Impact Prospect Rankings: Third Basemen

I began the year at RotoGraphs by producing a semi-regularly-updated Top 25 prospects list. For the second half of the year and into the offseason, I’ll be rotating expanded Top 10, 12 or 15 lists (on a far more regular basis) by position: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF/RF, CF, RHSP (tier 1), RHSP (tier 2), LHSP. Whether you play traditional formats of fantasy baseball or dynasty/keeper styles (or you’re just a prospect nut like me), you’ll surely find these lists indispensable. You can read the Impact Prospect Catchers, the Impact Prospect First Basemen, and the Impact Prospect Second Basemen.

 

#1 Kris Bryant | Cubs | ETA: 2015 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
22 489 140 33 36 68 129 15 .341 .446 .685 .488

Aug. 7 notes: Bryant’s aggressive climb through the minor league system hasn’t hurt his development — or his offensive output. The young third baseman has seen 69 of his 140 hits go for extra bases — including 36 home runs — and he’s getting on base at a strong clip. There is no reason to expect anyone but Bryant to be at third base for Chicago on Opening Day 2015 — especially considering the front office has shown it won’t play games with service time.

 

#2 Miguel Sano | Twins | ETA: 2015 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 519 123 30 35 65 142 11 .280 .382 .610 .435

Aug. 7 notes: Had it not been for a bum elbow, and subsequent Tommy John surgery, Sano would likely be the Twins’ starting third baseman right now. Current third baseman Trevor Plouffe has established himself as a replacement-level-at-best player so the young Dominican native has a good shot at taking over the hot corner by June or July of 2015.

 

#3 Joey Gallo | Rangers | ETA: 2015 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 453 109 18 37 73 150 5 .294 .412 .658 .464

Aug. 7 notes: Gallo isn’t quite the complete hitter that Kris Bryant is, but (as you may have heard) he has massive power potential from the left side of the plate. His promotion from High-A to Double-A has slowed his offensive onslaught to some degree — including 86 strikeouts in 49 games and a .205 average against southpaws — so his big league promotion likely won’t come until the second half of 2015, at the earliest.

 

#4 Ryan McMahon | Rockies | ETA: 2017 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
19 461 115 40 14 43 121 6 .283 .351 .500 .381

Aug. 7 notes: McMahon is probably one of the better prospects you’ve never heard of. The 2013 second rounder doesn’t have the same eye-popping power numbers that the above players have, but his raw power is still developing. We can see hints at the future pop by looking at his 40 doubles and 14 home runs in just 104 games at the Low-A level. He’s by no means a finished product as witnessed by his 121 strikeouts and .203 batting average against left-handed pitchers.

 

#5 D.J. Peterson | Mariners | ETA: 2015 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
22 446 123 30 25 36 98 7 .303 .361 .567 .401

Aug. 7 notes: There is no guarantee that Peterson will have the defensive chops to stick at third base long term but the Mariners prospect has the offensive potential to hit just about anywhere on the baseball diamond. The 2013 first round pick should be ready for The Show (offensively) by mid-2015. With disappointing results from Justin Smoak, Logan Morrison, Kendrys Morales and Jesus Montero, Peterson could also become Seattle’s first baseman of the (near) future.

 

#6 Jake Lamb | Diamondbacks | ETA: 2015 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
23 460 128 39 15 53 103 2 .327 .407 .566 .428

Aug. 7 notes: Arizona boasts some impressive third base depth with both Lamb and Brandon Drury (absent from this list) and the organization has cleared away some of the potential log jam at the big league level with the trade of Martin Prado to the Yankees. Lamb has spent most of 2014 in Double-A but he was recently promoted to Triple-A where he’s produced a 1.460 OPS through his first five games. He has a decent shot at opening 2015 as the Diamondbacks’ starting third baseman.

 

#7 Garin Cecchini | Red Sox | ETA: 2015 (3B)


Age PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
23 2 0.0 % 50.0 % .500 .500 1.000 .640 319 0.5 -0.2 0.0

Aug. 7 notes: Cecchini has done nothing but hit since turning pro — at least until this season. The fourth-year pro has uncharacteristically struggled in Triple-A. After hitting more than .300 with a 94-86 BB-K rate in 2013, his numbers have dipped to .239 and 32-79 so far in 2014. Luckily, fellow young third baseman Will Middlebrooks has also hit an offensive slide. Expect a bounce-back year in 2015 from Cecchini.

 

#8 Maikel Franco | Phillies | ETA: 2015 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
21 451 102 27 9 28 68 2 .244 .293 .388 .307

Aug. 7 notes: Franco has followed up his breakout 2013 season with a dismal showing in 2014. Like Garin Cecchini above, though, his competition at the big league level (Cody Asche) has also had a poor season. The good news with Franco is that he’s shown flashes of his previous brilliance but brutal results in April and June have dragged down his overall results. Becoming more consistent should be Job #1 for the prospect in 2015.

 

#9 Rio Ruiz | Astros | ETA: 2016 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 504 132 30 11 67 77 4 .305 .395 .460 .380

Aug. 7 notes: It won’t be long before Houston cuts ties with Matt Dominguez and his disappointing offense at third base. Luckily for the Astros, they have two solid hot corner prospects in the minors in Ruiz and the recently-acquired Colin Moran. Moran is perhaps a bit more polished with his hit tool right now but Ruiz has a much higher overall ceiling — and more power potential. Moran may get first shot at the job (perhaps before the end of 2015) but the Astros’ 2012 fourth round pick won’t be far behind and could be ready in 2016.

 

#10 Mitch Nay | Blue Jays | ETA: 2017 (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 472 123 29 3 35 69 6 .285 .341 .387 .337

Aug. 7 notes: The Blue Jays prospect opened the year as a sleeper on my Top 100 prospects list but he got off to a modest start to the 2014 season. He’s been one of the hottest hitters in the Midwest League over the past couple of weeks, even though the power has yet to manifest itself (The Midwest League is traditionally a tough place to hit home runs). Nay is also showing more gap power as of late; Twenty-one of his 29 doubles have come in the last two months.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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Nelson S.
Member
Member
Nelson S.

I see this comment every time, but, can you please indicate what level the hitting lines are from?

Joel
Guest
Joel

I know Bryant was across 3 levels this year, and I would imagine most of these prospects were across at least 2. This is easy info to get if you are interested.

wrong
Guest
wrong

actually, Joel, you don’t know that.
Bryant’s stats are his combined AA and AAA stats. That’s two levels, not three.

Ty Wiggington
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Ty Wiggington

Get a life, retard.

Atreyu Jones
Guest
Atreyu Jones

Or use common sense when picking which line to show. Cecchini’s stats from TWO plate appearances give us zero information.

help
Guest
help

just click on their names. It will bring you to their stat page, which has the info you want.

but I agree, it would be nice to have it right here as well.

wpDiscuz