Few positions in baseball are as overloaded with talent right now as third base. The hot corner has become a haven for power hitters, not to mention those who can hit and field with equal effectiveness. It wasn’t easy, but we compiled a list of the best third basemen heading into the 2021 MLB season.
10. Josh Donaldson, Twins
Josh Donaldson just barely held off a slew of great third basemen who are almost worthy of inclusion in the top-10.
While he’s getting on in years and had a subpar 2020 campaign, Donaldson can still mash and has had an OPS of .900 or higher in four of his last six seasons.
9. Rafael Devers, Red Sox
Despite Boston’s poor 2020 season, the 24-year-old Rafael Devers has started to come into his own over the last couple of years.
He’s gearing up for a big season in 2021. He could climb the list of the best third basemen in MLB.
8. Eugenio Suarez, Reds
It was a rough season for Eugenio Suarez in 2020, hitting just .202. But it’s hard to hold such an unusual season against someone who mashed 49 home runs the previous year and 34 home runs in 2018.
The odds are good that he gets back on track and continues to show big-time power.
7. Gio Urshela, Yankees
Gio Urshela has put together two quality offensive seasons in a row after being somewhat overlooked to that point in his career.
At this point, there’s no fluke to Urshela’s offensive game. Meanwhile, he resembles Brooks Robinson defensively, making him one of the best two-way third basemen in the game.
6. Justin Turner, Dodgers
In theory, we should be expecting a drop in the offensive numbers from the 36-year-old Justin Turner.
But we haven’t seen it yet, as the veteran hit .307 with an OPS of .860 last year and remains a reliable part of the Los Angeles lineup.
5. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland
Unfortunately, Jose Ramirez’s career year in 2020 got lost in the shuffle with Cleveland struggling.
But he was at his best last season, out-performing a strong track record over the previous handful of years.
4. Alex Bregman, Astros
Alex Bregman was a little disappointing in 2020, in part because of an injury.
But with such incredible competition at third base, that’s enough to knock his standing down a little bit.
3. Manny Machado, Padres
His first season in San Diego didn’t go particularly well, but we saw the real Manny Machado last season.
Coming off an OPS of .950 last year, Machado is clearly in his prime at the moment and poised for another big year.
2. Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
We’ll take a leap of faith that Nolan Arenado’s sluggish 2020 campaign and his somewhat inflated numbers playing at Coors Field won’t be an issue when he makes the move to St. Louis this season.
The fact that he has three seasons with 40 or more home runs and remains one of the league elite defensive players at the hot corner gives him the benefit of the doubt.
1. Anthony Rendon, Angels
Over the last four seasons, no third baseman has been more productive or more reliable than Anthony Rendon.
There’s no question that he’s at the top of his game right now and should be a standout player again in 2021.