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) /
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(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

MLB: The most valued third baseman of 2019

6. Yoan Moncada, White Sox, $7.441 million value; $575,000 salary

Based on his 2019 play, Moncada appears to have established himself at third base. In his first season at the position, following the better part of two seasons at second base, Moncada did well enough to attract a few stray MVP votes.

What got Sox fans’ attention was Moncada’s batting average, which at .315 was 80 percentage points higher than his previous best. He hit 25 home runs and drove in 79, in the process reducing his strikeout total from the stratospheric 217 in 2018 to a more manageable 154 last season.

Moncada showed he could slug up to positional expectations. His .548 slugging average was nearly 80 points above the positional mean. Moncada burnished it with a .367 on-base average that earned $1.44 million.

His defensive skills still need work. Moncada’s .962 fielding average was average at best, ranking just 21st among his peers. At 1,096 innings, he beat the positional average for playing time, contributing a final $689,000 to his value.

These may be fighting words in Chicago, but based purely on 2019 performance Moncada has surpassed Bryant as the city’s best third sacker. Since he isn’t even arbitration-eligible for another season, the White Sox are well-positioned in 2020 to take full advantage of that fact.