There’s bound to be heavy competition in the big leagues this year among the best third basemen in 2023. When looking at the current crop of third basemen, there are a few who could end up being among the greatest third basemen of all time one day.

It makes it hard to pick the top third baseman in MLB ahead of the 2023 season.

Best third basemen 2023

There were almost too many candidates among the best third basemen right now. The position is stacked with a half-dozen players posing a strong argument for the top third baseman in MLB ahead of the upcoming season.

That’s why as part of our player rankings for 2023 we came up with a ranking of the 10 best third basemen in 2023. 

10. Yoan Moncada

The White Sox are still hoping that Yoan Moncada still has his best years ahead of him as he gets set to turn 28 in 2023. The Cuban is coming off a rough, injury-plagued season in 2022, batting just .212 with an OPS of .626.

       

He’s just barely holding onto a spot among the top-10 third basemen in baseball. However, his track record says that he’s far better than what he showed last season. For the moment, he deserves the benefit of the doubt because if Moncada can stay healthy, 2023 could end up being one of his best seasons.

9. Yandy Diaz

Despite sometimes getting lost in the shuffle in Tampa, Yandy Diaz is slowly but surely asserting himself as one of the better third basemen in the big leagues. Obviously, he doesn’t showcase the type of power we expect from players at the hot corner.

But the guy did hit .296 and posted an OPS of .824 last season despite hitting just nine home runs. While he’s not the prototypical third baseman, Diaz still deserves to be mentioned among the best at his position.

8. DJ LeMahieu

It looks like DJ LeMahieu will be getting most of his playing time in 2023 at the hot corner, which is why we’re ranking the veteran utility man among the other third basemen.

Offensively, he’s not the same player he was when he won his second batting title in 2020. But he’s still a good enough hitter to get back to that level and hit close to .300.

Plus, LeMahieu is a three-time Gold Glove winner at second base and won the inaugural utility Gold Glove last year. He’ll handle himself at third base and could easily have a bounce-back year in 2023.

7. Matt Chapman

Unfortunately for Matt Chapman, he’s a few years removed from the best seasons of his career. His last year in Oakland and his first year in Toronto both ended with somewhat disappointing numbers despite 27 home runs in each season. Despite that power, Chapman’s average and OPS have plummeted over the last couple of seasons, which is why he’s a level or two below the elite third basemen in the league.

However, Chapman is still an elite defensive player, owning three Gold Gloves and two Platinum Gloves. His power and outstanding defense are still enough to keep him in the second-tier of third basemen.

6. Alex Bregman

Alex Bregman must be doing something right if he already has two World Series rings. The Astros certainly can’t have any complaints after the numbers he put up in the postseason last year.

In fairness, Bregman’s numbers during the regular season have come back down to earth after an amazing 2019 campaign when he hit .296 with 41 homers and an OPS of 1.015. But even if he can’t match that kind of production or even play at an all-star level, Bregman is still an above-average third baseman and most teams in the majors would gladly take him over their current option.

5. Rafael Devers

The Red Sox have to be excited that they managed to sign Rafael Devers to a 10-year extension this past offseason. He’s been a crucial part of Boston’s lineup for five seasons and is still just 26 years old. While his best numbers came in 2019, Devers has still managed to make the All-Star Team in back-to-back seasons while also winning the Silver Slugger Award in 2021.

Over the past two seasons, Devers has hit 65 home runs and 79 doubles without sacrificing anything in terms of contact. That’s the kind of hitter you can build your lineup around, which is surely what the Red Sox plan to do moving forward.

4. Austin Riley

It didn’t take long for the Braves to hand Austin Riley a 10-year, $212 million extension. But that’s what happens when you’re just 25 and have posted the kind of numbers that Riley has over the past two seasons.

In 2021, he hit .303 with an OPS of .989, following that up by hitting .273 with an OPS of .877 last year. Riley has amassed 71 homers and 200 RBIs across those two seasons. He won Silver Slugger honors in 2021 while helping the Braves win the World Series and followed it up with his first all-star selection last year.

With back-to-back seasons with those types of numbers, there should be no concern that Riley’s production is a fluke, putting him among the top third basemen in baseball.

3. Jose Ramirez

Outside of Cleveland, Jose Ramirez doesn’t get nearly enough credit. However, he’s the straw that stirs the drink for the Guardians and is poised once again to be among the best third basemen in 2023.

He doesn’t always have a lot of help in the lineup around him, yet Ramirez has posted an OPS over .890 in four of the last six seasons. He won Silver Slugger honors last season and is just a few years removed from a 30-30 season. Ramirez is also just 30 years old, so we don’t expect him to slow down one bit in 2023.

2. Nolan Arenado

With a full decade in the majors under his belt, Nolan Arenado is practically an old man compared to some of the other top-tier third basemen in the majors. However, he’ll still be one of the best third basemen in 2023.

Arenado has one thing that no other third basemen in the game right now can claim, and that’s a streak of 10 straight Gold Gloves. He’s the premier defensive third baseman in the league and also has a run of all-star selections that dates back to 2015, which is primarily because of his offense.

Even after leaving the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field, Arenado has posted an OPS of over .800 during his first two years in St. Louis. In fact, he hit .293 with 30 homers and 42 doubles in 2022. Combine that with his defense and Arenado is still something special. 

1. Manny Machado

Early during his time in San Diego, there were some doubts about Manny Machado. But after what he did in 2022, there should be no question that he’s worth the contract he signed with the Padres a few years ago and is the best third baseman in baseball right now.

He carried the Padres for long stretches last season and was also one of their best performers during the postseason, hitting four home runs in 48 playoff at-bats. Machado fell just short of hitting .300 last year while banging out 32 homers and 37 doubles for an OPS of .897. Keep in mind he’s had two other seasons in the best five years with an OPS of over .900, so last year was no fluke.

We’re also talking about a player who won two Gold Gloves as a shortstop earlier in his career, so defense isn’t an issue for Machado, further helping to separate him from the pack.

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