by Dylan Goldman
Nolan Arenado (3B, Colorado Rockies)
Arenado’s pure power at the plate and his cannon arm make him one of the best third baseman in all of baseball. The 25-year-old won two Gold Gloves in his first two seasons, which is a testament to how efficient he is in the field. Almost no play is out of reach for Arenado. He can fire the ball from as far out as the foul line and can still get the base runner out. The scary thing is fielding is just one of many strengths for Arenado.
His power is probably the biggest reason why he’s one of the top third baseman in the league. Arenado has hit 27 homers this year, and in his four seasons with the Rockies, he’s smashed 97 home runs. Arenado is one of those players that doesn’t come around too often, and that’s why the Rockies are set up to become one of the best teams in the MLB.
Arenado usually only gets recognition because of his power, but what makes him one of the best in the game is his ability to make any play in the field. Arenado has compiled a career batting average of .280, which is excellent given the fact he is mostly a power hitter. If Manny Machado and Kris Bryant weren’t in the league, then Arenado would arguably be considered the best third baseman in the MLB.
Manny Machado (3B, Baltimore Orioles)
Machado and Arenado both have very similar skillsets, but Machado gets the nod over Arenado because of his ability to hit for both contact and power. Machado is batting .307 this year, and in five seasons with the Orioles, the 24-year-old has a career batting average of .285.
Machado is another player that can make an out no matter where the ball is hit. He has a career fielding percentage of .971, which means he’s been nearly perfect in the field. Machado has 25 homers this year, and he hit three in three innings last Sunday, which shows that Machado can also hit for power. Machado could be on pace to become the AL MVP in the future if he continues to put up the type of numbers he’s been putting up.
Machado’s ability to hit for contact and power is enough to make him a valuable player, but once you add in his fielding ability, then he has the talent to be considered one of the best third baseman in the MLB.
Kris Bryant (3B, Chicago Cubs)
Bryant was the starting third baseman for the NL in the All-Star Game this year, and there’s a reason for that. Once Bryant went on an absolute tear in Spring Training last year, everyone knew that this was a player that was set up to become one of the best players in the league.
Bryant is a home run hitting machine, as he’s belted 26 homers this year, which is one of the highest totals in the NL, and in all of baseball. Bryant has posted a WAR of 11.1, which shows how valuable he is to the Cubs.
Bryant can do pretty much anything at the plate, and while he doesn’t have the same arm that Machado and Arenado have, Bryant makes up for that with his power. Bryant is a candidate to become the NL MVP, and if he doesn’t this year, there’s no doubt that he’ll be a viable candidate for MVP in the future.
Bryce Harper (OF, Washington Nationals)
If you looked up the definition of power in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Harper. The 23-year-old has smashed 117 homers in five seasons with the Nationals, and he could’ve had more if he wasn’t limited by injury during the 2014 season.
Harper is having a down year, but he still has 20 homers, and despite his statistics taking a dip from last year, He is still one of the best players in the league, and he’s arguably the best outfielder in the NL. Harper was the NL MVP last year, and he posted an OPS of 1.109, which was a career high for Harper.
Other than the 2014 season, Harper has hit 20 home runs in every season he’s played in the major leagues. Harper has driven in 305 runs during his career, and by next season, he could have 400 career RBI’s. Even though Harper is having a down year, he still has some of the best natural power in all of baseball, which makes him the second best player in the MLB that is under the age of 25.
Mike Trout (OF, Los Angeles Angels)
Former AL MVP, five-time All-Star, and five-tool player. Those are just a few things that describe Mike Trout. The 25-year-old can do everything, he can hit for contact and power, he has speed, and he’s great in the field.
Trout has put up fantastic numbers throughout his six-year career, as he has a career batting average of .306, and he has compiled a career OPS of .991. Trout has 160 home runs, 471 RBI’s, and 130 stolen bases in 2,837 career at-bats. Trout is a once-in-a-generation talent, and there are few players that can offer the skillset that Trout possesses.
He’s continued his fantastic career this year, as he’s batting .316 with 21 homers and 74 RBI’s. Trout has the skillset to be in the MVP conversation every year he takes the field. Trout is the best player in all of baseball, and the fact that he is only 25 is a scary thought for teams across the league.