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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Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

MLB: The most valued third baseman of 2019

3. Nolan Arenado, Rockies, $7.938 million value, $26 million salary

Only about $200,000 separates the position’s big three, so the differences among them are not substantial. Arenado deservedly has the reputation as the best of the bunch in the field, but also as the weakest power stroke. In the end, that’s why he winds up third.

Not that Arenado understates his offensive performance. He produced 74 extra-base hits in 2019, 41 of them home runs, and added 118 RBIs with a .315 average. His 129  OPS+ and 5.7 WAR would look good on any resume.

His .583 slugging average did, however, rank third at the position, and given the positional priority on slugging that pretty much locked in his rank. Compared with the average third baseman, it was worth $4.944 million.

He supplemented that with a .379 on-base average that ranked fourth – Bryant also got ahead of him – and equated to another $1.488 million.

Three third basemen did beat Arenado’s .980 fielding percentage but none of them approached either the offensive credentials or the playing time to approach his overall value. For Arenado’s part, his glove earned him an additional $677,000.

And since there was rarely a good reason not to write his name in the middle of the Colorado lineup, Arenado logged 1,320 innings of playing time, fifth at the position. That was good for a final $830,000.

Arenado’s fielding and playing time numbers were both better than the two men ahead of him, but given the positional weight accorded to slugging was not enough to lift him above third on the list.