Josh Jung

Ranking the 10 Best Third Basemen in MLB Ahead of the 2024 Season

Home » MLB » Ranking the 10 Best Third Basemen in MLB Ahead of the 2024 Season

A ranking of the top third basemen in 2024 might look a little different than it did a year ago. Well, maybe not too different. There are at least a couple of names who are already accomplished enough to be mentioned among the greatest third basemen in MLB history.

But what if we just limit our list to the best third basemen in 2024?

Best MLB Third Basemen in 2024

If we only think about the top third basemen for 2024, who will be on that list? These aren’t just the players with an impressive track record.

These are the players who are set to shine during the upcoming season. After careful consideration, we put together a ranking of the 10 best third basemen in 2024.

10. Josh Jung

The Rangers are no doubt thrilled with how Josh Jung contributed to their World Series title last year. The rookie hit .266 with an OPS of .782 during the regular season and then proceeded to hit .308 with eight extra-base hits in 17 postseason games.

       

There are certainly some rough parts to his game, most notably his strikeout rate. However, Jung showed enough promise as a rookie in 2023 to make us think he’ll be a quality third baseman for many years to come.

9. Matt Chapman

Don’t let Matt Chapman’s long free agency saga fool you because he’s still among the top players at his position. Defensively, there is still nobody better. He won the Gold Glove last year, giving him four in the last six seasons, not to mention two Platinum Gloves from earlier in his career.

Offensively, Chapman put together a solid if unspectacular campaign for the Blue Jays in 2023. He managed 17 home runs and an OPS of .754. Those numbers are down a little from his career averages, but he can still hit and play excellent defense, and there is a lot of value in that.

8. Isaac Paredes

Leave it up to a member of the Rays to sneak up on everyone and become one of the best third basemen in baseball out of nowhere. That’s exactly what Isaac Paredes did last season, smashing 31 homers and posting an OPS of .840.

Without a proven track record before last season, the 25-year-old may be a one-season wonder. But he looks like he’ll have staying power and will put together another impressive campaign this season.

       

7. Nolan Arenado

There is perhaps no more consistent third baseman in baseball than Nolan Arenado. He’s been an all-star every year since 2015 and won every Gold Glove Award from 2013 to 2022. The only caveat is that he didn’t win a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger last season.

His offensive numbers dropped considerably from his 2022 production. This gives us some reason to worry about him, especially since he benefited so much from playing at Coors Field early in his career. Arenado isn’t finished yet, but he’s perhaps no longer among the best of the best third basemen in baseball.

6. Alex Bregman

Since he first arrived in the big leagues in 2016, Alex Bregman has been one of the most productive third basemen.

He certainly peaked in 2019 and hasn’t received all-star honors or won a Silver Slugger Award since then. But he’s hit 48 total homers over the past two seasons and is still going strong heading into 2024.

5. Gunnar Henderson

Following his rookie season, the sky is the limit for Gunnar Henderson. Baltimore’s third baseman only turned 22 midway through last season, yet he won Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger honors. The baseball world is waiting to see what Henderson does as a follow-up after racking up 28 homers, 82 RBI, and 10 stolen bases to go with his .814 OPS.

Full disclosure, there is a chance that Henderson plays a fair amount of shortstop this season. But his future is likely at the hot corner, and he’s already among the best third basemen in baseball.

4. Rafael Devers

On the heels of signing a 10-year extension worth $313.5 million, Rafael Devers put together another strong season in 2023 and won Silver Slugger honors. Even with six seasons in the big leagues under his belt, Devers is only 27 and in the prime of his career right now.

As long as he stays healthy, Devers is a virtual lock for 30 homers and 100 RBI. But he also has a much higher ceiling, which is why he belongs among the elite third basemen in the game.

3. Manny Machado

Obviously, Manny Machado’s 2023 season wasn’t what he wanted it to be, especially on the heels of signing an 11-year contract extension. But even in a down year, he hit 30 home runs.

Machado is also just one year removed from being an All-MLB First-Team member. Machado is still too young at age 31 to write off last season as anything but a blip on the radar. He should get back to being an all-star-caliber third basemen in 2024.

2. Jose Ramirez

There is perhaps no third baseman in baseball right now who’s been an elite player over such an extended period of time as Jose Ramirez. The 31-year-old has five all-star selections and four Silver Sluggers on his resume.

He also had a 30-30 season in 2018 and was an All-MLB Second-Team selection last year. Ramirez has posted an OPS over .800 in eight straight seasons and has carried the Cleveland lineup for long stretches during that period. Equally important, we see no evidence that Ramirez will slow down anytime soon.

1. Austin Riley

Even with a strong list of candidates at the position, there should be no doubt that Austin Riley is the best third baseman in MLB right now. He’s been a Silver Slugger winner and an All-MLB First-Team selection in two of the last three seasons.

Riley has amassed at least 90 RBI in three straight seasons. He’s also averaged 36 home runs per season across those three years. The kicker is that Riley will turn 27 in April, so he’s only now coming into his prime. In other words, the 2024 season could be his best season yet.

Leave a Reply