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Top 40 Third Base Prospect Rankings for 2023

Welcome to my top 40 positional prospect breakdown series. In this series, I break each position’s top prospects giving you a deep dive into the top 5 and giving you five additional names to target in deep leagues. My goal is to help you get your minor league systems into shape with upside prospects that can help you now as well as set you up for long-term success. First we’ll dive into my top five third base prospects to stash now. Then I’ll highlight five deep league names to keep your eyes on. Finally, you can see my top 40 third base prospect rankings for 2023 a little further down the page. For prospects 41-90 head on over to the Weekly Streamer Patreon page.

More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

The Top 5 Prospects To Stash

Elly De La Cruz, CIN

The Cincinnati Reds are coming in hot in my third base prospect rankings! None hotter than the power and speed threat of Elly De La Cruz. Standing at 6’5′, Elly is an imposing figure on the diamond as we saw in 2022. De La Cruz ascended two levels in A+ Dayton and AA Chattanooga where the 20-year-old slashed a combined .304/.359/.586 with 31 doubles, 9 triples, 28 home runs, 86 RBIs, and 47 stolen bases in 120 games.

If there is any concern with Elly De La Cruz it has to be his continually high strikeout rates. In 2022 Elly had a  30.8% strikeout rate, in 2021 it was 29.2%. There is no doubt Elly makes a ton of hard contact but for him to succeed as a top-five dynasty asset he will need to cut the strikeouts down.

The Reds have assigned De La Cruz to AAA Louisville to start the season and if he continues to hit the way he has over the last two seasons it won’t be long before he is launching home runs in the Great American launching pad.

Brett Baty, NYM

Taken by the Mets in the first round of the 2019 draft, Brett Baty has in my opinion been relegated to a secondary third base prospect by most industry rankings. For me, Brett Baty has been one of the best fundamental hitting third base prospects in the minor leagues.

In fact, since the 2021 season (Baty’s first full season), Brett has slashed .331/.425/.546 with 36 home runs and 131 RBIs in 195 games in the minor leagues. Throughout his time in the minor leagues as well as in high school Baty has been able to draw walks at a solid 12.78% and the strikeout rate has remained solid at 24.08%. Now called back up with the Mets, it seems he has done everything you could ask him to do in the minor leagues.

For now, he’s getting acclimated to big-league pitching, but as of right now, Brett Baty is the highest “floor” third base prospect. I feel confident in his ability to stick in the major leagues long term. The only drawback to Baty is that I would have liked to see more power output but with minor league leading exit velocities at the time of his call up “Ya Gotta Believe” the power will come.

Cam Collier, CIN

Coming out of baseball powerhouse Chipola Junior College, Collier is a plus hitter that might be one of the sneaky signings in this year’s first round.

Son of former big league shortstop Lou Collier, the younger Collier profiles as a high-contact, above-average power third basemen that has impressed scouts with strong bat-to-ball skills similar to Termarr Johnson. Quick bat speed through the zone and high barrel rates have scouts talking about the above-average to plus power potential for Collier.

In his first taste of professional ball Collier slashed .370/.514/.630 with two home runs and 7 walks in 9 games at the Reds rookie complex. Collier looks advanced at the plate and to me resembles Jordan Walker coming out of the 2020 draft class.

Noelvi Marte, CIN

After coming over to the Cincinnati Reds in the Luis Castillo trade, Noelvi Marte seemed to get better than the already stellar numbers he was putting up in A+ Everett with the AquaSox. Marte slashed .292/.397/.443 with four home runs, 13 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases in 30 games played at A+ Dayton.

After the trade, Marte lowered his strikeout rate to 18.3% (Down from 21.3% with Seattle) and raised his walk rate to 13.5% up from 10.7% before the trade. With his time in Seattle and Cincinnati combined, Marte slashed .279/.371/.458 with 19 home runs, 68 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases in 115 total games.

These improvements have to get dynasty managers excited about Noelvi Marte who has started to get the majority of his playing time at third base and projects to be a plus asset there long term with the Reds.

Brady House, WSH

Going into the 2021 draft, Brady House was part of one of the most exciting prep draft classes in recent memory. Names like Jobe, Mayer, Lawlar, Ford, and Painter highlighted a new wave of talent from the high school ranks, and being taken 11th overall by the Nationals was Brady House. With big raw power comes great responsibility and House certainly has plenty of that as he smashed four home runs in his first 16 games at complex ball after the draft.

In 2022 I saw Brady House in A- Kannapolis and was impressed with his ability to work counts and when he connected with the ball the whole ballpark could hear it. His first full season was cut short due to a back injury but, regardless, the numbers looked good. In 45 games played at A- Fredericksburg House slashed .278/.356/.375 with three home runs, 31 RBIs, and one stolen base. The only thing that was concerning was the uncharacteristically low 5.9% walk rate and the high 29.1% strikeout rate in the short sample.

Now healthy, House is back in Fredericksburg and is crushing the ball, slashing .313/.436/.688 with three home runs, eight RBIs, and one stolen base in nine games played. The walk rate has come back up to a strong 17.9% as the strikeout rate of 28.2% is still high for House but there is still time for that to come down. The hard hit rates are through the roof fand House should be on your radar as he should see A+ Willmington at some point this season.

*Since Curtis Mead (Ranked Third) was broken down in my Top 40 Second Basemen Prospect Rankings. I have highlighted the next few prospects to give you more insight into my third base prospect rankings.

Deep League Prospects To Watch

A.J. Vukovich, ARI – The Diamondbacks might have struck gold in the fourth round of the shortened 2020 draft by nabbing a high school shortstop 119th overall. Immediately the Diamondbacks moved Vukovich to third base and in his first professional season Vukovich started producing with the bat. Last season we saw Vukovich climb from A+ to AA Amarillo with fantastic results. Vukovich slashed .276/.308/.449 with 26 doubles, 17 home runs, 78 RBIs, and 36 stolen bases in 117 combined games.

The power-speed blend at the third base position has to get dynasty managers’ blood pumping. To this point, Vukovich has 32 HR and 56 stolen bases in 64 attempts since 2021. The Diamondbacks are having Vukovich split time at third and the outfield as Deyvison De Los Santos appears poised to be the third basemen of the future. Regardless, Vukovich has a big upside for fantasy purposes and as he starts his season back in AA Amarillo he isn’t too far from making his major league debut with hot summer performance.

James Triantos, CHC – It has been a rough couple of seasons for the Chicago Cubs as they have seen some of their biggest stars in Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant get shipped out of the friendly confines. With an influx of prospects via trade, the future is looking bright for the Cubbies and this confidence has bled into the Cubs’ successful draft selections in recent years.

James Triantos was selected 56th overall in 2021 out of high school as a shortstop. From his first taste of professional ball Triantos has hit with authority. In complex ball in 2021 Triantos slashed .327/.376/.594 with six home runs, 27 runs scored, and three stolen bases in 25 games played. Triantos had a fantastic 16.5% strikeout rate out of the gates that confirmed the disciplined approach the young 18-year-old had coming into the MLB draft.

Triantos picked up where he left off in the 2022 season. He started the season in A- Myrtle Beach and played 113 games, slashing .272/.335/.386 with 7 home runs, 74 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases. This was a strong stat line for the 19-year-old as he continued to show excellent pitch recognition and discipline at the plate continuing to only strike out 16.1% of the time. Triantos played the 2022 season at third base but his average arm strength might mean his future home is at second base, a position the Cubs plan to give plenty of time to Triantos in 2023.

Tyler Locklear, SEA – Seattle continues to make smart draft day decisions and none paid quicker dividends than the power hitting Tyler Locklear. Coming out of Virginia Commonwealth University, the lofty “Pete Alonso” comps said by Dan O’Dowd might not be so far-fetched in his initial short sample size. Locklear played 31 games split between rookie ball and A- Modesto where he slashed .285/.366/.504 with six doubles, seven home runs, and 31 RBIs. The 21.8% strikeout rate at A- Modesto was not a bad way to start his professional career and started forcing him up most third base prospect rankings quickly.

Seattle assigned the 22-year-old Locklear to A+ Everett to start the 2023 season and so far he is continuing to impress, slashing .291/.385/.473 with two home runs, 11 RBIs, and two stolen bases in 14 games. Locklear has bumped his walk rate up so far to a 13.8% (up from 5.3% in 29 games at A- in 2022) in addition to an improved strikeout rate of 18.5%. This might be a quick riser through the Mariners system as I dont expect Locklear to remain at A+ for long and could end up in AAA by season end if he continues to hit.

Brett Harris, OAK – Taken by the Athletics in the seventh round of the 2021 MLB draft out of Gonzaga Brett Harris has quietly become an Athletics prospect to target. The right-handed Harris had a strong season in 2022, ascending two levels in A+ and AA to slash .290/.374/.475 with 22 doubles, 17 home runs, 73 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases in 113 games. Harris showed solid plate discipline striking out only 17.1% of the time while walking 12% of the time in 2022.

Oakland sent Brett Harris back to AA Rockland to start the 2023 season and he is continuing to hit. Currently, Harris is slashing .304/.459/.478 with one home run, nine RBIs, and two stolen bases in his first 13 games. As was the case in 2022, the walk rate is still strong at 16.4% and the strikeout rate has decreased to 11.5%. With this early season success Oakland should be promoting Harris to AAA Las Vegas in short order and with the MLB team off to a historically horrendous start this could be a call-up to stem the bleeding for the Athletics in 2023.

Cayden Wallace, KCR – The Kansas City Royals grabbed Cayden Wallace in the 2022 draft at 49th overall out of the University of Arkansas. Wallace is known for his power tying current Orioles outfielder Heston Kerjstad for the freshman home run record at 15 for the Razorbacks. The Royals assigned Wallace to complex ball and A- Columbia in 2022 where he slashed .293/.379/.466 with eight doubles, three triples, two home runs, 17 RBIs, and eight stolen bases in 30 combined games. Dynasty managers should be impressed with the 9.8% walk rate once Wallace got to A- Columbia and the 18% strikeout rate was a strong start to his pro career.

With a strong pro debut behind him, the Royals assigned Cayden Wallace to A+ Quad Cities to start the season in 2023 where he has continued to hit, slashing .327/.443/.531. In the 14 games played in A+ Wallace has one home run, 11 RBIs, two stolen bases with a 16.4% walk rate and a 23% strikeout rate in 14 games played. If Wallace continues this hot start to the season don’t be surprised to see him get the bump to AA in short order.

Top 40 Third Base Prospect Rankings for 2023

RnkPlayerPosTeamAgeETAOverall Rnk
1Elly De La CruzSS/3BCIN2120247
2Brett Baty3BNYM23Debuted17
3Curtis Mead2B/3BTBR22202346
4Cam Collier3BCIN18202647
5Noelvi MarteSS/3BCIN21202436
6Brady House3B/SSWSH19202562
7Junior Caminero3B/2BTBR19202596
8Mark Vientos3B/1B/OFNYM23Debuted127
9Colson Montgomery3BCHW21202464
10Deyvison De Los Santos3BARI19202482
11Dustin Harris3BTEX23202383
12Christian Encarnacion-Strand1B/3BCIN23202484
13Jordan WestburgSS/3BBAL24202390
14Justyn-Henry MalloyOF/3BDET232024244
15A.J Vukovich3B ARI212024120
16Coby Mayo3BBAL212024110
17Colt Keith3BDET212024118
18Zack Gelof2B/3BOAK232023163
19Jacob Berry3BMIA212025111
20Orelvis MartinezSS/3BTOR212024150
21Blaze Jordan3B/1BBOS202024153
22Bryan Ramos2B/3BCHW212024158
23Yiddi CappeSS/3BMIA202025135
24James Triantos3B/2BCHC202025159
25Jhonkensy Noel1B/3B/OFCLE212023183
26Justin Foscue3B/2BTEX242023171
27Warming Bernabel 3BCOL202024189
28Casey Schmitt3BSFG242023262
29Tucker TomanSS/3BTOR192026193
30Nolan Jones3B/OFCOL24Debuted197
31Niko Kavadas3B/1BBOS242023204
32Ivan Melendez1B/3BARI232024212
33Tyler Locklear3BSEA222025286
34Brett Harris3BOAK242024NR
35Max Wagner3BBAL212025300
36Cayden Wallace3BKCR212025252
37Andres Chaparro3BNYY232023472
38Will Wagner3BHOU242024NR
39Sal Stewart3BCIN192026329
40Matthew LugoSS/3BBOS212024290

Did you appreciate The Hawk’s Third Base Prospect Rankings? Check out all of his great fantasy baseball prospect analysis.

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