Third base looked unusually weak heading into 2022, and it more or less lived up to the billing, with few standouts emerging over the course of the season. There are more reasons for optimism this time around namely up-and-comers Gunnar Henderson, Josh Jung and Brett Baty, but Henderson is the only one of the three you'll be looking to draft as a starter next year.

And he may be your last line of defense before things turn ugly. Filling third base early will be critical next year, because while it offers its share of studs -- six or seven, depending on your scoring format -- the drop-off is steep, creating a chasm between the haves and have-nots.

Note that the focus here is standard 5x5 scoring (such as Rotisserie leagues), but scroll a little further and you'll see my rankings for points leagues.  

Top 20 third basemen for 2023
Jose Ramirez Cleveland Guardians 3B
With skills that help him to stand out in both of the major scoring formats (stolen bases in 5x5 and contact rate in points), Ramirez is a candidate to go No. 1 not just at third base but overall. He faded a bit in the second half, but his resume is as strong as any first rounder's.
Rafael Devers Boston Red Sox 3B
A slow finish perhaps makes Devers a less-than-obvious choice for the No. 2 spot here, but he's a 25-year-old who basically earns straight A's from Statcast as far as his percentile rankings go. He's the best bet for batting average among the studs at the position and may still have room for growth.
Manny Machado San Diego Padres 3B
Still only 30, Machado is a rock solid choice at a position with precious few, and given his off-and-on stolen base contributions over the years, he seems like a prime choice to take advantage of the rule changes designed to encourage more base-stealing next year. Even if he doesn't, second-round numbers are to be expected.
Austin Riley Atlanta Braves 3B
A cursory glance at the numbers will tell you Riley has performed at a near-MVP level in back-to-back years, which is probably all the digging you need to do, honestly. Much of this year's production came during an insanely hot month of July, though, and there remain some plate discipline issues that hold him back in points leagues.
Nolan Arenado St. Louis Cardinals 3B
So much for Arenado being a shell of himself post-Coors Field. The power remained plentiful in his second year with the Cardinals, and the batting average bounced back, too, as he once again defied the Statcast estimates with his uncanny knack for pulling the all over the left field fence.
Bobby Witt Kansas City Royals SS
The .294 on-base percentage tells you Witt's rookie season wasn't all roses, but it's hard to look past the 20 homers and 30 steals. Because of the aforementioned rule changes for 2023, I'm taking care not to overvalue anyone on stolen base prowess alone, but it's also reasonable to expect the 22-year-old to improve in other areas next year.
Alex Bregman Houston Astros 3B
Gone are the days of a middling power bat like Bregman hitting 30 home runs in a season, but his swing is built to take advantage of the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park, keeping a 25-homer outcome within reach. His supporting cast and superlative plate discipline get him the rest of the way there, particularly in points leagues.
Gunnar Henderson Baltimore Orioles 3B
The rookie loses his shortstop eligibility but is more useful at this position anyway. He'll enter next season as the consensus top prospect given the diverse skill set he demonstrated down the stretch and has a chance to contribute in all five categories right away.
Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers 3B
Muncy's strong finish did away with many of his doubters, but questions about his as-of-yet-unrepaired elbow will resume if he gets off to a slow start next year. His desirable eligibility (both second and third base) encourages a glass-half-full view, as does (at least in points leagues) his plate discipline.
Anthony Rendon Los Angeles Angels 3B
Rendon was at his healthiest during the stretch of the season when power seemed to be most suppressed, losing most of the final four months to wrist surgery, so we simply don't know whether he was destined to bounce back or not. What little we saw of the 32-year-old didn't inspire much confidence, but the track record is enough to get him this high.
Eugenio Suarez Seattle Mariners 3B
Going from Cincinnati to Seattle generally won't get a hitter's career back on track, but it worked for Suarez, whose .236 batting average was a big improvement over his .199 mark the previous two years and as high as it needed to be for a player with his power production. It's likely he maxed out his potential with it, though.
Matt Chapman Toronto Blue Jays 3B
The good news is that Chapman's exit velocities returned to pre-hip surgery levels, ranking in the 93rd percentile. The bad news is that it didn't help his production that much. He probably has more upside than someone like Suarez, but his career-best 2019 is looking less and less like his baseline.
Brandon Drury San Diego Padres 1B
A surprise standout at age 30, Drury hit .298 with a .915 OPS in Cincinnati and .240 with a .746 OPS everywhere else. Given Great American Ball Park's hitter-friendliness and Drury's anonymity before his stint with the Reds, he may struggle to live up to his breakthrough season no matter where he signs.
Jon Berti Miami Marlins 2B
Berti is also my 14th-ranked second baseman, so I guess this is the point where third base begins to look just as scarce. The 32-year-old's value is tied completely to his MLB-leading stolen base total, which he'll struggle to live up to if he's back to playing more of a reserve role. Tough to rank considering.
player headshot
Jose Miranda Minnesota Twins 3B
Miranda makes contact at a pretty good rate and pulls the ball in the air well enough to maximize his power output, but it's a long shot he'll ever live up to the .344 batting average and .973 OPS he put together in the minors last year. The batted-ball data just doesn't support it. Still, he's an adequate choice at a thin position.
Josh Jung Texas Rangers 3B
The upside-minded (and particularly those who play in shallower leagues) may be inclined to go higher with Jung, who entered 2022 as a top-30 prospect and likely would have made the opening day roster if not for a fractured foot. His late-season stint in the majors saw him strike out at an alarming rate, though.
Brett Baty New York Mets 3B
The upside case for Jung also applies to Baty, whose brief stint with the Mets showed even more promise. But his 2023 case is complicated by two factors. One is that he'll be coming back from thumb surgery, which ended his season in August, and the other is that he'll still have to contend with Eduardo Escobar.
DJ LeMahieu New York Yankees 3B
By now, it's apparent that the 34-year-old is in decline -- one that's likely been exacerbated by the deadened baseballs and widespread humidor use -- and while LeMahieu does still have some run-scoring potential at the top of the Yankees lineup, there's a chance he loses playing time to up-and-comers Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.
Justin Turner Los Angeles Dodgers 3B
The Dodgers will have to decide whether to pick up Turner's $16 million option, which of course would be the best thing for his Fantasy value. He probably earned it by batting .349 over his final 60 games, but his power isn't what it once was and his trajectory is perilous heading into his age-38 season.
Eduardo Escobar New York Mets 3B
The Mets seemed content to move on from the veteran as recently as August, but when his replacement (Baty) tore a thumb ligament, Escobar reclaimed the starting role with a .321 batting average and eight home runs in September. The 33-year-old himself was fresh off an injury and looked rejuvenated, likely putting him in a position to keep the job next year.

What changes in points leagues?

1. Jose Ramirez, Guardians
2. Rafael Devers, Red Sox
3. Manny Machado, Padres
4. Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
5. Austin Riley, Braves
6. Alex Bregman, Astros
7. Bobby Witt, Royals
8. Max Muncy, Dodgers
9. Gunnar Henderson, Orioles
10. Anthony Rendon, Angels
11. Eugenio Suarez, Mariners
12. Matt Chapman, Blue Jays
13. Brandon Drury, free agent
14. DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
15. Jose Miranda, Twins
16. Josh Jung, Rangers
17. Brett Baty, Mets
18. Justin Turner, free agent (team option)
19. Yandy Diaz, Rays
20. Eduardo Escobar, Mets