MLB Pipeline will unveil its 2018 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.Baseball features a wealth of young talent at third base. Nolan Arenado, Kristopher
MLB Pipeline will unveil its 2018 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.
Baseball features a wealth of young talent at third base. Nolan Arenado, Kristopher Bryant, Jose Ramirez and Anthony Rendon were the four best players at the position in 2017, and Rendon was the old man of that group at age 27.
Alex Bregman, Joey Gallo, Jake Lamb, Manny Machado, Miguel Sano, Travis Shaw and Eugenio Suarez also had strong seasons, and none of them was older than Shaw at 27. Rookies Jeimer Candelario, Matt Chapman and Rafael Devers graduated from the Top 100 Prospects list to the Majors and fortified the American League even further at the hot corner.
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More exciting third basemen are on the way. Nick Senzel (Reds), Miguel Andujar (Yankees), Christian Arroyo (Rays) and Brian Anderson (Marlins) look ready to claim starting jobs in the Majors this year. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays), who can stake a claim to being the best prospect in baseball, is on course to arrive in 2019 -- unless he forces his way to Toronto this summer as a 19-year-old.
This is the sixth in the series of MLB Pipeline's Top 10 Prospects list and will be followed by shortstops on Wednesday and outfielders on Thursday. We'll unveil our overall Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday with an MLB Network special (simulcast on MLB.com) at 8 p.m. ET.
The Top 10
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays More »
- Nick Senzel, Reds More »
- Miguel Andujar, Yankees More »
- Michael Chavis, Red Sox More »
- Christian Arroyo, Rays More »
- Austin Riley, Braves More »
- Ryan Mountcastle, Orioles More »
- Colton Welker, Rockies More »
- Brian Anderson, Marlins More »
- Jake Burger, White Sox More »
Best hitter: Guerrero (80)
In his full-season debut, he hit .323/.425/.485 between two Class A stops at age 18, walking more than he struck out while finishing second in the Minor Leagues in on-base percentage. With his advanced feel for hitting, mature approach and exceptional hand-eye coordination, Guerrero should contend for batting titles on an annual basis. Senzel might be the second-best hitter in the Minors, but he takes a back seat to Guerrero.
Best power: Guerrero (65)
Guerrero stroked 13 home runs and 43 extra-base hits as a teenager, and his power will only continue to grow. He has a penchant for making hard contact, not to mention impressive bat speed and physical strength. Guerrero's soon-to-be Hall of Famer father averaged 33 homers per full season in the big leagues, and Vladimir Jr. has the tools to do the same.
Fastest runner: Senzel (55)
Third base isn't a position known for speed, and Senzel is the lone above-average runner in our Top 10. He has 32 steals in 187 pro games, and while he won't be that prolific in the Majors, he's an asset on the bases.
Best arm: Andujar (70)
While Andujar has the ability to hit for average and power, his best pure tool is clearly his cannon arm. He could stand to improve the accuracy of his throws, but scouts estimate that he'd immediately have a mid-90s fastball if he moved to the mound.
Best defender: Anderson, Senzel (60)
Senzel edged Anderson for the third-base spot on our All-Defense Team. They both have plus arms, can make throws from different angles and cover a lot of ground at the hot corner.
Highest ceiling: Guerrero
Guerrero has the highest offensive ceiling of any prospect in baseball. He could be his dad with more selectivity at the plate or the next Jose Cabrera, and the Blue Jays will be thrilled with either outcome.
Highest floor: Senzel
All five of Senzel's tools grade as solid or better, which is why he ranks as one of the game's elite prospects. He's a safe bet to hit and get the job done defensively, and his ceiling ranks second only to Guerrero's on this Top 10.
Rookie of the Year candidate: Arroyo
The headline prospect in the December trade that sent Evan Longoria from the Rays to the Giants, Arroyo offers the best combination of readiness and opportunity. He is a pure hitter with a career .300 average in the Minors, and his steady approach should help him adapt to big league pitching.
Highest riser: Chavis
The 26th overall pick in the 2014 Draft, Chavis tried to do way too much at the plate in his first three pro seasons and wound up hitting .235/.301/.396 in his first three pro seasons. When he stopped trying to yank every pitch out of the park in 2017, he batted .282/.347/.563 and ranked third in the Minors in extra-base hits (68) and fifth in homers (31).
Humblest beginning: Anderson
This Top 10 includes five first-round picks, a supplemental first-rounder, two international bonus babies and no truly humble beginnings. Anderson received the lowest bonus, $600,000 as a third-rounder out of Arkansas in 2014, when he played second base and there were questions about his power that he has answered in pro ball.
Most to prove: Mountcastle
After breaking out by hitting .314/.343/.542 in Class A Advanced and winning the Carolina League batting and slugging titles, Mountcastle dipped to .222/.239/.366 in Double-A during the final six weeks of last season. He's better suited for third base than his former position of shortstop, but concerns remain that his lack of arm strength could push him to left field.
Keep an eye on: Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pirates
The son of 14-year big leaguer Charlie Hayes, Ke'Bryan has produced just eight homers in three pro seasons since the Pirates made him the 32nd overall choice in 2015. Nevertheless, he's an advanced hitter and defender with good athleticism, and he has some raw power but just hasn't tapped into it yet.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.