Ranking the Top 10 MLB Third Base Prospects Heading into 2014

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Ranking the Top 10 MLB Third Base Prospects Heading into 2014

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most powerful and important positions on any Major League Baseball field is the hot corner. Any team that is successful has at least a solid third baseman that can deliver offensively and handle the huge defensive responsibility over at third base. There is a situation growing across baseball that is a little troubling when it comes to third however. Other than a select few players, the era of elite third basemen seems to be on a break.

The good news is that there are solid young third basemen all over the place that are looking to be able to provide MLB with the next shipment of elite hot corner players. Manny Machado comes to mind and he is on the forefront of the young guys; possibly the best of them all right now. He will have some competition very soon over there however.

So we come to the prospects. Every minor league level for every team has a third baseman and that adds up to a ton of players available. Of that huge group, these ten young men are the best of the best. They are the players that will follow Machado into MLB to become the next era of elite third basemen in baseball. Without further delay, here they are; the top 10 MLB third base prospects. Leave a comment below if you feel the need.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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10 – D.J. Peterson

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Peterson is the #3 prospect of the Seattle Mariners with offensive potential to burn. His 2013 numbers of .303 batting average and .918 OPS speak to the fact that his offense will get him to the big leagues somewhere. If its not at third base, it will be somewhere else but the hot corner is what brought him to the edge of the big show.

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9 – Joey Gallo

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time the Texas Rangers would have had two players on this list but now Gallo, their #5 ranked prospect, is the best they have to offer. His defense is questionable and needs work but his offense is already plenty solid with even more growth likely in the immediate future.

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8 – Garin Cecchini

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cecchini might be the Boston Red Sox’ #7 prospect but his future at third base might be a little clouded depending on what exactly the Sox do with their roster in the coming seasons. A .322 average and .915 OPS suggest he will need to be placed somewhere when his time comes; third base or not.

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7 – Kaleb Cowart

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cowart is the top ranking prospect for the Los Angeles Angels and the one many expect to have a Mark Trumbo or Mike Trout type impact very soon. That could happen because he is a tremendous talent but his 2013 was down a bit offensively with a .221 average and .580 OPS. That wouldn’t cut it in the majors but he is solid defensively and isn’t going to stay down like that offensively either.

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6 – Maikel Franco

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For a team that seems unwilling to trade away any elder statesmen, the Philadelphia Phillies sure have some talent in the farm system. Franco is the #2 overall prospect for them and looks to have everything going for him on both offense and defense. His 2013 season with .320 average, .926 OPS along with 31 homers and 103 RBI could have him climbing this list very soon.

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5 – Colin Moran

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Moran was the top draft pick of the Miami Marlins and already rests as their #4 prospect overall. The ranking on this or any prospect list is based on potential. With a 42 game performance of .299 for average and an OPS of .796 with 4 home runs and 23 RBI in his rookie appearance in professional baseball, Moran is already living up this his high draft status.

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4 – Matt Davidson

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Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Davidson is the #2 overall prospect for the Arizona Diamondbacks and is one of few on these lists to have already had a MLB experience in September of 2013. With a respectable .280 average and .831 OPS in 31 games, Davidson looks to be the real deal as long as the DBacks can find a spot to play him.

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3 – Mike Olt

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Olt is the steal of the top third base prospects. The Chicago Cubs now rank him as their #5 overall prospect but that wasn’t the case a short time ago. He came over to the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal, making tons of Rangers fans extremely unhappy. What made them unhappy had to elate Cubs fans and you’ll see why when you click the next slide.

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2 – Kris Bryant

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bryant might be mistaken for a comic book character now and then because this kid has been absolutely on fire since being drafted second overall in the 2013 MLB draft. Who drafted him? You know it; the Chicago Cubs. That’s right ladies and gentlemen. Thanks to good draft work and a great trade at mid-season, the Cubs went from having a thin third base system to owning the contracts of two of the top three ranked prospects at third base in the game.

I’d say that’s a good couple of months right there. For his part, Bryant dominated in his minor league debut, posting a 1.078 OPS. Just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, he posted a 1.184 OPS in the Arizona Fall League and won league MVP. Like I said, it was not a bad couple of months for Cubs fans.

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1 – Miguel Sano

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sano has everything required to sit at the top of this list. Even as impressive as the #2 Minnesota Twins prospect and #3 overall MLB prospect is, he might not sit atop this list if Bryant had a little more experience under his belt. Then again he did belt 35 homers and drive in 103 runs while posting a .992 OPS in 2013. Maybe he is just fine where he is. Twins fans can look forward to enjoying this kid at third base just as soon as his defensive skills mature a tiny bit more.

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