MLB: The most valued third baseman of 2019

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros throws out Anthony Rendon (not pictured) of the Washington Nationals during the first inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros throws out Anthony Rendon (not pictured) of the Washington Nationals during the first inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
11 of 11
Next
Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

MLB: The most valued third baseman of 2019

1. Alex Bregman, Astros, $8.166 million value; $640,000 salary

More from Call to the Pen

You can’t become the game’s best third baseman by playing shortstop, but you can do so despite playing shortstop.

Thanks to injuries that sidelined Carlos Correa for a substantial portion of the season, Bregman moved from third to short for 65 games and acquitted himself admirably. Still, his 99 games and 806 innings at his usual position ratified his status as primarily a third sacker.

Bregman’s credentials included a .296 batting average supplemented by 41 home runs, 80 extra-base hits, a  league-leading 119 bases on balls and a rapturous 162 OPS+. His .592 slugging average trailed only Rendon and equated to $5.02 million in actual value.

Those 119 bases on balls helped Bregman make up the deficiency. His .423 on-base average led the position, generating $1.661 million in value and narrowing the gap between his own value and Rendon’s to a mere $8,000 when they left the plate.

His .966 fielding average at third, virtually matching Rendon’s .969, was worth $667,000.

Bregman made up the difference in playing time. His 1,301 innings – the product of playing 10 more games than Rendon – translated to $818,000 in value and created his final $13,000 advantage.

Next. The best players at every position of the decade. dark

Realistically, given Bregman’s $640,500 salary, the value difference was substantially greater. That is, however, about to change. The Astros this winter signed Bregman for amounts ranging from $13 million to a potential $30 million through 2024.