The MLB Draft will be here before you know it. While the draft itself will be a shortened affair that lasts just five rounds, there are still many talented prospects expected to be selected to the pros.
Without further ado, here is a look at the top five third basemen available in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Austin Martin, Vanderbilt
The No. 2 prospect in the draft, Martin checks in at 6-foot and 185 pounds. The Florida native was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 37th round of the 2017 draft but wisely returned to high school, boosting his stock in an immense fashion.
Martin appeared at six different positions in his freshman season and is still listed as both an outfielder and third baseman entering the draft. However, with that said, the real question will be whether he patrols the hot corner or switches to second base, which is where he opened the 2019 season. The best offensive third baseman in the upcoming draft, Martin is smooth and talented at the plate while being compact and consistent. He also possesses solid speed (average of one stolen base every 3.25 games), quick feet, and a strong arm that helps him when switching from position to position.
In 140 collegiate games (through 2018 and 2019 plus a few games in 2020 before the season was cancelled), Martin slashed .368/.474/.532 with 76 RBI on 200 hits, including 39 doubles and four triples. His home run totals have been on an incline that suggests optimism; he went yard just once in 2018 (average of one home run per 273 plate appearances) before bringing that number to 10 in 2019 (average of one home run per 32 plate appearances). His 2020 began at an even greater clip as he hit three home runs (average of one home run per 23 plate appearances) before the season was cancelled.
All in all, Martin will be selected quite early and should prove himself immediately in the minors.
Jordan Walker, Decatur (Ga.)
One of the draft’s top high school corner infield prospects, Walker is committed to Duke but will likely be selected by a Major League Baseball team in the upcoming draft process. The 17-year-old Georgia native checks in at a staggering 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds.
Walker has impressive contact but what stands out is his power, which is likely maximized by his tremendous leverage and frame. There are some concerns about Walker’s recognition and awareness at the plate but his confidence coupled with his ability to make adjustments should allow him to overcome those setbacks. He also dons impressive speed with decent arm strength.
In addition to third base, Walker has spent time on the mound. While he won’t flourish as a pitcher, he should find value in showcasing his velocity, which topped out around 95 MPH.
In his junior season, Walker boasted numbers far above the national average with an impressive .519 batting average. He added 60 RBI, 17 home runs, 43 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases.
One of Duke’s best baseball recruits of all-time, Walker should hear his name called early in the second round of the upcoming draft and will likely choose to take the professional route rather than attending college.
Gage Workman, Arizona State
The 20-year-old Workman has garnered significant interest and is one of the most underrated third base prospects in the draft. Previously drafted in the 14th round of the 2017 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, Workman returned to school and posted impressive numbers at Arizona State.
In three collegiate seasons, Workman appeared in 124 games and slashed .298/.372/.496 with 81 RBI on 137 hits, including 25 doubles, 14 home runs, and 12 triples. He notched 48 walks, 138 strikeouts, and 15 stolen bases (20 attempts) along the way.
Checking in at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Workman is a big-bodied and athletic switch-hitter who has a great approach and fabulous power. Better from the lift side of the plate, Workman’s biggest concern offensively is his high strikeout rate. He could also improve his patience at the plate. With smoother footwork than expected out of someone with his frame, Workman should be able to maximize his production on both sides of the field and produce at the pro level immediately.
Workman graduated early and will make an immediate impact with whichever team drafts him. After all, he will be one of the top third basemen drafted and should see long-term success.
Drew Bowser, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.)
Bowser, an 18-year old, is another top third base prospect in this draft. Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Bowser has committed to Stanford in case he pursues a collegiate career instead of the professional route.
Bowser possesses an amazing arm in addition to impressive power; at the Perfect Game All-America Classic, he was named MVP and won the event’s home run derby. He is also a solid defender from a high school with a good track record. A shortstop in high school, this young prospect will likely play third base at the next level, whether that be college or the minors. He has good hands but lacks speed and range, which is why he will likely switch to the hot corner.
Another impressive aspect of Bowser’s game is his ability to improve and take feedback. He once donned a slow bat but was able to make his swing more compact over time.
Choosing to bypass college and pursue pro baseball seems like the top outcome for Bowser but it’s still quite possible that he chooses to honor his commitment to Stanford.
Cayden Wallace, Greenbrier (Ark.)
Wallace, 18, checks in at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds. He has committed to Arkansas and would surely have a huge impact at the collegiate level, but he will likely turn pro barring a deep slide down teams’ draft boards.
Wallace boasts a fabulous bat with great power and exit velocity. Although he is a true third baseman who doesn’t don another main position, his fielding talents aren’t the best part of his game because they are overshadowed by his efforts at the plate. His arm has displayed a 93 MPH fastball on the mound but his glovework needs improvement. He runs well for his size and position, making him a secret weapon on the basepaths.
The Razorback commit has decent vision at the plate and solid bat movement. Power is his best trait when hitting but he has shown that he can be relied on to make contact, too. Power and exit velocity truly make Wallace a terrifying sight for opposing pitchers.
Wallace, a Greenbrier high school product, was named Arkansas’ 2019-20 Gatorade Player of the Year. He won’t command first-round interest when the draft rolls around, but he should be selected in the third or fourth round.