2022 Prospect Position Rankings: Third Base
Position Rankings are voted on by Baseball America staff members. Players are listed at their primary positions.
STAR RATING: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Eight third basemen earned spots on the BA Top 100 with many others not far off. Jordan Walker and Nolan Gorman are in the conversation for best power in the minors. Josh Jung, when healthy, and Miguel Vargas are among the best pure hitters in the minors.
BEST HITTER: Miguel Vargas, Dodgers
Vargas has hit above. 300 at every level and finished third in the minors in hits last season while spending most of the year in Double-A as a 21-year-old. He has long possessed an uncanny ability to drive balls hard the other way and began turning on pitches on the inner half last season, unleashing surprising power that yielded a career-high 23 home runs. Now that Vargas has shown he can pull balls with authority, he is a consensus plus hitter who earns frequent comparisons to reigning American League batting champion Yuli Gurriel.
BEST DEFENDER: Elly De La Cruz, Reds
De La Cruz's offensive performance fueled his rise last season, but his defense may be even better than his bat. He's a remarkably poised defender for his age with great hands, plus-plus arm strength and impressive throwing accuracy from every arm angle. He has a high baseball IQ that allows him to position himself well and has the athleticism to get to nearly any ball with his plus speed, smooth footwork and explosive, twitchy actions.
SLEEPER: Deyvison De Los Santos, D-backs
De Los Santos broke out in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League last year and continued to hold his own as an 18-year-old in Low-A after being promoted. His strong, physical frame and fast bat speed yields 80-grade raw power, and his pitch recognition, strike-zone discipline and contact skills are all rapidly improving. De Los Santos is closer to 230 pounds than his listed 185 and may eventually move to first base, but he moves well enough to potentially be a playable, if below-average, defender at third base depending on how he maintains his body.
|1||Jordan Walker, Cardinals|
|2||Josh Jung, Rangers|
|3||Nolan Gorman, Cardinals|
|4||Brett Baty, Mets|
|5||Miguel Vargas, Dodgers|
|6||Elly De La Cruz, Reds|
|7||Jose Miranda, Twins|
|8||Curtis Mead, Rays|
|9||Mark Vientos, Mets|
|10||Coby Mayo, Orioles|