The third base position is rather deep this year, and there’s a lot of enticing options, headlined by Nolan Arenado and Alex Bregman . The guys that come after these two are enticing as well, notably Cleveland’s José Ramírez , Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. , and San Diego’s Manny Machado . Each week, we will take a dive into this position in particular and figure out what to do with the position, whether it’s examining producers at different categories, overvalued players, undervalued players, etc.

For the fifth installment, let’s have some fun with Steamer’s Projections. For each category, I’ll let you know Steamer’s top three projected players at various categories, and then I’ll provide my guess as well as a potential darkhorse to lead that particular category!

Without further ado…

Home Runs


Home Run Total

Nolan Arenado


Manny Machado


Mike Moustakas


Courtesy of Steamer Projections

My Prediction: Mike Moustakas and Josh Donaldson . They will tie for the positional lead. Moustakas gets another quality ballpark to hit in, and he has 35+ homers in two of the past three seasons. The closer he hits to the top of the order gives him more at-bats, and there is a chance that he gets some at-bats in the leadoff spot or No. 2 hole. As for Donaldson, as long as he stays healthy, he is a premium power bat in a good ballpark. He dealt with injuries back in 2017 and 2018, but in 155 games last season, he hit 37 home runs and posted the fifth-highest average exit velocity on fly balls and line drives. With health, he’ll hit 40 this year.

Darkhorse: Miguel Sanó . He has legit power, and while strikeouts and injuries are a concern, the move to first base should help his durability, in theory. He retains third base eligibility in most formats, so that helps here. Regardless, he posted an immense 21.2-percent barrel rate last year (top 1-percent of league) and a quality 15.9-degree launch angle. Oh, additionally, his average exit velocity of 94.4 was in the top one-percent of the league, and his 99.6 exit velocity on just fly balls and line drives was the best in baseball, just edging out Aaron Judge and Nelson Cruz .



RBI Total

Nolan Arenado


Alex Bregman , Rafael Devers


Manny Machado



Courtesy of Steamer Projections

My Prediction: Nolan Arenado . Clear-cut favorite in terms of the projections, and Colorado has the best hitter’s park in the game. His power has remained constant over the years, and if Colorado allows some of its youngsters to hit near the top of the order and wreak havoc on the bases, I’ll feel even more secure with this pick. Arenado has 110 or more RBI in five straight seasons, including three seasons with 130 or more RBI. He’s a lock for at least 110 this season.

Darkhorse: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Yes, this is risky, but it could be done. Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio should have nice seasons, giving Vladdy Jr. plenty of chances to drive in runs. Guerrero should make the leap in his first full professional season, and if he can elevate that launch angle (6.7 degrees last season), the power numbers should enjoy a nice jump, increasing that RBI total. Also, there are some bad, or injured, pitching staffs in that division, as well as some hitter-friendly parks, which certainly strengthens his case.

Runs Scored


Runs Scored Total

Alex Bregman


Nolan Arenado


Kris Bryant



Courtesy of Steamer Projections

My Prediction: Kris Bryant . The move to the top of the lineup will hurt some of his other stats, notably RBI total, but it’s great for his runs scored. He’s topped 100 runs scored in three of the past four years, and his double-digit walk rate should help keep that OBP sky high. Anthony Rizzo , Willson Contreras , and Co. should be able to drive him in, making him my favorite to lead in this particular category.

Darkhorse: Anthony Rendon . The Angels lineup should be improved, and there should be plenty of runs scored. If he hits third in the lineup, he will have guys like Shohei Ohtani , Justin Upton and Albert Pujols hitting behind him. Oh yeah, also, Jo Adell will open closer to the bottom of the lineup, so that’s another guy to drive Rendon in. I like this lineup a lot, and there’s a lot of runs to be had, starting with Rendon.

Stolen Bases


Stolen Base Total

José Ramírez


Tommy Edman


Yoán Moncada



Courtesy of Steamer Projections

My Prediction: José Ramírez . He’s the clear cut favorite, and is likely one of just two guys that can get past 25 bases. Ramirez struggled for the majority of last season, but he rebounded well, and he’s just one year removed from a whopping 30/30 season. Over the last two seasons, he’s swiped bases at an 85.3 percent clip.

Darkhorse: Jon Berti. Certain league formats may or may not have Berti qualifying, but a few sites I saw had him there, so I’m including him. Berti is quick, and he swiped 17 bases in just 73 games for Miami last year. Projections are all over the place for Berti here, but the speed is legit and there’s no denying that Miami will need to manufacture some runs, and that can happen on the base paths.

Batting Average


Projected Batting Average

Rafael Devers


Nolan Arenado , Vladimir Guerrero Jr.


Alex Bregman



Courtesy of Steamer Projections

My Prediction: Nolan Arenado . He hits in the best park in baseball, and he’s hit .309 or better in two of the last three seasons. The other year saw him hit .297. He’s getting above .300 this season, and should lead the position in this category. However, close behind will be….

Darkhorse: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Again, if Guerrero increases that launch angle, he can drive more balls into the power alleys, and less ground balls that he won’t beat out. There are a few guys that can hit .300 or better this season, but I’m giving the slight edge to Arenado over Vladdy in this category. It will be close, and I’m talking just a couple of percentage points.



Projected OBP

Alex Bregman


Josh Donaldson


Kris Bryant



Courtesy of Steamer Projections

My Prediction: Alex Bregman . HBPs will help with his on-base percentage, but he has elite plate discipline skills, as seen by his 17.2-percent walk rate last year, 18.8-percent O-Swing rate and 4.5-percent SwStr%. He stays in the zone, he doesn’t whiff, and while there will be some statistical regression for Bregman this year, he should reside at the top of the OBP list by season's end.

Darkhorse: Anthony Rendon . He’s posted an OBP north .400 in two of the past three seasons, and he’s been above .370 each of the past three years. He’s in a great lineup, and as long as he keeps his walk rate in the double-digits, another .400+ OBP season is within reach. Great lineup, plenty of protection, but perhaps he can get some free passes if teams would rather throw to Ohtani or Upton, compared to Rendon. If it’s not Bregman, Rendon will lead the field.