I usually do this over the All-Star break, but time didn’t allow for it last week. So here now are my very, very preliminary 2020 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.
Along with the position rankings is a top 300 list for 2020. Click to see other preliminary 2020 rankings:
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2020 Third Baseman Rankings
|2||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||Blue Jays||8||5|
|3||Rafael Devers||Red Sox||6||3|
|6||Yoan Moncada||White Sox||8 2B||5 2B|
|10||Scott Kingery||Phillies||32 SS||17 SS|
|14||Eduardo Escobar||Diamondbacks||29 SS||25 SS|
|15||Travis Shaw||Brewers||9 2B||37 2B|
|17||Yandy Diaz||Rays||4 DH||15|
|24||Marwin Gonzalez||Twins||25 SS||30 SS|
|30||Asdrubal Cabrera||22 SS||29 SS|
|33||Jed Lowrie||Mets||28 2B||44 2B|
|35||Ryon Healy||Mariners||31 1B||36|
|36||Brandon Drury||Blue Jays||27||39|
|39||Matt Thaiss||Angels||53 1B||NR|
|40||Yairo Munoz||Cardinals||55 SS||NR|
|46||Jung Ho Kang||25||30|
|49||Christian Arroyo||Rays||53 2B||NR|
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hasn’t been the immediate smashing success most assumed he would be, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have him second on this list this spring (or third behind Alex Bregman, who is listed with the shortstops). About the only things that could change my mind would be a run of injuries or Rafael Devers hitting another 15-20 homers in the second half.
- Having taken up his game another notch, Anthony Rendon should draw the biggest contract among position player free agents this winter, and the Nats figure to have a hard time contending next year unless they meet his asking price. He’s No. 4 here for now, though he could slip back behind Kris Bryant if he lands in a worse situation for hitters.
- There isn’t much in the way of newcomers in the top 30. Late-blooming Michael Brosseau checks in at No. 25, and I’d go higher if the Rays didn’t have so many infield alternatives. I have the Angels’ duo of Taylor Ward and Matt Thaiss back-to-back at Nos. 38 and 39. I liked Ward as a deep sleeper this year, and he’s been plenty good in the minors. However, the Angels have mostly taken him off third base in order to play Thaiss, formerly a full-time first baseman, at the hot corner. I’m not sure how that all works out in the end; both offer decent offensive potential, but neither is any sort of lock to become a long-term regular. Alec Bohm and Ke'Bryan Hayes are plenty interesting, but both figure to open 2020 in the minors.