Stark: Is this the golden age of third basemen?

From SABR member Jayson Stark at on June 2, 2016:

If we asked you to name the golden age of third basemen, what would you say? Would you tell us about the 1970s, the days of Mike Schmidt and George Brett? Would you tell us about the 1960s, the days of Brooks Robinson and Ron Santo?

Maybe you’d nominate the 1980s, when Wade Boggs, Bill Madlock, Carney Lansford and Brett were all winning batting titles at third base. Or possibly you’d decide it was just a decade ago, a time when Chipper Jones, Miguel Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez and Adrian Beltre were the stars of this class.

But here’s another thought. Suppose the golden age of third basemen is right now? Seriously. Look around. Give it some thought. Maybe this is as good as it gets.

You could make a case that Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado are the MVPs in each league right now. The AL MVP last year was a third baseman (Josh Donaldson). The top three finishers in the NL rookie-of-the-year voting were third basemen (Kris Bryant, Matt Duffy, Jung Ho Kang). The guy who won the Home Run Derby (Todd Frazier) was a third baseman.

Beltre is closing in on Cooperstown. David Wright and Evan Longoria are the faces of their franchise. Nick Castellanos and Martin Prado are threatening to lead their leagues in hitting. Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rendon and Chase Headley have been top-five MVP finishers. And we haven’t even mentioned Kyle Seager, Maikel Franco, Mike Moustakas, Justin Turner or Travis Shaw yet.

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Originally published: June 3, 2016. Last Updated: June 3, 2016.