It is Monday, and you know what that means: GM Mondays! In this series we are going to play the role of GM and analyze players, positions, etc. We will take an in-depth look at the team and diagnose whether something is a strength or not. If it is a weak area, we will also look at possible ways to improve that part of the team. So, without further adieu, let us jump right into looking at third-base!
The Depth Chart
- Justin Turner
- Logan Forsythe*
- Kike Hernandez*
- Rob Segedin
- Kyle Farmer*
- Jake Peter*
- Matt Beaty*
- Edwin Rios
- Cristian Santana
*Denotes a player that can play third-base, and has spent a good amount of time there, but is not likely to be a primary third-baseman.
The Major Leaguers
Just like with our stability at shortstop, third-base is secure and well taken care of by none other than Justin Turner. Since arriving to the club in 2014 he has put up amazing numbers at the hot corner: .303/.373/.502 with 71 home runs and 264 RBI’s. He is one of the more shrewd pickups by the front office in the last 4 seasons. In December of 2013 the Mets non-tendered Justin Turner, despite posting a decent .264/.326/.370 with them while playing solid defense. A few months later in February of 2014 the Dodgers signed him. And the rest, as they say, is history. Since then he has been nothing short of spectacular for us at third-base and was rewarded with a 4 year, $64 million contract after the 2016 season.
Behind him on the depth chart is Logan Forsythe (42 games in 2017), and Kike Hernandez (14 games) as the primary backups. There are numerous other players on the 40 man roster capable of playing there. Among them are Rob Segedin, Kyle Farmer, and even guys like Austin Barnes and Chris Taylor. The latter two however combined for less than 40 innings at third-base in 2017, and are more likely to see time at other secondary positions in 2018. Hence why they are not listed on the depth chart.
Overall our Major League level contingency of third-base capable players is strong top to bottom. With JT leading the charge there, we have a steady presence at the hot corner for the next few seasons.
With regards to our prospects there are not many who are straight up and down third-basemen like Justin Turner. Edwin Rios is a perfect example of this. Previously he was discussed in the first-baseman edition of GM Mondays. As we said then, he is someone who ideally would play third-base proficiently enough to stick there, but his lack of defensive chops may prevent him from doing so. His power is extremely enticing, and sticking at the hot corner would give us a great power hitting corner bat.
In addition to Rios there is a few utility type players. Both Jake Peter and Matt Beaty are plenty capable of playing third-base but will likely be utility players at the Major League level. Going forward it is difficult to envision either becoming the primary third-baseman after Turner’s contract is up.
The last prospect on this list is Cristian Santana. He is an intriguing international signing from 2014 that has only reached as far as high-A Rancho Cucamonga. So far he has been a solid prospect slashing 285/.321/.435 in 192 games. Last season he really took a step forward at Rookie Level Ogden and A-Ball Great Lakes, hitting a robust .363/.390/.563.
Scouts love his quick bat speed, and he has the frame to grow into a power threat down the road. Because of this quick bat, he has some of the best raw power in the system. It is right up there with the likes of Rios, and DJ Peters. He does however have poor plate disciple, as evidenced by his meager 4.9% walk rate. But on the flipside his strikeout rate is somewhat manageable: 20.5%. As you can see from the footage above he does have that quick bat, but he tends to swing at everything he sees. When he does make contact, boy is the ball hit hard though.
Santana is one of those very raw prospects in our system that could easily take a giant leap forward at any moment. If he is able to reach AA by the end of 2018, and build upon his 2017 success, do not be surprised to see him on the cusp of many top 10 prospect lists for the team at the end of 2018.
As we move forward into the next season we know how fortunate we are to have someone like Justin Turner at third-base. Though there are no blue chip prospects waiting in the wings, like shortstop we have many capable and solid prospects. Some have very nice ceilings, and could develop into special prospects. Like many other positions on this team, we have a luxury of depth. For now, we ride the Red Turn tide to glory!