MLB Network got its recent third baseman rankings completely wrong with its placement of Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado.
The MLB Network’s Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now ranking disrespects Nolan Arenado. The network’s ranking, released Thursday evening, places Arenado in fifth place amongst today’s third basemen.
Arenado won his 10th Gold Glove in 2022 with the St. Louis Cardinals while winning a Platinum Glove, a Silver Slugger award, and placing third in the NL MVP vote. He was also a seven-time All-Star this season. The 7.9 WAR player hit .293/.358/.533 with an OPS of .891 with 30 home runs and 103 RBI. He has a .968 fielding percentage on defense with 84 putouts, 283 assists, and 42 double plays.
Arenado’s numbers for 2022 alone are impressive, but considering his 10-season career, his numbers are fantastic.
With his bat and his dazzling glove work on the field with spectacular throws to nab runners, the MLB Network placing anyone ahead of Arenado is just ridiculous.
Who does MLB Network have ahead of Arenado?
Even MLB Analyst Keith Law was surprised by Arenado’s ranking on the list:
Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox has ranked just ahead of Arenado in fourth place. He played on the 2018 World Series championship team with the Red Sox. He was an All-Star in 2021 and 22 and a Silver Slugger winner in 2021. He doesn’t have a Gold Glove award.
Devers has a one-year deal worth $17.5 million for 2023. He signed a 10-year extension worth $313.5 million. He will be with the Red Sox through 2033.
This seems more like a recognition of potential, not right now, as the list title states.
A member of the 2021 World Champion Atlanta Braves, Austin Riley is another selection ahead of Arenado, at third, that seems more of a recognition in potential. In Riley’s three seasons with the Braves, he’s earned an All-Star selection once. He was a Silver Slugger winner in 2021.
Riley earned a new contract this off-season with a 10-year contract worth $212 million. This keeps him signed through 2032 and includes a team option for 2023.
Riley is a tremendous young talent. But right now, he is not better than Arenado.
At number two, Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez is a four-time All-Star and Silver Slugger winner. He is playing on a seven-year, $141 million contract through 2028. MLB Network notes Ramirez led all third basemen with slugging, wRC+, and WAR since 2020. Ramirez, however, doesn’t have a Gold Glove on his resume. While he deserves to be on this list, it is not right to see him ahead of Arenado.
Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres was ranked number one on MLB Network’s Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now. Machado’s ranking is understandable. With 11 seasons in the league, Machado won two Gold Gloves with the Orioles. He’s a six-time All-Star selection, a Silver Slugger in 2020, and a Platinum Glove winner in 2012. He has a career of .968 fielding percentage with 876 putouts, 2,305 assists, and 255 double plays.
Machado is a tremendous athlete and deserving of the number-one ranking. But to see Arenado, after ten seasons of absolute greatness, ranked fifth amongst all third basemen is disrespectful to him and the game.