The 2017 MLB Ultimate Free-Agent Tracker: third basemen

Jeff Passan
MLB columnist
Mike Moustakas set a Royals record with 38 home runs last season. (The Canadian Press via AP)

We ranked 2017’s top free-agent third baseman. Overall ranking in the 2017 free-agent class is in parenthesis.

[More FA rankings: Complete list: Nos. 1-184 | C | 1B | 2B | SS | UT | OF | SP | RP]

1. (7) Mike Moustakas, 3B: The power is unquestionable. What teams do wonder about Moustakas is how long he stays at third base. Because when they’re looking to commit to a player for a half a decade, they want to understand what a post-30 Moustakas will look like and whether he’ll be able to patrol the position as he does today, which is to say well enough. Otherwise, Moustakas is a rare power hitter with superior bat-to-ball skills, though that does come with the drawback of a dearth of walks. The range of his potential contract may be as high as any player in this class.

2. (23) Todd Frazier, 3B: If his sudden 2017 spike in walks is real, the 31-year-old Frazier has a good case to be higher. For now, his greatest attribute may be as a culture builder, because the juiced ball has democratized his best quality – hitting for power – and slow legs and a so-so glove aren’t altogether desirable. His presence is very real, though, and even if they do have a logjam in the infield, the Yankees may want to bring Frazier back.

3. (75) Yunel Escobar, 3B: Typically a stalwart contact bat, Escobar struck out at a higher rate last season than ever before, and his glove was its typically meh self, too. There’s a spot for him somewhere. It’s just difficult to justify everyday at-bats anymore.

4. (139) Trevor Plouffe, 3B: As bad as the beginning of his season in Oakland was, Plouffe somehow managed to get worse in Tampa Bay. Slashing .198/.272/.318 isn’t a particularly desirable walk-year result.

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