Wrapping up Third Base

January 31, 2018
  

92.  Williams and Caminiti

              In the mid-1990s the best third basemen in baseball were Matt Williams and Ken Caminiti:

YEAR

Rank

First

Last

HR

RBI

Avg

OBA

SPct

Value

1992

1

Terry

Pendleton

21

105

.311

.345

.473

27.41

1992

2

Robin

Ventura

16

93

.282

.375

.431

26.04

1992

3

Dave

Hollins

27

93

.270

.369

.469

22.17

1992

4

Edgar

Martinez

18

73

.343

.404

.544

21.42

1992

5

Travis

Fryman

20

96

.266

.316

.416

21.25

1992

6

Wade

Boggs

7

50

.259

.353

.358

19.93

1992

7

Ken

Caminiti

13

62

.294

.350

.441

19.42

1992

8

Gregg

Jefferies

10

75

.285

.329

.404

19.21

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

1993

1

Matt

Williams

38

110

.294

.325

.561

24.57

1993

2

Robin

Ventura

22

94

.262

.379

.433

22.76

1993

3

Travis

Fryman

22

97

.300

.379

.486

22.33

1993

4

Wade

Boggs

2

59

.302

.378

.362

21.08

1993

5

Terry

Pendleton

17

84

.272

.311

.408

19.67

1993

6

Charlie

Hayes

25

98

.305

.355

.522

19.52

1993

7

Dave

Hollins

18

93

.273

.372

.442

19.25

1993

8

Todd

Zeile

17

103

.277

.352

.433

18.54

1993

9

Dean

Palmer

33

96

.245

.321

.503

18.38

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

1994

1

Matt

Williams

43

96

.267

.319

.607

22.83

1994

2

Ken

Caminiti

18

75

.283

.352

.495

21.94

1994

3

Wade

Boggs

11

55

.342

.433

.489

21.00

1994

4

Robin

Ventura

18

78

.282

.373

.459

20.83

1994

5

Bobby

Bonilla

20

67

.290

.374

.504

20.11

1994

6

Travis

Fryman

18

85

.263

.326

.474

19.55

1994

7

Edgar

Martinez

13

51

.285

.387

.482

18.55

1994

8

Todd

Zeile

19

75

.267

.348

.470

16.77

1994

9

Charlie

Hayes

10

50

.288

.348

.433

16.05

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

YEAR

Rank

First

Last

HR

RBI

Avg

OBA

SPct

Value

1995

1

Ken

Caminiti

26

94

.302

.380

.513

26.48

1995

2

Jim

Thome

25

73

.314

.438

.558

23.98

1995

3

Matt

Williams

23

65

.336

.399

.647

23.85

1995

4

Bobby

Bonilla

28

99

.329

.388

.576

22.48

1995

5

Tony

Phillips

27

61

.261

.394

.459

20.90

1995

6

Wade

Boggs

5

63

.324

.412

.422

19.99

1995

7

Vinny

Castilla

32

90

.309

.347

.564

19.56

1995

8

Chipper

Jones

23

86

.265

.353

.450

19.19

1995

9

Robin

Ventura

26

93

.295

.384

.498

19.03

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

1996

1

Ken

Caminiti

40

130

.326

.408

.621

32.74

1996

2

Jim

Thome

38

116

.311

.450

.612

26.57

1996

3

Chipper

Jones

30

110

.309

.393

.530

24.17

1996

4

Vinny

Castilla

40

113

.304

.343

.548

22.59

1996

5

Matt

Williams

22

85

.302

.367

.510

21.05

1996

6

Dean

Palmer

38

107

.280

.348

.527

19.39

1996

7

Robin

Ventura

34

105

.287

.368

.520

19.13

1996

8

Jeff

Cirillo

15

83

.325

.391

.504

18.83

1996

9

Travis

Fryman

22

100

.268

.329

.437

18.73

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

1997

1

Ken

Caminiti

26

90

.290

.389

.508

28.27

1997

2

Chipper

Jones

21

111

.295

.371

.479

25.47

1997

3

Scott

Rolen

21

92

.283

.377

.469

25.37

1997

4

Vinny

Castilla

40

113

.304

.356

.547

23.88

1997

5

Matt

Williams

32

105

.263

.307

.488

19.64

1997

6

Jeff

Cirillo

10

82

.288

.367

.426

19.51

1997

7

Travis

Fryman

22

102

.274

.326

.440

19.13

1997

8

Dean

Palmer

23

86

.256

.310

.445

19.00

1997

9

Todd

Zeile

31

90

.268

.365

.459

18.74

 

              I believe (not checking) that Matt Williams hit 64 homers in a stretch of 162 games beginning about September 1, 1993.  I always think about that—that, were it not for the strike, he might have been the guy who broke Maris’s record, and then all of the crap that rained down on Mark McGwire’s shoulders might eventually have fallen on Matt Williams. 

              I also have to point this out about Vinny Castilla, who was the Nolan Arrenado of his time.   In the history of baseball there are 596 player/seasons in which a player has hit 36 or more homers.   In those seasons there are 595 unique combinations of HR, RBI and Batting Average.   That is to say, there are 594 players whose Home Runs, RBI and Batting Average do not match any other player, and one combination which DOES match another season.   There are 176,715 possible season-to-season comparisons in there, and there is only one perfect match in terms of home runs, RBI and batting average.   And that one match is: Vinny Castilla in 1996, with Vinny Castilla in 1997.   40 Homers, 113 RBI, .304 average both seasons.   Do you have any idea what the odds against that are? 

 

93.  Wood Chipper

              Chipper Jones was the best third baseman in baseball from 1998 to 2001:

 

YEAR

Rank

First

Last

HR

RBI

Avg

OBA

SPct

Value

1998

1

Chipper

Jones

34

107

.313

.404

.547

28.40

1998

2

Scott

Rolen

31

110

.290

.391

.532

26.04

1998

3

Vinny

Castilla

46

144

.319

.362

.589

23.59

1998

4

Ken

Caminiti

29

82

.252

.353

.509

23.28

1998

5

Robin

Ventura

21

91

.263

.349

.436

21.20

1998

6

Dean

Palmer

34

119

.278

.333

.510

20.77

1998

7

Jeff

Cirillo

14

68

.321

.402

.445

20.65

1998

8

Edgardo

Alfonzo

17

78

.278

.355

.427

19.58

1998

9

Travis

Fryman

28

96

.287

.340

.504

19.02

1998

10

Todd

Zeile

19

94

.271

.350

.437

18.86

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

1999

1

Chipper

Jones

45

110

.319

.441

.633

30.09

1999

2

Robin

Ventura

32

120

.301

.379

.529

24.25

1999

3

Scott

Rolen

26

77

.268

.368

.525

22.88

1999

4

Edgardo

Alfonzo

27

108

.304

.385

.502

21.98

1999

5

Matt

Williams

35

142

.303

.344

.536

21.29

1999

6

Jeff

Cirillo

15

88

.326

.401

.461

20.80

1999

7

Fernando

Tatis

34

107

.298

.404

.553

19.74

1999

8

Phil

Nevin

24

85

.269

.352

.527

19.34

1999

9

Dean

Palmer

38

100

.262

.339

.518

19.15

1999

10

Vinny

Castilla

33

102

.275

.331

.478

18.72

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

2000

1

Chipper

Jones

36

111

.311

.404

.566

29.11

2000

2

Scott

Rolen

26

89

.298

.370

.551

23.19

2000

3

Phil

Nevin

31

107

.303

.374

.543

22.75

2000

4

Troy

Glaus

47

102

.284

.404

.604

22.01

2000

5

Edgardo

Alfonzo

25

94

.324

.425

.542

21.49

2000

6

Jeff

Cirillo

11

115

.326

.392

.477

20.80

2000

7

Robin

Ventura

24

84

.232

.338

.439

19.77

2000

8

Tony

Batista

41

114

.263

.307

.519

18.90

2000

9

Travis

Fryman

22

106

.321

.392

.516

18.09

2000

10

Eric

Chavez

26

86

.277

.355

.495

17.98

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

2001

1

Chipper

Jones

38

102

.330

.427

.605

29.40

2001

2

Albert

Pujols

37

130

.329

.403

.610

27.10

2001

3

Scott

Rolen

25

107

.289

.378

.498

26.66

2001

4

Phil

Nevin

41

126

.306

.388

.588

26.20

2001

5

Troy

Glaus

41

108

.250

.367

.531

22.77

2001

6

Eric

Chavez

32

114

.288

.338

.540

21.99

2001

7

Corey

Koskie

26

103

.276

.362

.488

20.33

2001

8

Aramis

Ramirez

34

112

.300

.350

.536

19.53

2001

9

Mike

Lowell

18

100

.283

.340

.448

18.90

2001

10

Robin

Ventura

21

61

.237

.359

.419

18.85

 

              Jones remained on the list of the best third basemen in baseball through 2011, or ten full seasons after he was no longer #1.   That’s pretty unusual, if not unique, for a former #1 to stay ON the list for a full decade.    I think Lou Whitaker stayed on the list a long time while Sandberg was the #1 guy.  

 

94.  Rock ‘n Rolen

              Chipper’s an obvious Hall of Famer.   Scott Rolen is harder, and may drop off the ballot.   He had only a two-year run as the #1 third baseman in baseball, but. . .and this, again, is pretty unique. . .his peak value at third base actually occurred in 2004, when he was NOT the #1 man:

 

YEAR

Rank

First

Last

HR

RBI

Avg

OBA

SPct

Value

2002

1

Scott

Rolen

31

110

.266

.357

.503

27.39

2002

2

Eric

Chavez

34

109

.275

.348

.513

22.90

2002

3

Troy

Glaus

30

111

.250

.352

.453

21.20

2002

4

Mike

Lowell

24

92

.276

.346

.471

20.94

2002

5

Eric

Hinske

24

84

.279

.365

.481

19.65

2002

6

Phil

Nevin

12

57

.285

.344

.413

19.14

2002

7

Corey

Koskie

15

69

.267

.368

.447

19.02

2002

8

Jose

Valentin

25

75

.249

.311

.479

18.36

2002

9

Tony

Batista

31

87

.244

.309

.457

18.34

2002

10

Aaron

Boone

26

87

.241

.314

.439

18.17

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

2003

1

Scott

Rolen

28

104

.286

.382

.528

27.12

2003

2

Mark

Loretta

13

72

.314

.372

.441

22.85

2003

3

Eric

Chavez

29

101

.282

.350

.514

22.79

2003

4

Mike

Lowell

32

105

.276

.350

.530

20.95

2003

5

Aramis

Ramirez

27

106

.272

.324

.465

20.12

2003

6

Bill

Mueller

19

85

.326

.398

.540

19.19

2003

7

Melvin

Mora

15

48

.317

.418

.503

19.10

2003

8

Hank

Blalock

29

90

.300

.350

.522

18.98

2003

9

Corey

Koskie

14

69

.292

.393

.452

18.68

2003

10

Shea

Hillenbrand

20

97

.280

.314

.468

18.67

 

95.  A-Rod moves to Third

              In 2004 A-Rod negotiated (more or less) his own trade to the Yankees, and as a consequence of that trade moved to third base.   Winning MVP Awards in 2005 and 2007, A-Rod rates as the top third baseman in baseball from 2004 through 2009, except that one year Miguel Cabrera plays third base and one year David Wright slips ahead of him:

YEAR

Rank

First

Last

HR

RBI

Avg

OBA

SPct

Value

2004

1

Alex

Rodriguez

36

106

.286

.375

.512

30.92

2004

2

Scott

Rolen

34

124

.314

.409

.598

29.57

2004

3

Chipper

Jones

30

96

.248

.362

.485

22.87

2004

4

Melvin

Mora

27

104

.340

.419

.562

22.86

2004

5

Adrian

Beltre

48

121

.334

.388

.629

22.59

2004

6

Aramis

Ramirez

36

103

.318

.373

.578

22.32

2004

7

Eric

Chavez

29

77

.276

.397

.501

21.30

2004

8

Hank

Blalock

32

110

.276

.355

.500

20.87

2004

9

Aubrey

Huff

29

104

.297

.360

.493

20.39

2004

10

Mike

Lowell

27

85

.293

.365

.505

20.26

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

2005

1

Alex

Rodriguez

48

130

.321

.421

.610

32.04

2005

2

David

Wright

27

102

.306

.388

.523

25.03

2005

3

Chipper

Jones

21

72

.296

.412

.556

23.25

2005

4

Aramis

Ramirez

31

92

.302

.358

.568

22.60

2005

5

Melvin

Mora

27

88

.283

.348

.474

20.44

2005

6

Eric

Chavez

27

101

.269

.329

.466

20.38

2005

7

Troy

Glaus

37

97

.258

.363

.522

20.20

2005

8

Morgan

Ensberg

36

101

.283

.388

.557

19.77

2005

9

Adrian

Beltre

19

87

.255

.303

.413

19.64

2005

10

Hank

Blalock

25

92

.263

.318

.431

19.22

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

2006

1

Miguel

Cabrera

26

114

.339

.430

.568

29.44

2006

2

Alex

Rodriguez

35

121

.290

.392

.523

29.34

2006

3

David

Wright

26

116

.311

.381

.531

29.18

2006

4

Chipper

Jones

26

86

.324

.409

.596

25.25

2006

5

Aramis

Ramirez

38

119

.291

.352

.561

22.53

2006

6

Ryan

Zimmerman

20

110

.287

.351

.471

21.06

2006

7

Troy

Glaus

38

104

.252

.355

.513

20.52

2006

8

Scott

Rolen

22

95

.296

.369

.518

19.82

2006

9

Adrian

Beltre

25

89

.268

.328

.465

19.68

2006

10

Garrett

Atkins

29

120

.329

.409

.556

19.19

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

YEAR

Rank

First

Last

HR

RBI

Avg

OBA

SPct

Value

2007

1

Alex

Rodriguez

54

156

.314

.422

.645

32.33

2007

2

David

Wright

30

107

.325

.416

.546

30.75

2007

3

Miguel

Cabrera

34

119

.320

.401

.565

28.02

2007

4

Chipper

Jones

29

102

.337

.425

.604

26.28

2007

5

Aramis

Ramirez

26

101

.310

.366

.549

23.25

2007

6

Mike

Lowell

21

120

.324

.378

.501

19.87

2007

7

Ryan

Zimmerman

24

91

.266

.330

.458

18.82

2007

8

Adrian

Beltre

26

99

.276

.319

.482

18.65

2007

9

Chone

Figgins

3

58

.330

.393

.432

18.19

2007

10

Troy

Glaus

20

62

.262

.366

.473

18.01

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

2008

1

David

Wright

33

124

.302

.390

.534

27.55

2008

2

Alex

Rodriguez

35

103

.302

.392

.573

27.30

2008

3

Chipper

Jones

22

75

.364

.470

.574

24.91

2008

4

Aramis

Ramirez

27

111

.289

.380

.518

23.60

2008

5

Michael

Young

12

82

.284

.339

.402

20.79

2008

6

Evan

Longoria

27

85

.272

.343

.531

19.01

2008

7

Mark

DeRosa

21

87

.285

.376

.481

18.90

2008

8

Jorge

Cantu

29

95

.277

.327

.481

18.72

2008

9

Carlos

Guillen

10

54

.286

.376

.436

18.09

2008

10

Casey

Blake

21

81

.274

.345

.463

17.99

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

2009

1

Alex

Rodriguez

30

100

.286

.402

.532

26.01

2009

2

Evan

Longoria

33

113

.281

.364

.526

24.10

2009

3

David

Wright

10

72

.307

.390

.447

23.85

2009

4

Pablo

Sandoval

25

90

.330

.387

.556

23.67

2009

5

Chipper

Jones

18

71

.264

.388

.430

22.06

2009

6

Chone

Figgins

5

54

.298

.395

.393

20.91

2009

7

Aramis

Ramirez

15

65

.317

.389

.516

20.88

2009

8

Ryan

Zimmerman

33

106

.292

.363

.525

20.09

2009

9

Michael

Young

22

68

.322

.374

.518

19.36

2009

10

Mark

Reynolds

44

102

.260

.349

.543

18.77

 

              A-Rod was the first and only Yankee third baseman to rank number one at the position.  

 

96.  Two-Year Reigns

              From 2010 to 2015 Evan Longoria, Miguel Cabrera and Josh Donaldson took two-year turns each as the top third baseman in baseball:

YEAR

Rank

First

Last

HR

RBI

Avg

OBA

SPct

Value

2010

1

Evan

Longoria

22

104

.294

.372

.507

26.86

2010

2

David

Wright

29

103

.283

.354

.503

24.19

2010

3

Alex

Rodriguez

30

125

.270

.341

.506

22.44

2010

4

Ryan

Zimmerman

25

85

.307

.388

.510

22.10

2010

5

Adrian

Beltre

28

102

.321

.365

.553

22.02

2010

6

Aramis

Ramirez

25

83

.241

.294

.452

19.58

2010

7

Chipper

Jones

10

46

.265

.381

.426

19.05

2010

8

Casey

McGehee

23

104

.285

.337

.464

17.89

2010

9

Mark

Reynolds

32

85

.198

.320

.433

17.19

2010

10

Chase

Headley

11

58

.264

.327

.375

17.03

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

2011

1

Evan

Longoria

31

99

.244

.355

.495

26.35

2011

2

David

Wright

14

61

.254

.345

.427

23.01

2011

3

Pablo

Sandoval

23

70

.315

.357

.552

22.92

2011

4

Aramis

Ramirez

26

93

.306

.361

.510

22.50

2011

5

Ryan

Zimmerman

12

49

.289

.355

.443

21.56

2011

6

Adrian

Beltre

32

105

.296

.331

.561

20.97

2011

7

Chase

Headley