2016 Top Third Base Prospects

The list of the 2016 top third base prospects has an abundance of power and very young talent. 

2016 Top Third Base Prospects

1

Joey Gallo

Position: 3B/OF Age: 22 DOB: 11/19/1993 Bats: L Throws: R Height: 6' 5" Weight: 235 lb. Drafted: 2012, 1st Sup (39) - TEX

Scouting Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 80 | Run: 40 | Arm: 70 | Field: 40 | Overall: 60

Joey Gallo ranks as the top 3B prospect for 2016 #rangers #mlb

(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

Making his Major League debut last season he played in just 36 games so he will lead off this list of top third basemen prospects as he will likely start this season back in AAA as he is blocked in the Rangers system by All-Star Adrian Beltre. During his 36 games he struggled at times but he did end up hitting six home runs including a mammoth blast off of Clayton Kershaw that made the baseball world take even more notice of his raw power.

Drafted with the 39th overall pick in the 2012 Draft his massive power has turned heads his entire career as he set a rookie-level Arizona League record with 18 home runs in just 43 games after signing for $2.25 million. In his first full season he led the Minors with 40 home runs in 2013 before finishing second in 2014 with 42 home runs. Standing 6-foot-5 and swinging from the left side he has outstanding bat speed but at times can be a bit overly aggressive which will see him struggle to hit for a high average and have a high strikeout total.

His ability to improve on being patient, which he has admitted this spring that he needs to work on and has showed signs of improvement, will play a big factor if he can stick in the Major Leagues and show off that power while his long-term position remains to be seen. He did pitch in high school and he has a strong arm which has him above average for those at third base but his lack of quickness and agility will be a factor in if he sticks at third base.

2

Rafael Devers

Position: 3B Age: 19 DOB: 10/24/1996 Bats: L Throws: R Height: 6' 0" Weight: 195 lb. Signed: Aug. 9, 2013 - BOS

Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 60

Rafael Devers ranks as the 2nd best 3B prospect for 2016 #redsox

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When there is a highly regarded international free agent you would expect one of several teams to pay up to get him and that was the case back in 2013 when the Boston Red Sox signed him out of the Domincan Republic for $1.5 million. Considered by many as the best left-handed bat available he has so far lived up to the hype if not exceeded it as he gets set for his third season here in the United States.

Despite being just 18 he was second in the Class A South Atlantic League in doubles with 38 and total bases with 208 as he showed his tremendous offensive ceiling with major league bat speed and power. While still a teenager he shows a much older advanced approach at the plate that is not overly aggressive.

Like Joey Gallo ahead of him the question mark for him is if he can stick at third base despite his improvements from 2014 to last season defensively. While he has the arm strength the concern is as he matures physically he could outgrow the position and an outfield spot may be likely despite his average at best speed.

3

Brandon Drury

Position: 3B/2B Age: 23 DOB: 08/21/1992 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6' 1" Weight: 215 lb. Drafted: 2010, 13th (404) - ATL

Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55

Brandon Drury slots in as the 3rd best 3B prospect for 2016 #dbacks

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Orginally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 13th round of the 2010 draft he made his way to the Arizona Diamondbacks in January of 2013 in the Justin Upton trade as one of many prospects involved and he may now end up being the best one. Nearly making the Diamondbacks Opening Day roster last year he spent time at Double-A and Triple-A before going 12 for 56 in 20 games in his Major League debut.

His hitting has improved greatly since first drafted as he struggled early before improving his approach at the plate to cut down on strikeouts and become a more dangerous hitter. With a quick swing and good discipline to not chase bad pitches he drives the ball in the gaps with enough power to potentially hit 10-15 home runs in the Majors.

With an ability to play multiple positions in the infield, he split time between second and third last season, he has a good chance to make the Opening Day roster after missing out last season. With injuries leaving a possible open spot in the outfield they are also thinking about trying him in the outfield as manager Chip Hale has said "the way he's swinging the bat, you're going to have to try to find at-bats for him somewhere."

4

Ryan McMahon

Position: 3B Age: 21 DOB: 12/14/1994 Bats: L Throws: R Height: 6' 2" Weight: 185 lb. Drafted: 2013, 2nd (42) - COL

Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

#Rockies Ryan McMahon is #4 on the top 10 3B list for 2016

Modesto Bee

Playing quarterback at Mater Dei high school in Santa Ana, California it was clear his future was in baseball as he signed with the Colorado Rockies for over $1.3 million after being selected in the second round in 2013. Had he declined to sign with the Rockies he had committed to USC to play baseball.

Wasting no time in showing he not only has a strong arm but a powerful bat he went to the Pioneer League after being drafted and hit 11 home runs in 59 games. In each of his last two years playing full season he has his 18 home runs a year with last year spent in High-A Modesto where he also hit .300 with 75 runs batted in. Already with a smooth powerful swing from the left side of the plate he has showed signs of being able to make good adjustments at the plate and better discipline to take more walks and cut down on the number of strikeouts.

His bat has power to all sides to the field and he has a strong arm for third base but he has struggled with errors. Last season in Modesto he had 39 errors as despite his arm and good hands he gets into trouble with his footwork and fielding ground balls. Invited by the Rockies to Spring Training look for the Rockies top infield prospect to start this season in Double-A and also see time at first base so they can add another option on where to play him in the future with Nolan Arenado potentially blocking his path at third base.

5

Ke'Bryan Hayes

Position: 3B Age: 19 DOB: 01/28/1997 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6' 1" Weight: 210 lb. Drafted: 2015, 1st (32) - PIT

Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 35 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

KeBryan Hayes ranks #5 as the top 3B prospect for 2016 #pirates

www.piratesprospects.com

There has been plenty of cases where the son of a former Major Leaguer was drafted higher than he should of been but his being drafted by the Pirates with the 32nd overall pick in last year's draft was not because of his dad Charlie Hayes who won a World Series with the Yankees in 1996. It was the third year in a row the Pirates used their first round pick on a high schooler as they took this slugger from Texas.

Committed to Tennessee before signing with the Pirates he was considered one of the most advanced high school hitters in last years draft with an easy swing from the right side of the plate that produces line drives from gap to gap. While he doesn't have great power he does have a chance to have some average power as he matures and continues to improve on turning on inside pitches which he already does well.

Not blessed with the greatest speed he has shown defensively that he can stick at third base as he has continued to work hard and improve his defensive skills. After hitting .308 with six extra base hits in the final part of last season he will likely start this season at Single-A but it wouldn't be a surprise if he has some success against older competition and rises through the ranks quicker than most high school draft picks because of his approach at the plate.

6

Austin Riley

Position: 3B Age: 18 DOB: 04/02/1997 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6' 3" Weight: 220 lb. Drafted: 2015, CBA (41) - ATL

Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

#Braves Austin Riley comes in at 6 in our top 10 3B list for 2016

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Another player that was just drafted last year he had some teams liking him more as a pitcher and not as a third basemen but one of those teams that did like him more to play at third was the Atlanta Braves who picked him in the supplemental first round. Signed for $1.6 million out of high school he wasted no time in making the Braves look good as he hit 12 home runs in 217 at bats last season.

After signing with the Braves a tweet from Jim Callis called him more of a RHP in high school but a third basemen with power and that powerful bat was shown right away. Like most young sluggers his strikeout rate was a bit high despite at times showing good patience and an ability to not swing at breaking pitches outside of the strike zone.

Continuing to get in better shape and become more athletic he has continued to increase his chances of remaining at third base although if needed with his arm he could move to several positions where his bat would still be considered above average. Besides pitching he also played shortstop in high school.

7

Jeimer Candelario

Position: 3B Age: 22 DOB: 11/24/1993 Bats: S Throws: R Height: 6' 1" Weight: 210 lb. Signed: Sept. 29, 2010 - CHC

Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

#Cubs Jeimer Candelario ranks as 7th best 3B prospect for 2016

www.scout.com

While he has been with the Cubs for quite some time, signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2010, he just turned 22 years old in November and played well in his Double-A debut last season which has the Cubs with a nice problem to have with a potentially logjam of talented infielders. In 46 games in AA Southern League he hit .270 with five home runs before also playing well at the Arizona Fall League.

Putting together his best full season in several years last year this switch-hitter has an easy swing that makes consistent contact from both sides of the plate. While the power has not quite been there yet he has shown glimpses that he could hit well for average and power at the higher levels as he has a good understanding of the strike zone.

Working hard to improve his defense he has started to make others feel he can remain at third base despite not having good speed or quickness as he has good hands and a strong arm. His ability to react to balls off the bat and make plays along with his offensive profile could have the Cubs an issue of where to play this potential everyday third baseman by late 2017.

8

Jomar Reyes

Position: 3B Age: 19 DOB: 02/20/1997 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6' 3" Weight: 220 lb. Signed: Jan. 13, 2014 - BAL

Scouting Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 35 | Arm: 60 | Field: 40 | Overall: 50

#Orioles Jomar Reyes comes in at 8 in the top 3B prospects for 2016

www.delmarvanow.com

Another international youngster on this list he was signed in January 2014 at the age of 16 out of the Domincan Republic and he has been impressive so far in the Orioles system despite missing six weeks last season with a thumb injury. Before his thumb injury last season he hit .278 with five home runs and 36 total extra base hits despite being just 18 years old and playing against older competition in the South Atlantic League. He also missed some time during the off season with a broken bone in his left hand.

While his numbers show that most of his extra base hits have been for doubles and not the home runs that the Orioles are hoping for with his plus power the home run numbers could easily improve as he matures. Still needing to improve his plate discipline his short swing drives the ball to both sides of the field as he makes solid contact with the ball off the barrel of his bat on a routine basis.

Can he stick at third is a question that people have as he doesn't have tremendous speed and his lack of range may force him to move to first base even though he has the arm strength to play third. Another possibility could be the outfield as some scouts think he could quickly develop into a corner outfielder and that might be the quickest way to get him in the lineup in the Majors.

9

Richie Shaffer

Position: 3B/1B Age: 25 DOB: 03/15/1991 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6' 3" Weight: 220 lb. Drafted: 2012, 1st (25) - TB

Scouting Grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 55 | Run: 35 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

#Rays Richie Shaffer is 9 of the top 3B prospects for 2016

www.raysindex.com

Considered one of the top college hitters in the 2012 Draft while at Clemson he was drafted with the 25th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays and struggled early on his pro career before finally making his Major League debut last season.

Hitting just .254 in the Florida State League in 2013 he was promoted in 2014 to Double-A where he spent the entire season hitting .222 while hitting 19 home runs. Also contributing to people's worries that he wouldn't live up to being a first round pick was his second straight season of striking out over 100 times as he struck out 119 times after 106 strikeouts the year before.

Shortening his swing last season did not sacrifice his power for average as he hit for a .267 average between AA and AAA with 26 home runs before four home runs in 31 games in the Majors. Looking to continue improving his approach at the plate and cut down on strikeouts he is an average defender with a strong arm who could play several positions including the corner outfield and first base depending on where the Rays have a spot to get his bat in the lineup. Because of players acquired in the off season it is likely he will start 2016 back in Triple-A.

10

Renato Nunez

Position: 3B Age: 21 DOB: 04/04/1994 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6' 1" Weight: 220 lb. Signed: July 2, 2010 - OAK

Scouting Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 30 | Arm: 55 | Field: 40 | Overall: 50

#Athletics Renato Nunez rounds out the top 10 3B prospects for 2016

gradingonthecurve.com

Someone we saw tons of in 2014 while playing in High-A California League we have our doubts that he can stick at third base and make it to Oakland but reports have had his defense improving but still needing work. His arm strength to make the throws from third has never been a question but his ability to field ground balls and lack of range took the shine off of his incredible plus power when at the plate two seasons ago in Stockton. He has seen some time at first base and either playing the outfield could be in the cards to try and find him a position on the field and not just have to make him a DH.

Moved up to Double-A last season he hit .278 with 18 home runs while also being selected to the All-Star Futures Game and helping the Rockhounds capture the Texas League championship. With great bat speed and power he has improved on hitting the ball to all sides of the field while showing incredible improvement on the number of strikeouts made. Following a 136 strikeout season in 2013 and 113 strikeouts in 2014 he had just 66 strikeouts in 93 games while walking 28 times in 2015 in Midland.

Turning 22 in April he will likely start this season in Triple-A Nashville where he will look to stay healthy after two stints on the DL last year and continue to show the improvement in his approach at the plate that has gotten better each season. He did see a good amount of time at first base last season but the A's still hope he can continue to improve and make it to Oakland at third base and hopefully make fans forget about Josh Donaldson as soon as later this year.