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 Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

MLB: The most valued third baseman of 2019

4. Eugenio Suarez, Reds, $7.738 million value; $7.285 million salary

Expectations are building for the 2020 Reds to make a serious run at the NL Central, and Suarez is a principal reason why. In his fourth full season, he has blossomed into a serious mid-order threat.

In 159 games during 2019, Suarez hit 49 home runs and enjoyed his second consecutive 100-plus RBI season. In deference to his power, opposing pitchers gifted him with 70 walks, although Suarez has not yet closed all of the holes in his swing. He also struck out a league-leading 189 times.

His .572 slugging average ranked fifth at the position, generating $4.85 million in value. His .358 on-base average ranked 10th and enhanced his value by another $1.4 million.

Like Sano, Devers and some of the game’s other elite sluggers at this position, Suarez still has glovework to do. His .954 fielding average ranked only 25th and translated to just $659,000 in on-field value. But the 1,309 innings he played helped offset that, equating to a final $823,000.

For the moment, his fielding issues leave Suarez about $200,000 short of the elite cohort of Arenado, Bregman and Rendon. Given that all three also are major threats with the bat, he may never catch up to them.

But he is right now a strong enough offensive force to lift the Reds out of their usual fourth place spot in their division, and maybe contend for the NL Central title.