2021 Positional Power Rankings: Third Base

This morning, RJ McDaniel previewed baseball’s second basemen. Now, Jason Martinez turns his attention to the hot corner.

There’s not a lot of certainty in this year’s crop of third basemen. The majority are bounce-back candidates, due to injury, poor performance, or both. Those in their prime and also coming off of a productive and healthy 2020 season can be counted on one hand. And there wasn’t a lot of turn over at the position this offseason, either. One player changed teams via trade, and only a few others are in line for significant playing time after signing with a new team this past winter. There are breakout candidates, prospects on the rise, and veterans who might be reaching the end of the line. All in all, it’s a good mix of current, former, and potential superstars.

2021 Positional Power Rankings – 3B
1. Cleveland
José Ramírez 665 .279 .368 .540 .376 28.2 2.6 1.8 5.7
Amed Rosario 14 .281 .318 .428 .314 -0.1 0.0 -0.0 0.0
Nolan Jones 14 .235 .330 .416 .319 -0.1 -0.0 0.0 0.0
Yu Chang 7 .217 .288 .360 .278 -0.3 -0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 700 .278 .366 .533 .372 27.7 2.6 1.8 5.8

For the first time in six seasons, José Ramírez won’t have fellow perennial MVP-candidate Francisco Lindor next to him on the infield or at the top of the Cleveland lineup. While they’ve added Eddie Rosario and brought back Cesar Hernandez to set the table for Ramírez and the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Franmil Reyes, it’s very likely that scouting reports of the Lindor-less lineup will begin with something to the effect of “do not let José Ramírez beat you.”

Aside from that, and the potential distraction of all the trade rumors that will surely pop up the minute his team falls out of playoff contention, there is no reason to think that the 28-year-old switch-hitter will take a big step backward anytime soon. Throw out a bad first half in 2019 and Ramírez has been one of the most consistently productive hitters in the league since 2016.

There is a strong chance that Ramírez will be on the trade block prior to the July 31 deadline if Cleveland isn’t anywhere near a playoff spot. But with a pair of team-friendly club options totaling $24 million for his age-29 and 30 seasons, the price tag for him will be sky-high. In the meantime, top prospect Nolan Jones is waiting in the wings, though the team is also planning for a scenario where Ramírez stays and Jones changes positions.

2. Astros
Alex Bregman 609 .278 .389 .519 .381 34.0 -0.2 -1.2 5.5
Aledmys Díaz 35 .256 .307 .436 .312 -0.1 -0.1 -0.2 0.1
Abraham Toro 28 .237 .312 .402 .306 -0.3 -0.0 0.0 0.1
Robel García 28 .214 .288 .408 .294 -0.5 -0.1 -0.0 0.0
Total 700 .272 .378 .505 .371 33.0 -0.4 -1.3 5.7

Despite a monster 2019 season that resulted in a second-place finish for the AL MVP award, Alex Bregman decided to change things up in the offseason and reported to camp 20 pounds lighter. His hope of “finally getting off to a good start,” as reported by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, might have referred to 2017 and ’18, when it took him about two weeks to get going. Or maybe it was the opening series of 2019, when he went 1-for-15 against the Tampa Bay Rays. His stolen base total had also fallen from 17 to 10 to 5 over a three-year span, so it’s also possible that he wanted to get back to being a bigger threat on the basepaths.

In any case, the result — regardless of how much the nearly four-month delay to the season played a factor — was not what he would’ve hoped for. While not bad, his slash line of .242/.350/.451 with six homers, 12 doubles, zero stolen bases, and a 123 wRC+ in 180 plate appearances was not up to the standard he had set over his first four seasons as a big leaguer. After missing more than two weeks with a hamstring injury, Bregman had just 12 hits over his final 61 regular season plate appearances. And just when it looked like he was turning things around, collecting a pair of hits in four of his first seven playoff games, the Rays’ pitchers kept him in check (2-for-24, BB) for the final six games of the ALCS.

Bregman’s response to his disappointing 2020 season was to put back on the weight he had shed. The soon-to-be 27-year-old reportedly packed on 27 pounds of muscle and was pushing to return to game action early in spring training. But after last season’s injury, which Bregman re-aggravated in January, the Astros have responded with an extremely cautious approach to his return. He didn’t play in a game until March 16 and he’ll continue to be eased back into action slowly before they decide if he’s ready to go on Opening Day.

After losing superstar George Springer to free agency and not making any significant offensive additions to their roster (though they did re-sign Michael Brantley), Bregman’s ability to be in the lineup on most days is crucial to the Astros’ success. Aledmys Díaz and either Abraham Toro or Robel Garcia are expected to back him up.

3. Angels
Anthony Rendon 665 .280 .380 .501 .369 27.4 0.4 3.6 5.6
David Fletcher 14 .279 .333 .385 .310 -0.1 -0.0 0.1 0.0
Matt Thaiss 14 .228 .305 .383 .296 -0.3 -0.0 -0.1 0.0
Phil Gosselin 7 .237 .302 .350 .281 -0.2 -0.0 -0.0 0.0
Total 700 .279 .377 .495 .365 26.7 0.4 3.6 5.6

After signing a $245 million contract during the offseason, Anthony Rendon missed the first four regular season games of 2020 due to an oblique injury and then began his Angels’ career with a dismal 4-for-55 skid as his new team lost 11 of its first 16 games. While the Angels never quite recovered, the 30-year-old Rendon did. He ended an 0-for-27 slump on August 10 with a homer in his first at-bat, then never slowed down, slashing .333/.435/.573 with eight homers and 10 doubles over his final 177 plate appearances, to finish with a .286/.418/.497 line and a 154 wRC+.

The depth behind Rendon is limited, but Franklin Barreto (once he returns from injury) or Luis Rengifo could step in at second base with David Fletcher shifting over to third base if necessary. Phil Gosselin, José Rojas, Matt Thaiss, and Taylor Ward are also candidates to see time at third if Rendon is ever out for an extended period.

The Angels have been to the playoffs once during Mike Trout’s 10-year career, a three-game sweep by the Royals in the 2014 ALDS. With Rendon and Trout, along with Shohei Ohtani and a much-improved pitching staff, they could finally make a run at a division title in 2021.

4. Athletics
Matt Chapman 644 .246 .328 .508 .347 17.3 0.3 9.6 5.1
Chad Pinder 28 .248 .309 .435 .313 -0.1 -0.0 -0.2 0.1
Vimael Machín 21 .243 .324 .347 .291 -0.5 -0.0 -0.0 0.0
Jed Lowrie 7 .234 .309 .359 .290 -0.2 -0.0 -0.0 0.0
Total 700 .246 .327 .499 .344 16.6 0.2 9.2 5.2

Last September, when Matt Chapman sustained a hip injury that would eventually require surgery, late-season acquisitions Tommy La Stella and Jake Lamb were able to provide the A’s with solid production down the stretch as the team cruised to its first division title since 2013. La Stella and Lamb both departed in free agency this winter, however, leaving the A’s somewhat vulnerable if Chapman doesn’t return to his pre-injury form.

While Chapman hasn’t had much success at the plate in spring training (he’s gone 5-for-29 as of March 21), he has been playing third base regularly and has looked very much like the guy who won back-to-back Gold Glove awards in 2018 and ’19.

Veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus, acquired from the Texas Rangers, adds some stability to the left side of the infield and plenty of experience playing next to one of the best defensive third basemen in the game. After eight seasons with Adrián Beltré as his teammate, he now gets to play next to Chapman.

In camp on a non-roster deal is soon-to-be 37-year-old Jed Lowrie, who appears to be healthy for the first time since his All-Star season with Oakland in 2018. If he’s on the roster, he could back up Chapman, while Chad Pinder and Vimael Machín are also capable of stepping in if needed.

5. Padres
Manny Machado 672 .273 .345 .507 .352 17.2 -0.2 3.3 4.3
Ha-seong Kim 21 .260 .329 .418 .318 -0.1 -0.0 0.0 0.1
Jurickson Profar 7 .251 .331 .420 .320 -0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.0
Total 700 .272 .345 .504 .351 17.1 -0.2 3.3 4.4

A September slump in Manny Machado’s first season with the Padres in 2019 turned what would’ve been an otherwise strong debut into a relative disappointment. With rookie sensation Fernando Tatis Jr. out for the season due to a back injury and an inexperienced and overworked pitching staff running on fumes, Machado had just 14 hits in his final 94 plate appearances during what might have been the ugliest month of baseball he’s ever experienced. He finished with an underwhelming .796 OPS, but offered no excuses and quickly went back to work.

In year two, Machado redeemed himself by slashing .304/.370/.580 with 16 homers and a 149 wRC+ in 254 plate appearances, helping to lead San Diego to its first postseason appearance since 2006. The 28-year-old has undoubtedly lived up to his nickname, “El Ministro De Defensa,” with his stellar play at the hot corner, while also mentoring Tatis, who has quickly risen into Face Of Baseball territory.

Machado is integral to one of baseball’s deepest, most talented, and most exciting teams. He rarely takes a day off, although the re-signing of Jurickson Profar and the addition of South Korean star Ha-seong Kim should give him the opportunity to rest occasionally throughout the 162-game season.

6. Twins
Josh Donaldson 490 .242 .363 .468 .352 12.2 -0.9 0.8 3.0
Luis Arraez 133 .311 .370 .410 .337 1.5 -0.1 -0.1 0.6
Miguel Sanó 49 .231 .323 .510 .345 0.9 -0.1 -0.0 0.3
Jorge Polanco 28 .274 .334 .436 .326 0.1 -0.0 -0.1 0.1
Total 700 .256 .360 .458 .348 14.7 -1.1 0.6 4.0

When Josh Donaldson is healthy, he is still among the best all-around third basemen in the game. But at 35, he isn’t expected to start 148 games this season as he did for the Atlanta Braves back in 2019. Indeed, after he missed much of 2020 with a calf injury, the Twins would probably be happy if Donaldson could give them somewhere between 110-125 starts while also getting a decent number of at-bats as the designated hitter.

That’s why the signing of Andrelton Simmons was so important. Not only does it give the Twins a significant defensive upgrade, it also moves Jorge Polanco over to second base and frees up Luis Arraez to move into a super-utility role where he’ll get plenty of time at third base. First baseman Miguel Sanó is also expected to slide across the diamond to man his old spot every once in a while.

Signed through the 2023 season, Donaldson is likely to take on a much bigger share of the designated hitter role beginning in 2022. But, at least for now, the more the tandem of Donaldson and Nelson Cruz are in the lineup together, the better the Twins’ chances of reaching the postseason for a third consecutive season will be.

7. Cardinals
Nolan Arenado 658 .264 .337 .478 .337 8.5 0.0 8.0 3.9
Matt Carpenter 35 .219 .339 .396 .317 -0.2 -0.1 -0.3 0.1
Tommy Edman 7 .263 .314 .398 .304 -0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 700 .261 .337 .473 .335 8.2 -0.0 7.7 4.0

Near the end of January, it looked as if the Cardinals had chosen to sit out the offseason. They had done absolutely nothing. But, finally, there came the news that longtime stars Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina would be returning on one-year deals (Molina’s signing came after the Caribbean Series, where he was playing for Puerto Rico). It wasn’t a surprise that either player would return, but at least it was a sign that the team was open for business. And then, a few days later, a monster move dropped. The Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies and pushed ahead as one of the stronger teams in a weak NL Central.

As he enters his first season without the luxury of playing half of his games at Coors Field, all eyes will be on how much Arenado’s numbers decline at his new home ballpark and how they are affected on the road. Rockies’ batters have traditionally struggled away from home because of the drastic change of going from the hitter-friendly environment in Denver to other parks. Also of interest will be how he rebounds from a down 2020 marred by a shoulder injury. Regardless, the soon-to-be 30-year-old has a career 108 wRC+ on the road and there’s a good chance that he improves on that with the Cardinals. He’s also won eight Gold Glove awards in eight seasons, so his impact won’t be limited to his offensive production.

With Arenado on board, Matt Carpenter’s role in 2021 relied heavily on the return of the Universal DH — which it has not — and his ability to play an adequate second base. Whether he can is still to be determined, although he’s been at the position plenty during spring training. If he’s relegated to being the backup to Arenado and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, he’ll be lucky to make 10 starts barring injury.

8. Red Sox
Rafael Devers 623 .284 .339 .526 .357 15.4 0.3 -4.1 3.5
Enrique Hernández 35 .247 .320 .440 .320 -0.3 0.0 -0.1 0.1
Marwin Gonzalez 21 .258 .326 .422 .318 -0.2 -0.0 0.0 0.1
Michael Chavis 14 .236 .296 .435 .307 -0.3 0.0 -0.1 0.0
Christian Arroyo 7 .260 .315 .432 .315 -0.1 -0.0 -0.0 0.0
Total 700 .281 .337 .516 .353 14.6 0.3 -4.2 3.7

As a 22-year-old in 2019, Rafael Devers had 90 extra-base hits, including a league-leading 56 doubles and 32 home runs. Unsurprisingly, expectations rose significantly, but Devers fell short in 2020, posting a .263/.310/.483 slash line, with 11 homers, 16 doubles, and a 109 wRC+ while his strikeout rate increased from 17% to 27%. But, after a terrible start (14-for-83 with two dingers), he was actually back on pace for another strong season if not for it ending after 60 games. In his final 165 plate appearances, he had a 140 wRC+ and 21 extra-base hits.

With Marwin Gonzalez and Enrique Hernández on the roster, it’s unlikely that Devers approaches 700 plate appearances as he did in 2019. He should be in the middle of the Red Sox lineup on most days, but it’s possible that the emergence of Christian Arroyo will cut into his playing time if he continues to struggle against left-handed pitching.

Regardless, Devers is on track to become a free agent as a 27-year-old following the 2023 season. If he has a couple more seasons that even resemble what he did in 2019, he’ll be in line for a substantial payday.

9. Blue Jays
Cavan Biggio 553 .232 .347 .410 .327 2.5 0.5 2.0 2.6
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 98 .286 .354 .505 .359 3.2 -0.2 -0.1 0.6
Joe Panik 35 .253 .326 .366 .300 -0.7 -0.0 -0.1 0.1
Santiago Espinal 7 .249 .297 .351 .280 -0.3 -0.0 0.1 0.0
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. 7 .269 .311 .479 .329 0.0 -0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 700 .242 .346 .422 .330 4.8 0.3 1.9 3.3

Throughout most of a busy offseason, the Blue Jays left open the possibility that Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who lost 40 pounds over the offseason, could return to third base in 2021. But once they signed Marcus Semien in late January to be their second baseman, the decision was made that Cavan Biggio would move to third base and Guerrero would be the team’s primary first baseman.

Like his father, Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, Cavan has displayed defensive versatility early in his career by making starts at six different positions. Whether he can settle in at one spot, as Craig did for a decade at second base beginning in his fifth big league season, will depend on how he fares defensively and how things shake out once top prospects Austin Martin and Jordan Groshans arrive in the next year or two.

The 25-year-old Biggio, who slashed .250.375/.432 with eight homers, 16 doubles, and six stolen bases in 2020, could prove to be more valuable in a super-utility role later in his career. But it appears likely that he sticks mostly at one position in 2021.

10. Dodgers
Justin Turner 546 .277 .362 .461 .350 13.8 -0.8 -2.9 2.9
Edwin Ríos 70 .226 .283 .447 .303 -1.1 -0.1 -0.4 0.1
Chris Taylor 49 .250 .328 .433 .323 0.1 0.0 -0.3 0.2
Sheldon Neuse 21 .242 .294 .383 .288 -0.6 -0.0 0.1 0.0
Max Muncy 14 .238 .363 .467 .352 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.1
Total 700 .268 .350 .455 .341 12.6 -0.8 -3.5 3.2

It came down to the wire, but Justin Turner returned to the Dodgers on a two-year deal after he had reportedly at least considered offers from other teams.

Despite having a seemingly unending amount of depth at every position, the loss of Turner just before the opening of spring training — he agreed to terms on February 13 — would have left the Dodgers with an underwhelming combination of options at third base. In addition to super-utilityman Chris Taylor, in the mix would’ve been Edwin Ríos, Zach McKinstry, and Sheldon Neuse. In that timeline, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see the Dodgers looking for an upgrade prior to Opening Day. In this timeline, the 36-year-old Turner, who has surpassed 600 plate appearances only once in his career, isn’t likely to make more than 70-75% of the starts at third, so the aforementioned group will still have an integral role to play even if Turner can avoid injury.

11. White Sox
Yoán Moncada 637 .256 .333 .449 .330 5.6 0.3 1.5 3.1
Danny Mendick 42 .239 .314 .373 .297 -0.8 -0.1 0.2 0.1
Tim Beckham 21 .237 .294 .411 .299 -0.4 -0.0 -0.2 0.0
Total 700 .254 .331 .444 .328 4.4 0.2 1.4 3.2

Plenty of big leaguers struggled during the challenging 2020 season, but few were as directly affected by COVID-19 as Yoán Moncada. Coming off of a breakout 2019 season (140 wRC+, 25 home runs, 34 doubles), the 25-year-old reported to camp only a week before Opening Day after contracting COVID-19 during the summer. Still, he picked up where he left off in 2019 with a 123 wRC+ and five homers through his first 103 plate appearances. But he struggled badly the rest of the way as he dealt with the lingering effects of the virus, including fatigue and weakness; the passivity at the plate that marked his pre-breakout seasons also returned.

Back to full strength in 2021, Moncada is having a strong camp and is expected to hit in the middle of one of the most talented lineups in baseball. Leury García and Danny Mendick are likely to serve as his primary backups.

12. Pirates
Ke’Bryan Hayes 581 .270 .341 .446 .332 3.5 0.2 4.6 2.8
Todd Frazier 70 .230 .313 .399 .305 -1.2 -0.2 0.1 0.1
Colin Moran 28 .261 .323 .434 .319 -0.2 -0.1 -0.1 0.1
Phillip Evans 21 .255 .324 .397 .310 -0.3 -0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 700 .265 .337 .440 .328 1.9 -0.1 4.5 3.1

During a season with almost no bright spots for the Pirates, the September arrival of Ke’Bryan Hayes gave Pittsburgh fans something to be excited (aside from the team getting to choose between college pitching stars Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft).

In his first 95 plate appearances in the majors, Hayes slashed .376/.442/.682 with five homers, seven doubles, and a 195 wRC+. While that type of production is unsustainable over a 162-game season — by the way, he also has 15 hits in his first 37 spring plate appearances, including nine extra-base hits — the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes seems unfazed by his success and should be able to handle the ups and downs of a long season just fine.

It also doesn’t hurt to have Colin Moran and Todd Frazier, veteran third basemen who are likely to split time at first base, on the roster to mentor the 24-year-old and fill in when necessary.

13. Phillies
Alec Bohm 560 .284 .349 .465 .343 8.1 -0.4 -0.4 2.7
Jean Segura 98 .279 .331 .420 .318 -0.7 0.1 0.0 0.3
Brad Miller 28 .224 .320 .438 .319 -0.2 -0.1 -0.1 0.1
Scott Kingery 14 .229 .285 .390 .286 -0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 700 .280 .344 .456 .338 6.7 -0.4 -0.5 3.0

By the time Hayes made his major league debut across the state, Alec Bohm was already 59 plate appearances into his big league career and showing signs that he was capable of solidifying the Phillies’ third base job for years to come. He didn’t let Hayes overshadow him, either. The 24-year-old slashed .367/.421/.514 with a 154 wRC+ in 121 September plate appearances, though his defense left something to be desired.

Bohm and Hayes could prove to be the best young third base duo in Pennsylvania since Mike Schmidt and Richie Hebner in the early 1970s. But, like Hayes, Bohm will first need to prove himself over the course of a 162-game season.

Brad Miller, once recovered from an oblique injury, is expected to be Bohm’s primary backup. Scott Kingery and Jean Segura could also see time at third base.

14. Cubs
Kris Bryant 539 .253 .353 .461 .345 9.2 0.6 -2.1 2.6
David Bote 112 .235 .322 .410 .312 -1.3 0.1 -0.2 0.3
Eric Sogard 35 .244 .320 .348 .291 -1.0 -0.0 -0.0 0.0
Matt Duffy 14 .264 .332 .365 .303 -0.3 -0.0 -0.1 0.0
Total 700 .250 .346 .445 .336 6.6 0.6 -2.4 2.9

After a disastrous, injury-plagued 2020 (.206/.293/.351 with a 77 wRC+ in 147 plate appearances), followed by an offseason during which he was often rumored to be on the trade block, Kris Bryant is heading into what could be his final year with the Cubs.

If he’s healthy and can return to his pre-2020 form — he had a 139 wRC+ in his first five big league seasons — he’ll be among the top free agents next offseason. He could also be back on offer in July if the Cubs aren’t in playoff contention, though it’s also possible that the Cubs will try to sign him to a contract extension. In any case, it should be an interesting year for the 29-year-old.

With a good amount of outfield depth and likely a very cautious approach due to his injury history, the Cubs will probably limit the number of games that Bryant spends in left and right field. David Bote and Eric Sogard will spell him on occasion at third base, but more to give him a day off than to free him up to play a corner outfield spot.

15. Yankees
Gio Urshela 609 .277 .328 .442 .325 1.3 -0.7 0.6 2.4
DJ LeMahieu 56 .300 .355 .459 .345 1.1 -0.0 0.4 0.4
Miguel Andújar 28 .268 .306 .458 .319 -0.1 -0.0 -0.4 0.1
Thairo Estrada 7 .234 .279 .358 .273 -0.3 0.0 -0.0 -0.0
Total 700 .278 .328 .443 .326 2.0 -0.7 0.6 2.8

In 650 plate appearances as a Yankee over the past two seasons, Gio Urshela has a 132 wRC+, 27 homers, and 45 doubles while providing steady and sometimes spectacular defense at third base. Not bad for a guy who was acquired from the Blue Jays for cash considerations in August 2018 and only got a chance to play because Troy Tulowitzki injured his calf early in the 2019 season while Miguel Andújar was out with a shoulder injury and Didi Gregorius was recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Andújar and Thairo Estrada are behind the 29-year-old Urshela on the depth chart, while DJ LeMahieu is also an option when Tyler Wade plays second base.

16. Marlins
Brian Anderson 665 .252 .337 .434 .328 5.3 -0.1 -0.9 2.7
Jon Berti 21 .241 .331 .350 .300 -0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1
Isan Díaz 14 .229 .308 .379 .296 -0.3 -0.0 -0.1 0.0
Total 700 .252 .336 .430 .327 4.6 -0.1 -0.9 2.8

Brian Anderson is one of only two homegrown Marlins players (Trevor Rogers is the other) on the projected Opening Day roster, and one of only four players who have been with the organization since before the 2018 season. He is the closest the Marlins have to a Face of the Franchise, but only because they don’t have a superstar to take on that role yet. He’s more akin to what Kyle Seager is in Seattle, a steady and reliable player who puts up good numbers year in and year out.

Over his last two seasons, Anderson has slashed .259/.343/.467 with 31 homers and a 117 wRC+ in 749 plate appearances. At age 27, he still might be able to take it up another gear. But, just as importantly, he’s probably not going to come down much from that level of production. The Marlins can pretty much count on a solid season from their third baseman in 2021. He isn’t expected to sit very often, but Jon Berti, Isan Díaz, and Miguel Rojas are all capable of stepping in at third base.

17. Mariners
Kyle Seager 588 .242 .321 .432 .317 0.3 -0.8 -0.3 2.1
Ty France 91 .262 .328 .434 .324 0.5 -0.2 -0.0 0.4
Shed Long Jr. 14 .229 .297 .377 .289 -0.3 0.0 -0.0 0.0
Dylan Moore 7 .222 .302 .386 .295 -0.1 -0.0 -0.0 0.0
Total 700 .244 .322 .431 .318 0.4 -0.9 -0.4 2.6

Entering his 11th season with the Mariners, Kyle Seager has been a steady source of production and leadership on a team that has had little success during his tenure. With only three winning seasons, no playoff appearances since Seager debuted in the majors in 2011, and an offseason marred by the insulting remarks of their now-former President and CEO, the Mariners appear to finally be headed in the right direction with a roster full of young talent and more help on the way from a talented farm system. It would be a shame if they began to enjoy winning baseball again without Seager, who has a $15 million club option in 2022, though it looks unlikely to be exercised.

But enough about what might happen in the future. While the Mariners are unlikely to be good in 2021, they won’t be without their bright spots. The 33-year-old Seager, whose bat recovered to a 118 wRC+ in 2020, is expected to hit in the middle of a lineup with a healthy Mitch Haniger, rising star Kyle Lewis, and (eventually) top prospect Jarred Kelenic. Ty France, who is a candidate to take over at third base beginning in 2022, is also capable of putting up big numbers in his first full season as a big league regular. He’ll bounce around the infield this season while spelling Seager occasionally.

18. Tigers
Jeimer Candelario 448 .249 .334 .438 .328 1.2 -0.2 1.9 2.0
Isaac Paredes 154 .259 .321 .397 .308 -2.3 -0.1 0.3 0.4
Niko Goodrum 49 .227 .297 .387 .292 -1.4 0.1 -0.2 0.0
Harold Castro 28 .266 .295 .356 .279 -1.1 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0
Jonathan Schoop 21 .261 .305 .460 .319 -0.1 0.0 -0.1 0.1
Total 700 .251 .326 .423 .319 -3.7 -0.2 1.9 2.4

Last August, the Tigers threw 21-year-old Isaac Paredes into the fire for a 34-game audition to be the team’s starting third baseman in 2021. He struggled, with only 22 hits in 100 at-bats, one homer, eight walks, and 24 strikeouts. While he was clearly not ready, the Tigers have left the door open for him to claim the spot at some point in 2021, it’s just unlikely to be on Opening Day.

Renato Nuñez, in camp on a minor league deal, is the frontrunner to be the starting first baseman, making it likely that Jeimer Candelario, who slashed .297/.369/.503 with a 136 wRC+ in 206 plate appearances last season, gets most of the starts at third base early in the season.

If Nuñez hits like he did with the Orioles over the past two seasons (106 wRC+, 43 home runs in 815 plate appearances), Candelario will not play a whole lot of first base. In fact, he might not play there much even if they move on from Nuñez. Super-utilityman Niko Goodrum has started at several positions this spring, including a handful of games at first base, but none at third. It could take Paredes’ arrival to push Candelario to first base, meaning there’s a decent chance that the 27-year-old switch-hitter remains at the hot corner for a majority of the season.

19. Reds
Mike Moustakas 434 .255 .326 .495 .340 3.4 -0.8 -3.4 1.4
Eugenio Suárez 224 .244 .342 .486 .346 3.0 -0.5 -1.8 0.8
Jonathan India 28 .231 .315 .374 .297 -0.8 -0.0 0.1 0.0
Mike Freeman 14 .230 .300 .328 .274 -0.7 -0.0 0.0 -0.0
Total 700 .250 .330 .484 .339 4.9 -1.4 -5.2 2.3

With shortstop the team’s most obvious hole this past offseason, the Reds either fell short in their pursuit or were not interested in any of the viable options. With just over two weeks to go in spring training, none of the team’s several candidates, including Kyle Farmer and Dee Strange-Gordon, had emerged as a frontrunner. But in a surprising turn of events, the Reds appear to be moving forward with a plan to shift Eugenio Suárez over to shortstop, return Mike Moustakas to his natural position at third base, and open a spot for top prospect Jonathan India at second base. Hey, maybe that was the plan all along and they just didn’t tell anyone.

The 32-year-old Moustakas, who slashed .230/.331/.467 with eight homers and a 109 wRC+ in his first season with the Reds, will likely welcome the move back to third base. He wasn’t a terrible second baseman, but his limited range was only going to become more of a problem as he approached his mid-30s. India is also a third baseman with limited experience at second base, but he’s only 24 years old and much more athletic than Moustakas. Reds manager David Bell played 986 games at third base and 413 at second base during his major league career, so he’ll likely have a good feel for the situation.

20. Mets
J.D. Davis 413 .258 .335 .441 .329 3.4 -0.7 -5.4 1.2
Jeff McNeil 147 .293 .359 .460 .346 3.5 -0.3 -0.7 0.8
Jonathan Villar 70 .241 .310 .376 .295 -1.5 0.3 -0.2 0.1
Luis Guillorme 63 .253 .334 .346 .300 -1.0 -0.0 0.1 0.1
Brandon Drury 7 .217 .276 .362 .272 -0.3 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0
Total 700 .263 .337 .429 .326 4.1 -0.7 -6.2 2.2

Robinson Canó’s one-year PED suspension and the acquisition of shortstop Francisco Lindor for Andrés Giménez and Amed Rosario both worked to the advantage of J.D. Davis, who appeared to be on shaky ground as the team’s starting third baseman after a drop in production in 2020. No Canó or Giménez means that Jeff McNeil will likely get the majority of his playing time at second base. The trade for Lindor means that the Mets were much less likely to acquire another big bat who could push Davis further out of the mix.

Still, the lack of a universal DH, the signing of Jonathan Villar, the emergence of Luis Guillorme, and Davis’ shaky defense all make it possible that the Mets go with a third base committee in 2021. Of course, Davis will have every opportunity to take on the lion’s share of starts since he’s the guy who slashed .307/.369/.527 with 22 home runs and a 136 wRC+ in 453 plate appearances back in 2019. But Villar wasn’t signed to a $3.55 million deal so he can pinch-hit and pinch-run. The 29-year-old speedster should get plenty of time at second base, pushing McNeil to third. Guillorme is the best defender of the group, but he could be more than a late-inning defensive replacement. He also has a pretty good idea of what he’s doing at the plate, as he recently demonstrated in a 22-pitch at-bat against the flame-throwing Jordan Hicks.

21. Rays
Joey Wendle 322 .257 .310 .381 .295 -6.0 0.4 1.4 0.8
Wander Franco 196 .253 .309 .388 .297 -3.4 -0.6 0.1 0.4
Yandy Díaz 70 .274 .367 .394 .330 0.8 -0.1 0.0 0.3
Mike Brosseau 70 .254 .316 .428 .315 -0.1 -0.1 0.3 0.3
Yoshi Tsutsugo 28 .236 .331 .442 .327 0.2 -0.0 -0.0 0.1
Brandon Lowe 14 .245 .324 .466 .332 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.1
Total 700 .256 .317 .393 .303 -8.2 -0.5 1.9 2.0

Many expect that Wander Franco, the undisputed top prospect in baseball, will reach the majors sometime in 2021. Where he plays is a bigger question. The 20-year-old is a shortstop who could likely handle a move to second or third base just fine. While his arrival could potentially shake up the infield alignment, it might be an easy fit. Since Willy Adames is a terrific defensive shortstop and second baseman, and Brandon Lowe’s pro experience at third base consists of two starts for High-A Charlotte in 2017, Franco’s path to playing time could be at the hot corner with Joey Wendle moving into a super-utility role.

Until Franco gets the call, though — he won’t be on the Opening Day roster and he’ll be at the team’s Alternate Site until the minor league season begins in early May — it will be Wendle, a spectacular defender and a tough out at the plate, who gets the majority of starts at third base, with Yandy Díaz and Michael Brosseau also in the mix.

22. Royals
Hunter Dozier 553 .243 .323 .434 .321 -2.1 -0.6 -3.6 1.5
Hanser Alberto 112 .289 .314 .403 .304 -2.1 -0.0 0.2 0.2
Whit Merrifield 21 .281 .331 .428 .322 -0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Kelvin Gutierrez 14 .233 .294 .344 .277 -0.6 0.0 0.1 0.0
Total 700 .251 .321 .427 .317 -4.8 -0.5 -3.3 1.8

After bouncing around between both corner infield and outfield spots during his first three big league seasons, Dozier will enter 2021 as the Royals’ starting third baseman. He also signed a contract extension during the offseason that could keep him in Kansas City through his age-33 season.

Even if it’s just for one season — the likely arrival of top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. by 2022 could once again shake up the team’s positional alignment — it will be a good measure of what the 29-year-old Dozier can do when locked in at third base and with a guaranteed $25 million coming his way over the next four years. The question of whether his breakout 2019 season (a 123 wRC+, 26 home runs, 2.9 WAR) was his ceiling or if he can take it to another level might be answered.

Hanser Alberto and Whit Merrifield are likely to be Dozier’s primary backups, although Alberto is likely to play more at second base and Merrifield should continue to get most of his starts in the outfield.

23. Brewers
Travis Shaw 322 .229 .326 .436 .323 -1.3 -0.5 0.1 1.0
Orlando Arcia 175 .252 .308 .391 .297 -4.6 0.0 0.5 0.2
Daniel Robertson 112 .237 .337 .353 .305 -2.2 -0.1 0.1 0.2
Luis Urías 56 .248 .333 .388 .312 -0.7 -0.1 0.1 0.1
Jace Peterson 35 .231 .329 .369 .305 -0.7 0.0 -0.2 0.0
Total 700 .238 .324 .404 .312 -9.6 -0.6 0.6 1.5

Remember the Travis Shaw who hit a combined 63 homers with solid numbers across the board for Milwaukee in 2017 and ’18? Well that guy is probably never coming back. The Brewers would be ecstatic, however, if he were just slightly better than average in his second stint with the team, as opposed to what he has been the past two seasons (a 66 wRC+ and 13 home runs in 450 plate appearances).

After guaranteeing his $1.5 million contract for 2021 by adding him to the 40-man roster last week, the soon-to-be 31-year-old is expected to be the Brewers’ primary third baseman against right-handed starting pitchers. He will almost certainly have a platoon partner — Daniel Robertson and Luis Urías are candidates — but he would have to be really bad for the Brewers to bench him during the first month or two of the season. There is a scenario where the Brewers decide that Urías and Orlando Arcia should both be playing regularly and Shaw is either a bench player or the odd man out, but it’s not likely to happen right away.

24. Orioles
Maikel Franco 399 .253 .309 .443 .311 -4.1 -0.4 -2.4 0.8
Rio Ruiz 224 .240 .307 .408 .303 -3.7 -0.4 1.1 0.5
Rylan Bannon 49 .234 .306 .382 .295 -1.2 -0.1 -0.0 0.1
Pat Valaika 21 .250 .291 .440 .306 -0.3 -0.1 -0.0 0.0
Yolmer Sánchez 7 .248 .315 .366 .294 -0.2 -0.0 -0.0 0.0
Total 700 .247 .308 .427 .307 -9.4 -0.9 -1.4 1.5

The Maikel Franco signing has shaken things up late in camp for the Orioles, who will now have an opportunity to either pair the right-handed power hitter with lefty Rio Ruiz or move Ruiz to a utility role. Their career splits, however, don’t justify a traditional lefty-righty platoon and their skills don’t necessarily complement each other well. Surprisingly, Ruiz has a much higher strikeout rate and a similar home run ratio to Franco over the past two seasons. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Orioles leaned heavily on Franco in hopes that he could boost his trade value leading up to the trade deadline. Ruiz, in the meantime, could build up his value by increasing his versatility. In addition to third base, he’s capable of playing first base, second base, and the corner outfield spots.

At some point in 2021, the Orioles could have three of the five players who were acquired from the Dodgers in the July 2018 Manny Machado trade on their roster. Dean Kremer figures to open the season in the rotation, while Yusniel Diaz is expected to get a look in the outfield. Rylan Bannon could get an opportunity to play at either second base or third base, where he’s spent a majority of his time in the minors and in college with Xavier University.

Like Ruiz, the 24-year-old Bannon might best-suited for a bench role, but he has enough upside to warrant an opportunity to audition for a starting role.

25. Braves
Austin Riley 504 .248 .309 .472 .324 -2.2 -0.6 -2.5 1.2
Jake Lamb 147 .220 .320 .406 .310 -2.4 -0.0 -1.3 0.2
Johan Camargo 35 .251 .308 .421 .308 -0.6 -0.0 0.0 0.1
Ehire Adrianza 14 .242 .311 .361 .290 -0.5 -0.0 -0.1 -0.0
Total 700 .242 .311 .454 .320 -5.8 -0.6 -3.9 1.4

In just over 500 big league plate appearances, Austin Riley has yet to live up to the hype of the top prospect who was moved to a corner outfield spot in 2019 just so his team could get his bat into the lineup. But entering his second full major league season — his first that won’t be delayed by nearly four months and shortened by 102 games — the soon-to-be 24-year-old is in line to be the starting third baseman on a team that is loaded with talent. The signing of Jake Lamb, who went 12-for-45 with three homers and four doubles in a late-season stint with the A’s in 2020, to a major league contract makes it clear, however, that Riley won’t have an incredibly long leash. The Braves are considered a World Series contender, after all.

In all likelihood, the Braves will try to ease Riley in as an everyday player by allowing Lamb to get many of the starts against the toughest right-handed pitchers early in the season. At some point, though, they’ll have to give Riley a chance to prove that he can handle good pitching. In the 2020 NLCS, he went 4-for-28 with 10 strikeouts against the Dodgers, but he did hit a go-ahead homer off of Blake Treinen in the Braves’ Game 1 victory. He’ll get more of those opportunities in 2021, but the possibility exists that Lamb ends up playing more often if he can return to his pre-2018 form when he was an All-Star with the Diamondbacks before his career was sidetracked by injuries.

26. Diamondbacks
Eduardo Escobar 532 .251 .309 .444 .312 -7.4 -0.3 0.4 1.1
Asdrúbal Cabrera 112 .254 .322 .432 .319 -1.0 -0.3 -0.8 0.2
Wyatt Mathisen 21 .229 .321 .405 .312 -0.3 -0.0 0.0 0.0
Josh VanMeter 21 .236 .314 .405 .307 -0.4 -0.0 -0.1 0.0
Josh Rojas 14 .247 .321 .394 .306 -0.3 -0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 700 .250 .312 .439 .313 -9.4 -0.7 -0.4 1.4

In his first full season with the Diamondbacks in 2019, Eduardo Escobar put up huge numbers that went well beyond expectations after signing a team-friendly contract extension (three years, $21 million) just weeks before he would’ve become a free agent. But after initially reporting to 2020 spring training at around his normal playing weight, he returned to summer camp much heavier. The results — related or not — were ugly. After a season during which he compiled 74 extra-base hits, including 35 homers, and knocked in 118 runs in 699 plate appearances, Escobar slashed .212/.270/.335 with only 14 extra-base hits in 222 plate appearances during the shortened 60-game season. Having lost 20 pounds over the winter, the 32-year-old can put himself in line for another payday if he can come close to replicating his production from 2018 and ’19.

Just in case he doesn’t, the Diamondbacks signed fellow Venezuelan switch-hitter, Asdrúbal Cabrera, and could also turn to one of a handful of young players if necessary. Josh Rojas is the leading candidate for the starting second base job, but he can also play third base, as can Josh VanMeter and Wyatt Mathisen.

27. Giants
Evan Longoria 448 .247 .302 .413 .301 -8.0 -0.6 0.7 0.8
Tommy La Stella 126 .275 .344 .413 .324 0.2 -0.1 -1.2 0.3
Wilmer Flores 63 .277 .323 .458 .327 0.3 -0.1 -0.5 0.2
Donovan Solano 28 .281 .320 .384 .302 -0.5 -0.0 -0.1 0.0
Jason Vosler 28 .219 .289 .369 .282 -1.0 -0.0 0.0 0.0
Mauricio Dubón 7 .264 .309 .391 .299 -0.1 -0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 700 .255 .311 .414 .307 -9.1 -0.9 -1.0 1.4

With Evan Longoria still under contract for his age-35 and 36 seasons, and more likely to stay healthy and productive in a part-time role, the Giants made it a priority to add a versatile left-handed batter who could take on at least two to three starts per week at the hot corner. That goal was achieved when they signed Tommy La Stella, who will share time with Longoria while also providing insurance at first base with Brandon Belt coming off of heel surgery, and at second base in case Donovan Solano’s last two seasons aren’t representative of the player he’ll continue to be during his age-33 season.

Once the Giants are back at full strength, they’ll have the luxury of mixing and matching with La Stella, who had a 132 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching in 2019 and a 150 wRC+ against them in 2020, and Longoria, who has a career 130 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. If La Stella is needed more on the right side of the diamond, Wilmer Flores and Jason Vosler could spell Longoria.

The Giants are not nearly as talented as the Dodgers and Padres, but the Giants’ front office, led by President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi, has done a terrific job of building a roster that is balanced and deep enough to keep things interesting in the NL West.

28. Nationals
Carter Kieboom 427 .247 .339 .381 .313 -6.0 -0.6 -0.1 0.8
Starlin Castro 182 .275 .315 .438 .316 -2.1 -0.1 -1.1 0.3
Josh Harrison 70 .247 .303 .370 .289 -2.4 -0.1 -0.2 -0.0
Hernán Pérez 14 .247 .288 .398 .290 -0.5 0.0 -0.0 0.0
Jake Noll 7 .248 .288 .369 .280 -0.3 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0
Total 700 .254 .328 .395 .311 -11.3 -0.8 -1.4 1.1

It was a busy offseason for the Nationals as they added a catcher (Alex Avila), first baseman (Josh Bell), left fielder (Kyle Schwarber), starting pitcher (Jon Lester), and closer (Brad Hand). And it wouldn’t have been a surprise had they invested in a more reliable option at third base following a disappointing season by Carter Kieboom, who now has a 54 wRC+ and .181/.309/.232 slash line in his first 165 big league plate appearances and has been just as bad this spring.

The Nats must’ve felt good enough about the 23-year-old Kieboom’s ability to figure it out at some point. Or maybe they just really trust their backup plan. Veterans Starlin Castro and Josh Harrison could step in at third base with Luis García, who held his own as a 20-year-old rookie in 2020, taking on a bigger role at second base.

While the pressure is certainly on Kieboom, the 28th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft, to produce early on, he’ll be hitting at the bottom of a lineup that has plenty of firepower at the top and should afford him an opportunity to fly under the radar for a few weeks.

29. Rockies
Ryan McMahon 308 .251 .324 .448 .326 -5.9 0.0 -0.7 0.4
Josh Fuentes 252 .260 .293 .413 .297 -11.1 -0.1 0.5 -0.2
Colton Welker 70 .278 .329 .440 .323 -1.5 -0.0 0.2 0.1
Brendan Rodgers 63 .262 .311 .431 .313 -1.9 -0.0 0.2 0.1
Chris Owings 7 .241 .295 .395 .292 -0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0
Total 700 .258 .312 .433 .314 -20.7 -0.1 0.2 0.4

Anointing a successor to Nolan Arenado, one of the best players in Rockies’ history and still one of the best players in baseball, is bound to come with a tremendous amount of pressure for the anointed. Whether it was by design or not, the uncertainty of who will be the team’s next starting third baseman – throughout the offseason, at the beginning of spring training, and possibly beyond Opening Day — has likely removed much of that pressure. As many as four candidates have a chance to win the job outright at some point in 2021, including Josh Fuentes (Arenado’s cousin), Ryan McMahon, Brendan Rodgers, and rookie Colton Welker.

As far as Opening Day goes, Rodgers’ hamstring injury temporarily removes him from the competition and makes it most likely that McMahon opens at second base and Fuentes gets the first chance, post-Arenado, at opening some eyes as the third baseman. At 28 years old, Fuentes has yet to have much success in 159 big league plate appearances. Prior to the Arenado trade, and even more recently with McMahon and Rodgers likely ahead of him on the depth chart, he was preparing to compete for a job as a utilityman who could play both corner infield and outfield spots. That could still be his best bet at sticking on the roster, but he might get one last chance to prove himself as a starting third baseman.

If Rodgers can ever stay healthy, the former top prospect is expected to get a long look at either second base, third base, or possibly shortstop if Trevor Story is traded by the deadline. Welker, ranked as the team’s seventh best prospect by Eric Longenhagen, might be a better fit at first base long-term, but there should be an opportunity to see what he can do at third base if the Rockies are curious enough later in the season.

30. Rangers
Rougned Odor 413 .215 .281 .434 .298 -13.3 -0.4 -1.0 0.1
Charlie Culberson 112 .229 .278 .356 .270 -6.3 -0.0 0.2 -0.2
Brock Holt 70 .243 .326 .345 .294 -2.5 -0.1 -0.0 0.0
Josh Jung 56 .216 .269 .311 .252 -4.1 0.0 0.1 -0.2
Nate Lowe 35 .261 .347 .461 .340 0.1 -0.0 -0.0 0.1
Andy Ibáñez 14 .242 .303 .369 .289 -0.6 -0.0 0.0 -0.0
Total 700 .223 .288 .403 .292 -26.6 -0.6 -0.7 -0.1

The Rangers made it clear early in the offseason that Nick Solak and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who each played multiple positions while breaking into the big leagues over the last few years, would settle in as the team’s starting second baseman and shortstop in 2021. As a result, middle infield incumbents Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus would either be in line for a utility role off the bench, traded, or would have a chance to compete for the starting third base job if it remained open until spring training.

Andrus was traded to Oakland while Odor, after the Rangers passed on a handful of free agents who would’ve been good low-cost options — Maikel Franco and Jake Lamb come to mind — entered camp as the favorite to become the team’s third baseman on Opening Day by default. For now, at least, the job is his to lose, with Charlie Culberson a possible platoon partner.

Super-utilityman Brock Holt, if he remains with the team past the opt out date on his minor league contract, could factor into the mix at some point. Josh Jung, the eighth overall pick in the 2019 amateur draft, could get a look later in the season if the Rangers aren’t convinced that Odor will bounce back to the player he was early in his career.

Under contract through 2022, this is likely to be Odor’s last chance to make good on the $49.5 million extension he signed following his last good season in 2016, when he had a 103 wRC+ and 33 homers in 632 plate appearances. Since, he’s had a pair of 30-homer seasons, but a .279 OBP and 74 wRC+ that look even worse now that he’s a third baseman.

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2 years ago

I’m not sure how possible it is for a fully grown man to put on 27 pounds of muscle in 4-5 months without lots of, uhh, help.

Left of Centerfield
2 years ago
Reply to  TKDC

Shhhhh…don’t let Trevor Bauer know!

2 years ago
Reply to  TKDC

The alternate explanation is just that it’s not all (or even mostly) muscle. I mean, most people can put on 27 pounds of something if they eat enough! Sounds like “shows up to camp in the best shape his life” talk to me.

2 years ago
Reply to  sadtrombone

Oh, totally agree. Hell, even if he is using PED, it seems unlikely that he put on 27 pounds of muscle and zero pounds of fat. That’s not how weight gain works.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
2 years ago
Reply to  TKDC

Eat 30 pounds of 90% lean ground beef. Burn off the 3 pounds of fat from the ground beef. 30 – 3 = 27.

(You can do this in 4-5 months easy. You can do it in just a couple of weeks if you’re still young and burning off fat without a problem.)

2 years ago

I too never poop

Jason Bmember
2 years ago
Reply to  bohknows

Boh knows fiber supplements…

2 years ago

That’s not how any of this works!

2 years ago
Reply to  TKDC

Yeah I think it depends on your starting point and measurement. I did like a 12 week training thing as a mid-30’s guy working a white collar job and put on like 8kgs of muscle just doing stuff with a trainer twice a week and maybe 3 other workouts (oh and eating better and not drinking) – how many pounds of Muscle do you think Chris Pratt put on when he switched from Andy to StarLord? 27 pounds of muscle in 4-5 months as a young guy with professional help – easy

2 years ago
Reply to  Gavin

Honestly I think if you believe these Hollywood guys with millions of dollars on the line and nothing remotely stopping them from using steroids are getting jacked 100% clean, I think you’re crazy.

But even a quick google search suggests this would be drastic gains of muscle mass and especially so for someone who presumably already has a pretty good baseline of muscle, which actually makes it harder to gain more quickly.

2 years ago
Reply to  TKDC

While I think you’re correct in the broad scope (whether via legal or illegal drugs, or just the advantages of cutting-edge nutrition and such), I think it’s worth keeping in mind that MLB players routinely lose weight and muscle mass over the course of the season and most players regain muscle every offseason. Some, like Matt Kemp, lose the muscle and gain bad weight, but most guys just lose weight as they’re not able to maintain the intensive exercise & diet regimen they use in the offseason once games begin.

That is to say that they may not be starting from quite the level of muscle mass at the end of the season that you presume, and a lot of ‘guys gaining x lbs in the offseason’ stories tend to somewhat overstate the amount due to the natural bounce-back effect most players have just from returning to their offseason training regimen.

2 years ago
Reply to  mikejunt

I could totally believe someone gained 27 pounds; it’s just not all muscle or close to it. That’s just not something that the human body generally can do. At least not without lots of help.

2 years ago
Reply to  TKDC

I started typing something up about actors and steroids and personal trainers and dieting but I don’t think it’s that relevant because a lot of these guys are doing some bonkers things to their bodies, well beyond adding 27 pounds of muscle (and often over longer periods of time than 5 months). You’ve got guys who are already working with personal trainers and who are pretty fit and athletic adding 40-50 pounds of mostly muscle (and usually over the span of a year, not just a few months). I’ve heard that probably a quarter of those transformations are done with the use of PEDs, and much of the rest of it is stuff that is much more radical than what is good for even someone like pro athletes. It’s absolutely bonkers what they’re doing, and not really all that relevant for someone whose job is to perform and not look good.

This is all getting away from your key point, which is that there is way more steroid use than anyone would like to admit. Approximately 3% of men in the United States have used steroids at some point in their lives, and if you see a guy who looks like an action hero in real life, he’s probably roiding.