Throughout the season, Baseball America will present position rankings of the best college players in the draft class. Here we focus on the third basemen. It is not one of the class’ strengths and some of the best third basemen in the country are underclassmen. Bohm gives the position a likely first rounder and the rest of the group figures to quickly go off the board if they perform this spring.
1. Alec Bohm, Wichita State: Bohm last summer was one of the breakout stars of the Cape Cod League, where he ranked second in the league in batting (.351) and showed impressive raw power. He has hit everywhere he’s gone in college – he’s a career .316 hitter for the Shockers – and along with outfielder Greyson Jenista forms Wichita State’s bash brothers duo. Bohm, listed at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, still has work to do defensively, but his righthanded power and hittability will play even if he ends up at first base.
2. Jonathan India, Florida: India came to Florida as a highly regarded recruit and has been a key part of the lineup throughout his career. He stands out more for his feel for hitting than his power, though he already this spring has hit four home runs after hitting 10 homers in his first two seasons. India is also showing his defensive versatility this spring. He exclusively played third base his first two seasons at Florida, but split time between third and shortstop over the summer in the Cape and has lately been playing shortstop for the Gators. If he can convince scouts he can handle shortstop or maintain his power surge, he will move up draft boards this spring.
3. Johnny Aiello, Wake Forest: Aiello in 2017 had a big sophomore year, hitting .328/.417/.643 with 20 home runs to earn an invitation to USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. He, like the Demon Deacons, has struggled out of the gate this season and is 8-for-35 with just one extra-base hit. Aiello needs to hit because he is not regarded as a premium defender at the hot corner.
4. George Janca, Texas A&M: Janca had a solid summer in the Cape, showing the ability to play shortstop as well as the hot corner. He returned to third base at Texas A&M in deference to Braden Shewmake, but his ability to play well at either spot on the left side of the infield figures to be attractive to scouts. He’s started the season just 3-for-26 at the plate, however, and will need to get on track soon.
5. Kyle Datres, North Carolina: Datres has impressive athleticism, which has helped him develop as a defender. Though he’s bulked up to 6-foot, 198 pounds this season, he’s more of a hit-over-power profile. Datres is off to a solid start to the season (.351/.419/.513) and has cut down on his swing-and-miss in the early going.