Top 30 Third Basemen for Fantasy Baseball 2024

Scott Chu lists his top 30 third basemen for fantasy baseball in 2024.

Third base doesn’t feel as top-heavy as it did a year ago thanks to a more robust pool of mid-round talent, but the position is still dominated by stars at the top of the pool. I don’t think you have to go into the hot corner with a specific strategy the way you probably did in 2023, but there are several high-upside with high-risk options you’ll want to get a feel for prior to entering the draft room, as the price will be quite steep due to their explosive talent.

Interspersed with those stars and gambits, you’ll find a collection of players who should have stable playing time and who contribute to your power and RBI categories (with a few notable exceptions), though as a whole, there are very few third basemen who you should expect to steal more than 15 bases.

As with all of the position ranking articles, these blurbs and ranks come from my Top 300 Hitters for Fantasy Baseball 2024 piece that also debuted today! Check that piece out for more on my rankings philosophy and, well, all the rest of my rankings.

Check out the Hacks & Jacks podcast featuring Scott Chu and Joe Gallina, which also happened to be a finalist for Best Baseball Podcast of 2021 by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA)!

I also host an AMA in the r/fantasybaseball subreddit every Friday (starting sometime in late March) starting around noon ET that lasts through the rest of the day and into the weekend, so feel free to join the fun and ask questions or make comments.


Tier 1


1. José Ramírez (3B, CLE) – Oddly, Statcast felt that Ramírez was a better hitter with significantly more power in 2023 than he was in 2022 despite the downturn in home runs. We didn’t see anything from J-Ram in 2023 that we didn’t expect—as many walks as he had strikeouts, plus power, nearly 30 stolen bases, and excellent ratios. I think there are more home runs in here based on the history and Statcast data and the counting stats should improve by dumb luck and some better health in Cleveland, so I’m expecting better numbers in 2024 than he did in 2023.

2. Austin Riley (3B, ATL) – I had no idea Riley had 20 more runs scored in 2023 than he had RBI—an extremely unusual split for a number-three hitter who hits behind players like Albies and Acuña. Expect that to change (not that it matters too much for his overall value), but for the 35+ home run power and excellent batting average to continue. I suppose there’s a 45 home run ceiling if everything pans out just right and he starts selling out for pull power, but honestly, I’d prefer Riley just be the Riley we’ve seen for three consecutive seasons.

3. Rafael Devers (3B, BOS) – It’s difficult to separate Riley and Devers from a pure talent perspective—both have 35 home run power and both will hit somewhere around .280-.290—but I give the edge to Riley for being on a much better team. I guess in an OBP league I might flip them around since Devers takes more walks and should outpace Riley by about 10-15 points, but I’m only bringing it up to have another sentence in this blurb.


Tier 2


4. Elly De La Cruz (3B/SS, CIN) – De La Cruz is undoubtedly one of the most electrifying athletes in the game, possessing 25+ home run power and 50 stolen base speed, but the 21-year-old infielder has some growing to do in the decision-making department. It might surprise you to know that Elly is actually good at making contact—our PLV contact metrics show that he makes contact more often than we’d expect on a pitch-by-pitch basis when he swings. The primary issue for Elly is that he swings far too often at pitches that no one can do anything with. The exciting part is that we saw Elly start to make this adjustment during the season, and even though the stats didn’t follow (he faded at the end of the season), the fact that his process was dramatically improving makes me very interested in jumping on board with Elly if the price is even remotely reasonable.

5. Royce Lewis (3B, MIN) – Injuries are impossible to ignore when talking about Royce Lewis’s career. He missed all of 2020 and 2021 with injuries and appeared between the majors and minors in just 118 games over the last two seasons. The production has been outstanding when Lewis has been on the field since his return to the field in 2022, and the charts below are good signs of how he’s adapting to the majors. That said, his small major league sample size and extensive injury history make Lewis an extreme risk-reward play. The charts are INCREDIBLY promising, though. I mean, look at these beauties.


6. Manny Machado (3B, SDP) – A down year for Machado is 30 home runs, 91 RBI, and a .258 batting average, it seems. The highly dependable third baseman has been a strong contributor at third base for nine consecutive seasons, and it’s hard to imagine Machado not doing it again in 2024. There are some questions about how much talent will be around him during the season with Soto being traded and Tatis having a worrisome injury history plus a bit of a downturn in performance. Even if the Padres aren’t a high-powered offense in 2024, Machado has shown he can produce in just about any environment. He’s not getting younger, but he should be a high-floor option who bats in the heart of the order on a team that, at worst, should still be pretty decent at the top half of the order.

7. Gunnar Henderson (3B/SS, BAL) – It was rough for two full months as Henderson hit just .201/.332/.370 with a 31% strikeout rate through the end of May with many questioning whether he’d be a bust for 2023. The script flipped quickly, though, as he slashed .278/.323/.538 over the remainder of the season with 23 home runs, 72 runs scored, 68 RBI, and eight steals with a dramatically reduced 23.3% strikeout rate. Making that adjustment—which oddly enough came from being intentionally more aggressive—was critical, and hopefully, he can continue to balance his aggression with making contact.

I’m curious about whether they’ll keep Henderson at the top of the order or if they’ll ever let Mullins sneak back into that role, but regardless Henderson should have a prime spot in a lineup that surprised in 2023 and should get even stronger in 2024.

8. Alex Bregman (3B, HOU) – Bregman’s 2023 closely resembled his 2023 in just about every way, and I expect 2024 to be yet another re-run (not that it’s a bad thing). 20-25 home runs, 180-200 combined runs and RBI, and a .260/.365/.450ish line can be penciled in now and probably gone over in ink by next September.

9. Nolan Arenado (3B, STL) – For the first time in his career, Nolan Arenado played over 135 games and failed to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runners in a single season. That’s the kind of career he’s had to date. Heading into his age-33 season, I can’t necessarily project a return to 30 home runs in 2024, but if the Cardinals can be at all better than they were in 2023 (and by all accounts, they should be), the counting stats and power should be more than enough to return to the top-50 or 60 hitters (he finished 71st in 2023).


Tier 3


10. Josh Jung (3B, TEX) – An injury interrupted an excellent rookie season for Jung, but he turned it around in time for the playoffs and looked every bit like the exciting power hitter we hoped for. The strikeout rate remains high due to his aggression at the plate, especially against breaking balls that escalated as the season went on (see below). The injury risk (he’s missed significant time in each of the last two seasons) and the exploitable swing aggression keep me from pushing up higher, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he approaches the top 30 on the Hitter List within a few weeks of play.

11. Jake Burger (3B, MIA) – Many have probably noticed that Burger’s strikeout rate was markedly better after moving to Miami, but as the rolling chart below shows, he started making this change well before the trade. Burger’s floor is very much tied to how often he can make contact when he swings due to his immense power, and if the strikeout rate improvement sticks, then this ranking will turn out to be far too low. There’s reason to believe he can hold on to it though, as he showed exceptional decision-making skills against breakers and improved against fastballs as the season went on. If he can keep making good decisions against the breaking balls and be even average against fastballs, he could be a force.

12. Max Muncy (3B, LAD) – 2023 was the first time Muncy drove in over 100 runners, and his 36 home runs tied a career high he had set in 2021. The batting average will always stink and his OBP is more neutral than it is positive these days, but another year as the primary third baseman for the Dodgers gives Muncy a top 50 upside. Being 33 years old and never having played in more than 144 games in a season is a bit of a bummer, as is losing the first and second base eligibility he’s had in years past. That said, the replacement level in standard leagues should make covering the 20-30 games he misses a breeze.

13. Isaac Paredes (1B/3B, TBR) – I have been on board for quite some time due to the hit tool and the way the Rays have used that skill and turned it into home runs. Despite the lower batting average, Paredes remains a guy who is excellent at making contact, and as long as he has an everyday role, I’m all in on another 28-30 home run season for Paredes and another 90+ RBI. I also believe he can repeat the .250 batting average due to his ability to avoid strikeouts and his willingness to take a walk rather than chase bad pitches.

Paredes happens to be an example of how expected stats can be misleading for players with specific skill sets. Baseball Savant’s expected batting average does not take batted ball direction into account because it is often fluky and year-to-year pull rates are not usually that sticky. That said, some players do make specific, intentional changes to their batted ball profile (like Paredes has), and it allows them to overperform those expected stats quite significantly.

14. Ha-Seong Kim (2B/3B/SS, SDP) – Another player who exceeded all reasonable expectations in 2023, Kim wound up at the top of the order and slapped his way into 17 home runs, 38 steals, and 84 runs scored. The stolen base upside is pulling him up these rankings, and his strong plate discipline should help Kim recreate something close to his .351 OBP from 2023. I’m not sure Kim can flirt with 40 steals again, but even if he only gets 30, he should be well worth this price.

The trade of Soto may have a weird effect on Kim as it will open up the top of the lineup. The Padres could move Kim to the number one or two spot as his contact-oriented approach is ideal for those roles, but San Diego is so right-handed heavy at this moment that they could also choose to use Cronenworth in that role and move Kim to fifth or sixth. Kim’s skillset is best for fantasy when he’s batting first or second, though hitting lower isn’t a bad thing for his RBI totals and he should get plenty of opportunities to run in either situation.

15. Spencer Steer (1B/3B/OF, CIN) – Steer’s first full season in the big leagues went far better than anyone could have expected, with 23 home runs, 15 steals, and 160 combined runs and RBI with a .271/.356/.464 line. His average tailed off towards the end of the season, in part because pitchers started to challenge him less with hittable pitches (particularly breaking balls), but Steer responded well by showing he could make contact with the more difficult pitches.


I’d be surprised if Steer repeated his 15 stolen bases as he never stole more than eight in a single season in the minor leagues (eight to 10 is a better starting point), but Steer shouldn’t have an issue clearing 20 home runs again with strong counting stats and his hit tool is good enough to post above-average ratios.

16. Alec Bohm (1B/3B, PHI) – 2023 is probably the peak of what Bohm can be: 20 home runs, 97 RBI, and a .274/.327/.437 line. At one point in time, Bohm was considered a power prospect who could hit 25-30 home runs, but his time in the majors has seen him shift into being a contact-oriented hitter with a subpar barrel rate and a low fly ball rate. He finished inside the top 75 hitters thanks to the boosted RBI, and if Turner, Harper, and Castellanos can look like they did in the second half of 2023 he could flirt with 100 RBI again. That said, Bohm’s limited power (especially against right-handed pitching) makes such a high total tough to reach and makes him more of a high-floor player than anything else.


Tier 4


17. Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B, PIT) – Health has been an issue for Hayes in each of the last three seasons, but it was great to see Hayes hit those 15 home runs in 124 games as it was more than he’d hit in the 232 games he played in 2021 and 2022. His aggressive approach will likely keep his OBP low, but the growth in Hayes’s power was real, and if he can have some better luck on the health side, we could see a 20-20 season. Sure, it’ll be on a bad Pirates offense that caps his counting stat totals, but it’s still pretty exciting.

18. Christopher Morel (2B/3B/OF, CHC) – Morel is still without a regular position due to his subpar defensive skills, but his raw power suggests he could hit 30 or more home runs in a season if he managed to make contact on a more consistent basis. Morel’s strikeout woes are well-documented, though, and his decision-making skills declined as the season went on (see below). The low contact ability means Morel needs to make good decisions at all times, and until he can pull that off, he’ll remain an extremely volatile player.

19. Jeimer Candelario (1B/3B, CIN) – Candelario could not have asked to be dropped into a better position as he’ll be hitting in the middle of the order for the up-and-coming Reds with a secure, everyday role. He may not repeat the eight steals he had in 2023, but look for Candelario to match or beat his home run, runs scored, and RBI totals in Cincinnati and push for a finish inside the top-100 hitters. His ceiling and floor probably aren’t that far apart, but it’s of high enough quality that we don’t mind the lack of explosive upside.

20. Christian Encarnacion-Strand (1B/3B, CIN) – The young slugger still has a lot of work to do on his decision-making, but the raw power started to shine towards the end of the season. Decision-making is a much more “learnable” skill than contact ability or power, so hopefully an offseason and more time with the big league club will get Encarnacion-Strand where he needs to be to unlock his peak 35+ home run power. Playing time is a huge issue due to the very crowded infield (especially at the corners) in Cincinnati, so for now CES remains a lottery ticket.

21. Noelvi Marte (3B, CIN) – Marte flashed speed and a bit of power in his brief 2023 debut and he should have a clear path to being the everyday third baseman for the Reds in 2024. Marte was considered a top 20 prospect as recently as 2022, and his pedigree reinforces the notion that he could put up something close to a 20-20 season with above-average ratios. Marte has only played 74 games above double-A which makes any projection risky, but if you need an upside play at the hot corner, Marte makes for an intriguing pick.

22. Nolan Gorman (2B/3B, STL) – The 27 home runs in 119 games isn’t that surprising for those who followed Gorman as a prospect, and neither is the 32.3% strikeout rate he’s shown in 208 career games in the majors. Gorman’s extreme contact issues make him a wildly volatile player in both real life and fantasy, especially since he’s not especially good at making contact even when he’s not chasing pitches. The Cardinals weren’t afraid to bench him against lefties and shuffle their lineup around to cover for it, and I do expect that to continue until Gorman adjusts.

23. Jorge Polanco (2B/3B, SEA) – Polanco kept the double-digit walk rate from 2023 (though it came with an elevated strikeout rate) and also slugged an impressive 14 home runs in just 80 games, but it was a second straight season where injuries kept him out for a large chunk of the season. Polanco has 25 home run upside with decent ratios and counting stats as the presumed cleanup hitter in Seattle, but the biggest question mark is whether he can stay healthy enough to make an impact.


Tier 5


24. Justin Turner (1B/2B/3B, TOR) – It was a great season on all accounts for the now-39-year-old Turner and he heads to the Blue Jays after setting career highs in runs scored and RBI. It’s hard to imagine there’s a lot of tread left on these tires, but Turner should get as much run as his body can handle in Toronto.

25. Colt Keith (3B, DET) – Keith became the second prospect this off-season to receive a multi-year contract prior to making his major league debut. The contract all but assures us that Keith will open as the Tigers’ everyday second baseman. Keith’s profile should translate well to the major leagues as he combines plus power with strong plate discipline to form a solid all-around approach. He is not going to be very useful in the stolen base category, but he figures to be a reliable four-category contributor batting in the middle of Detroit’s lineup.

Here is what Steve concluded from our composite article:

“Keith has risen to a top prospect in baseball since being drafted and has done it with his ability to hit the baseball. Keith should get a chance to play every day at the hot corner in Detroit starting on opening day in 2024.”

26. Matt Chapman (3B, FA) – Chapman’s hard-hit rate in 2023 was the best of his career (by a pretty wide margin) despite putting up 10 fewer home runs than he had in each of the last two seasons. Part of the issue may have been luck, as Chapman’s 39 doubles were 12 more than he hit in 2022 and 24 more than he had in 2021, and he also didn’t pull the ball as much as he did in 2022. 25-30 home runs are possible for Chapman no matter where his free agency takes him, but his strikeouts, streakiness, and low batting average will frustrate even the most patient fantasy managers.

27. Eugenio Suárez (3B, ARI) – Suárez is no longer the lock for 30 home runs he was from 2018-2022, but assuming the D-Backs intend to deploy Suárez in the middle of their lineup, then he should still drive in 80-90 runners even if the home run total is closer to 20 than it is to 30 despite the ugly batting average.

28. Ryan McMahon (2B/3B, COL) – While McMahon’s 2023 seems productive on the surface, a huge amount of his production came over a 50-game hot streak over the summer where he hit .299/.388/.540 with 60 combined runs and RBI and 10 home runs. Before the streak, McMahon had a pedestrian .675 OPS, and afterward, he had a .672 OPS. That’s 50 games of good production and 102 games of sandbagging your stats. Throw in a rising strikeout rate and a horrible offense around him, and you have a player who can contribute to your counting stats when he’s at home and who should otherwise be on the wire.

29. Wilmer Flores (1B/3B, SFG) –2023 was arguably the best season of Flores’ career and he enters 2024 as the number four hitter in the lineup and everyday DH. Free agents could muddle things up a bit depending on their skill set, but look for Flores to roughly 20 home runs with decent counting stats and a batting average around .260-.270.

30. Junior Caminero (3B, TBR) – If this was a list based solely on prospect potential, Caminero would much rank higher than this. That being said, he is part of a Rays team that rarely hands over full-time roles to unproven players. Caminero profiles better as a third baseman, a spot that is currently occupied by Isaac Paredes. The Rays will undoubtedly find ways to get Caminero’s bat into the lineup, but a high ground ball rate could become problematic at the major league level. Caminero’s raw power gives him plenty of potential and fantasy upside. He is a valuable prospect to target in redraft leagues.

Here is what Matt concluded about Caminero back in November:

“Caminero has as much upside as anybody on this list. He has massive power and is still years younger than many of the names likely to debut. He should get consistent run as an everyday player in 2024. There are some concerns, but he has the upside to be a difference-maker.”


Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)

Scott Chu

Scott Chu is a Senior Fantasy Analyst here bat Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. He's also the inventor and mascot for Fantasy Curling (as seen the Wall Street Journal) and a 3x FSWA Award Finalist. In addition to being a fantasy analyst, he's a dad, animal lover, Simpsons fanatic, cartoon connoisseur, amateur curler, a CODA, and an attorney.

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