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Five Bold Third Base Predictions for 2019

Third base is full of power.

Divisional Round - Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Two Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

I feel like you have a very top-heavy position, where Jose Ramirez, Nolan Arenado and Alex Bregman are Top 10 players but after that there is a precipitous drop-off.

1 . Three times as many 3B have 100+ walks as any other position.

Justification: Last year, there were two third baseman who achieved this: Jose Ramirez and Matt Carpenter. Alex Bregman fell just four walks short. There were two outfielders (Mike Trout & Bryce Harper) and two first basemen (Carlos Santana & Joey Votto). I feel Mike Trout and Joey Votto will stay up there, as they are among the most disciplined hitters in the game. Injuries and a change of approach limited Bryce to just 68 walks in 2017, and Carlos (in my opinion) will get a bit less playing time with Jake Bauers at first base—which will decrease his total walks. Kris Bryant healthy for a year could sneak above 100 walks, as could Anthony Rendon.

2. No third baseman lands in the Top 10 in hits.

Justification: It actually happened last year. The best was Nolan Arenado who was 17th with 175. Two years ago we had Nolan Arenado at 10th with 187 hits and Jose Ramirez at 11th with 186. In 2016, the best was Martin Prado who was 13th with 183. Simply put, it’s a position that is becoming power over base hits, especially among top contenders Nolan Arenado and Jose Ramirez. Another contribution to this, third base is the only position BESIDES CATCHER that has not had a player play in all 162 games during 2016 – 2018.

3. Josh Donaldson is a Top 8 Third Baseman

Justification: After injuries derailed his last two seasons, he is healthy and ready to take this year by storm. He’s currently ranked around 15th and I think he is going to fit in quite well in Atlanta. His average last year was mired by a stretch in Toronto where he was battling injury, fatigue, and an uncertain future. After he moved to the Cleveland Indians, his hit % went up, he had more home runs, more RBIs, more walks, fewer strikeouts, and his average went up almost 20%. He is currently projected to bat 2nd in an order that boasts Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Ronald Acuna.

Divisional Round - Cleveland Indians v Houston Astros - Game Two Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

4. Rafael Devers finishes outside the Top 20 at Third Base.

Justification: I want to believe in him I REALLLY do, I remember picking him up in a bunch of leagues waiting for him to pave the way toward a championship for me. Then I waited…and waited, and waited. My three big issues: last year, his 2nd half was actually worse than his first half. He is on the World Series winning team, and potentially one of the best teams in years, and he was still terrible. Finally, it looks like his fly ball rate is going up. I hope he has a breakout season, but there are too many warning flags and not nearly enough things that I have seen that I can believe in for me to think it will happen.

5. Alex Bregman has 50% more steals than he did in 2018.

Justification: He had 17 steals in 2017 and it went down to 10 last year, as did his speed (5.8+ in 2016 and 2017 down to 3.6 last year). He is young and recovered from his elbow issue and I think we see that stolen base number rise back up to 15 at LEAST.

Poll

Which Bold Prediction is most likely True

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Third Baseman have 3x the number of 100 walk players
    (9 votes)
  • 12%
    No Third Baseman lands in the top 10 in hits
    (31 votes)
  • 42%
    Josh Donaldson top 8 Third Baseman
    (107 votes)
  • 14%
    Rafael Devers finishes outside top 20 at Third Base
    (35 votes)
  • 27%
    Alex Bregman has 15+ Steals
    (68 votes)
250 votes total Vote Now