifo – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

24. Ryan McMahon – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

25. Ezequiel Duran – Already went over him in the shortstops rankings.

26. Matt Chapman – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Flores. I call this tier, “Calvin peeing sticker.” You see where the place is on your fantasy team for your 3rd baseman? Place a Calvin peeing sticker over it. Perfect.

As for Chapman, signed with the San Francisco Giants. They had themselves a nice little offseason with free agent bats, but, psst, hey, quick question, have the Giants looked at their rotation? No? Okay. Unlike a lot of guys who have their power face plant, Chapman’s underlying peripherals aren’t bad. That can be looked at as a good thing — hey, he doesn’t need to fix his swing. Or a bad thing — hey, he’s hitting the ball the same way, but the ball is not going anywhere. I’m gonna guess power bounce back, but there’s not a lot evidence to support it. He might be Longoria part deux. Sounds like a horror film, call him Mangoria. 2024 Projections: 68/25/79/.236/3 in 517 ABs

27. Eugenio Suarez – When he was traded, here’s what I said, “Traded to the DBags for backup catcher, Seby Zavala, and random reliever Carlos Vargas. Kinda bummed to see Emmanuel Rivera moved to the bench and not sure what this means for Jordan Lawlar. DBags are falling into the “Making to the World Series” trap. It happens when a team acquires past-their-prime vets in an attempt to replicate success in a way they didn’t find it previously.” And that’s me quoting me!  2024 Projections: 77/27/86/.227/2 in 573 ABs

28. Willi Castro – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

29. Jorge Polanco – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

30. Justin Turner – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

31. Wilmer Flores – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

32. Brett Baty – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Mead. I call this tier, “Are those planks?” Okay, picture you’ve been buried alive. Now look up at the ceiling, those planks? That’s this tier. They have upside, but you’re likely so buried by drafting one these guys. Appreciate you’re going for upside, even if it’s very late, and there’s no real gems this late, and some of these guys are so deep they’re barely breathing.

As for Baty, he’s a great illustration of how quickly one cools on the exciting prospect. This time last year I was saying shizz like, “I’m batty for Baty!” This year I’m saying stuff like, “I was batty, that is indeed correct.” The thing with prospects though, they all develop at different rates, and just because a guy doesn’t click his first year doesn’t mean he won’t ever click. Torkelson is a good example of guy who didn’t click at all, then did. Kinda shocked at how bad Baty looked last year, but that’s either A) Mets can’t have nice things. B) About to get corrected this year. C) There’s no C. Like honey suppliers, I think B’s the answer. 2024 Projections: 53/20/61/.233/3 in 447 ABs

33. Michael Busch – Traded to the Cubs. There’s a sign on the Cubs’ front office wall that reads, “Don’t ever play Mervis.” When members of the front office come to work, they must tap the sign. So, like a 70’s porn director, my teams might have a lot of Busch. I was originally out on him when he was on the Dodgers, but his Statcast plays well: a potential 91-92 MPH EV AVG, 12% walk rate, 27% K-rate guy, who could hit in the .240 to .260 range with power. Schwarber without the huge drain on average, but an almost guaranteed platoon. 2024 Projections: 47/23/55/.235/3 in 412 ABs

34. Junior Caminero – Gave you my Junior Caminero fantasy. It was written while saying, “You don’t say.” 2024 Projections: 47/14/54/.247/4 in 318 ABs

35. Tyler Black – If this position was more interesting towards the top, I likely wouldn’t have even ranked Black or Keith. Black or Keith also sounds like someone suggesting what their nickname can be when they’re not very creative and their name is Keith. Any hoo! Here’s what Itch said, “Black made the most of 2023, playing all over the field while slashing .284/.417/.513 with 18 home runs and 55 stolen bases in 123 games across Double and Triple-A. He walked 88 times and struck out 100. I doubt the speed remains so intense at the highest level, but the rest of his skill set should translate pretty well. He’s a disciplined left handed hitter and viable defender at several spots, precisely the type Milwuakee tends to collect. I think he’s the best fantasy bet of their 2B/3B group of Brice Turang, Andrew Montasterio, Owen Miller and Abraham Toro. So long as they don’t sign a big ticket item, Black should have a chance at the opening day lineup, and, if we’re lucky, I’ll have a chance at punching Grey.” C’mon! 2024 Projections: 39/5/41/.260/15 in 302 ABs

36. Curtis Mead – Same story as Black or Keith, in that I prolly wouldn’t be ranking and projecting Mead if the position wasn’t so bad. Maybe Mead is what Black Keith’s drinking while suggesting his nickname. Mead has an all-fields approach and big-time power, but throw-in Rays’ likely platoons and he gets less interesting. We’re late, how’sever, and, who knows, maybe he plays, hits for power and average, as his minor league profile hints towards. 2024 Projections: 36/10/41/.271/3 in 289 ABs

37. Yoan Moncada – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the end of the list. I call this tier, “An absurd number of Whosey Whats Its.” This tier refers to the vast amount of guys with 3rd base eligibility who are classified in the “odds and ends” variety.

As for Moncada, when you think about how he said he wanted to go 30/30 one preseason, and look at his year-after-year stats, you realize Moncada should have a Netflix comedy special. He’s so goddamn funny. 2024 Projections: 54/13/51/.251/2 in 357 ABs

38. Geraldo Perdomo – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

39. Zach McKinstry – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

40. DJ LeMahieu – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

41. Cavan Biggio – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

43. Matt Vierling – He’s not an exciting name, I’ll give you that. He’s one of those guys that has a chance to be worth barely a top 20 guy at the position while being drafted around 150 spots after that. Unfortch, he likely has a shot at the top 20 like one of those years where he inexplicably gets 500 ABs and a year of 80/12/80/12/.265 and everyone is like, “That wasn’t really a top 20 3rd baseman year, was it?” It could be, though. UPDATE: With Urshela signing, Vierling was removed. 2024 Projections: 62/12/55/.258/8 in 443 ABs

42. Enrique Hernandez – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

43. Luis Urias – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

44. Elehuris Montero – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

45. Jared Triolo – Already went over him in the 1st basemen rankings.

46. Chris Taylor – Already went over him in the shortstops rankings.

47. Jon Berti – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

48. Oswald Peraza – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

49. Oswaldo Cabrera – Already went over him in the shortstops rankings.

50. Taylor Walls – Already went over him in the 2nd basemen rankings.

Omitted but considered: Noelvi Marte, Matt Vierling, Josh Rojas, Coby Mayo, Anthony Rendon, Kyle Farmer, Jordan Diaz, Justyn-Henry Malloy, Nick Senzel, Gio Urshela, Patrick Wisdom, Jose Miranda, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Andruw Monasterio, Owen Miller, Nick Madrigal, Tyler Freeman, Nicky Lopez, Ramon Urias, Casey Schmitt, Bryan Ramos, Emmanuel Rivera, Mike Moustakas, Carter Kieboom, Jean Segura, Aledmys Diaz, Abraham Toro, Sterlin Thompson, Eduardo Escobar, Jace Peterson, Edmundo Sosa, Brady House, Damiano Palmegiani, Eguy Rosario, Santiago Espinal, Kevin Newman, Zack Short, Brian Anderson, Tyler Nevin, Josh Donaldson, Nick Maton, Jonathan Schoop, Graham Pauley, Ivan Melendez, Yunior Severino, Miles Mastrobuoni, Alan Trejo, Deyvison De Los Santos, Ildemaro Vargas, Orelvis Martinez, Ronny Mauricio