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Top 10 MLB Best Third Basemen of All Time Rankings

Ranking the greatest Third Basemen in MLB history such as Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Chipper Jones, and more

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By Fan Rankings | August 29, 2022 - 12:12 PM

The game of baseball has been around for what seems to be forever while producing a long list of great players and even a great group of Hall of Famers.

As fans love to debate over which player is the Greatest of All-Time, one debate that can be a difficult one is who is the greatest third baseman of All-Time?

When you start to look at the list, it makes you start to think of all the MLB third baseman that warrant their name on the Top 10 MLB Third Baseman All-Time Rankings.

 

One name that is always mentioned as the greatest third baseman of All-Time was the former long-time Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.

While Schmidt headlines the greatest MLB third baseman of All-Time, other greats also warrant consideration including Brooks Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles, George Brett of the Kansas City Royals, Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves, and Wade Boggs of the Boston Red Sox. 

Nonetheless, the history of Major League Baseball is loaded with great third baseman.  In addition, other greats such as Cal Ripken Jr and Alex Rodriguez position more towards shortstop leaving them off the list of the Top 10 MLB Third Baseman All-Time Rankings.

 

With that said, here is our list of the Top 10 MLB Third Baseman All-Time Rankings. 




Honorable Mention

Scott Rolen

Team(s): Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays & Cincinnati Reds

Just missing out on the Top 10 MLB Third Baseman All-Time Rankings list is the former Philadelphia Phillies great Scott Rolen.

Rolen, who also spent time with the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds put together a solid MLB career from 1996 to 2012.

Rolen finished his career as a seven-time MLB All-Star, 1997 NL Rookie of the Year Award winner and World Series while also winning eight Gold Glove Awards.

Rolen posted a career .281 batting average of his career with 2,077 hits and 316 home runs. In addition, Rolen was one of the best fielding third basemen of his generation.

Accolades:
  • 7× All-Star (2002–2006, 2010, 2011)
  • World Series champion (2006)
  • NL Rookie of the Year (1997)
  • 8× Gold Glove Award (1998, 2000–2004, 2006, 2010)
  • Silver Slugger Award (2002)
  • St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame




Buddy Bell

Team(s): Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds & Houston Astros

One name that often gets overlooked among the greatest third baseman of All-Time is that of Buddy Bell. Bell, who played from 1972 to 1989, put together a long-storied MLB career while reaching 2,514 over that stretch.

To go along with the 2,514 hits, Bell posted a career .279 batting average along with 201 home runs and 1,106 hits while winning six Gold Glove Awards and being named to five MLB All-Star teams.

Accolades:
  • 5× All-Star (1973, 1980–1982, 1984)
  • 6× Gold Glove Award (1979–1984)
  • Silver Slugger Award (1984)
  • Texas Rangers Hall of Fame




Top 10 MLB Third Baseman

10. Nolan Arenado

Team(s): Colorado Rockies & St. Louis Cardinals

The only active third baseman to land on the Top 10 MLB Third Baseman All-Time Rankings list is the current St. Louis Cardinals third baseman and former Colorado Rockies great Nolan Arenado.

While MLB fans can debate over who the greatest third baseman is All-Time, one name that is sure to continue to move up that list is Arenado.

Arenado who is just 31 years old has 294 career home runs to go along with a lifetime .289 batting average.

In addition to the strong offensive numbers, Arenado is one of the best defensive third baseman in Major League baseball.

Over his career, Arenado has won three Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards, nine Gold Glove Awards, and five Platinum Glove Awards. 

Accolades:
  • 7× All-Star (2015–2019, 2021, 2022)
  • 9× Gold Glove Award (2013–2021)
  • 5× Platinum Glove Award (2017–2021)
  • 4× Silver Slugger Award (2015–2018)
  • 3× Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award (2015–2017)
  • 3× NL home run leader (2015, 2016, 2018)
  • 2× NL RBI leader (2015, 2016)
  • 4× Fielding Bible Award (2015–2017, 2020)
  • 2× Hit for the cycle (2017, 2022)



9. Ron Santo

Team(s): Chicago White Sox & Chicago Cubs

The former Chicago Cubs great Ron Santo lands at number nine on the list of the greatest third baseman All-Time list.

Santo who played all but one his MLB seasons for the Cubs spent his final season on the Chicago White Sox.

Over his 15-year MLB career, Santo posted an average over .300 in four different seasons en route to a career .277 batting average.

In addition, the longtime Cubs third baseman finished his career with 342 home runs to go along with 365 doubles, 67 triples, and 1,331 runs batted in. Santo’s other MLB accolades include being named to nine NL All-Star teams and taking home five Gold Glove Awards.

Accolades:
  • 9× All-Star (1963–1966, 1968, 1969, 1971–1973)
  • 5× Gold Glove Award (1964–1968)
  • Chicago Cubs No. 10 retired
  • Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame




8. Paul Molitor

Team(s): Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays & Milwaukee Brewers

As a member of the 3,000-hit club, Paul Molitor is one of four third baseman to join that club joining the likes of Wade Boggs, George Brett, and Adrian Beltre.

Molitor who bounced around over his 21 MLB career all in the American League with the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers was as good as any third baseman to play the game.

The MLB Hall of Famer finished his career with a .306 career batting average while posting a mark over .300 in 12 of his 21 MLB seasons.

Molitor finished his career as a seven-time AL All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, World Series Champion, and World Series MVP.

Accolades:
  • 7× All-Star (1980, 1985, 1988, 1991–1994)
  • World Series champion (1993)
  • World Series MVP (1993)
  • 4× Silver Slugger Award (1987, 1988, 1993, 1996)
  • AL Manager of the Year (2017)
  • Milwaukee Brewers No. 4 retired
  • American Family Field Walk of Fame
  • Milwaukee Brewers Wall of Honor
  • Major League Baseball All-Time Team



7. Chipper Jones

Team(s): Atlanta Braves

The longtime Atlanta Braves great and 2018 MLB Hall of Famer Chipper Jones' place among the greatest third baseman of All-Time is a difficult debate.

Jones finished his career as an eight-time NL All-Star as well as 1995 World Series Champion. In addition to his eight All-Star appearances, Jones posted a career .303 batting average across his career with 2,726 hits and 468 home runs in 19 MLB seasons.

His production on the field spoke for itself as he took home 97.2 percent votes on his first ballot to land him in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

Accolades:
  • 8× All-Star (1996–1998, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2011, 2012)
  • World Series champion (1995)
  • NL MVP (1999)
  • 2× Silver Slugger Award (1999, 2000)
  • MLB batting champion (2008)
  • Atlanta Braves No. 10 retired
  • Braves Hall of Fame




6. Wade Boggs

Team(s): Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees & Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Wade Boggs is one of those players that could be slotted in anywhere from number three to number seven on the Top 10 MLB Third Baseman All-Time Rankings list.

Boggs who played from 1982 to 1999, put together a storied career while making 12 AL All-Star teams, and winning a World Series in 1996.

Additional accolades of Boggs include winning two Gold Glove Awards and leading the AL in batting average in five different seasons including four straight from 1985 to 1988.

Boggs finished his career with a career .328 batting average while batting over .300 in 15 of his 18 MLB seasons.

Accolades:
  • 12× All-Star (1985–1996)
  • World Series champion (1996)
  • 2× Gold Glove Award (1994, 1995)
  • 8× Silver Slugger Award (1983, 1986–1989, 1991, 1993, 1994)
  • 5× AL batting champion (1983, 1985–1988)
  • Boston Red Sox No. 26 retired
  • Tampa Bay Rays No. 12 retired
  • Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame



5. Adrian Beltre

Team(s): Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox & Texas Rangers

While Beltre has yet to join the MLB Hall of Fame like many of the names on this list, only time holds him up since he has yet to reach his eligibility date.

When time arrives, Beltre will join the list of other great MLB third baseman in Cooperstown. Beltre put together a stellar 21-year career in baseball while recording 3,166 career hits to go along with 636 doubles, 477 home runs and 1,707 runs batted in.

To go along with the offensive numbers Beltre was a terrific defender taking home five Gold Glove Awards and being named to four MLB All-Star teams.

Accolades:
  • 4× All-Star (2010–2012, 2014)
  • 5× Gold Glove Award (2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2016)
  • 4× Silver Slugger Award (2004, 2010, 2011, 2014)
  • NL home run leader (2004)
  • Texas Rangers No. 29 retired
  • Texas Rangers Hall of Fame




4. Eddie Mathews

Team(s): Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros & Detroit Tigers

Eddie Mathews is one of two MLB third baseman who are members of the 500-home run club with the other being Mike Schmidt.

Mathews appeared in 17 MLB seasons from 1952 to 1968 spending time mostly in the National League before moving to the American League in 1967 and 1968.

The longtime Braves third baseman was named to 12 All-Star teams while winning two World Series Championships and leading the NL in home runs in both 1953 and 1959.

That production helped land Eddie Mathews number four on the Top 10 MLB Third Baseman All-Time Rankings list.

Accolades:
  • 12× All-Star (1953, 1955–1961², 1962²)
  • 2× World Series champion (1957, 1968)
  • 2× NL home run leader (1953, 1959)
  • Atlanta Braves No. 41 retired
  • Braves Hall of Fame
  • American Family Field Walk of Fame




3. George Brett

Team(s): Kansas City Royals

It is hard to know for sure if any other third baseman played the game of baseball with the passion, grit, and hustle that George Brett displayed over the course of his career.

Brett, who played his entire career for the Kansas City Royals was the face of the organization over his career while helping the club win the 1985 World Series.

Over his career from 1973 to 1993, Brett posted a career .305 batting average to go along with 3,154 hits, and 317 home runs and 1,596 runs batted in.

Brett’s career accolades include three AL batting championships, one AL MVP award, an ALCS MVP and being named to 13 AL All-Star teams.

Accolades:
  • 13× All-Star (1976–1988)
  • World Series champion (1985)
  • AL MVP (1980)
  • ALCS MVP (1985)
  • Gold Glove Award (1985)
  • 3× Silver Slugger Award (1980, 1985, 1988)
  • 3× AL batting champion (1976, 1980, 1990)
  • Kansas City Royals No. 5 retired
  • Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame




2. Brooks Robinson

Team(s): Baltimore Orioles

If you love defense, you may have Brooks Robinson at the top of your list of the greatest MLB third baseman of All-Time list.

Nonetheless the debate can be made if he warrants consideration while also putting together a solid career at the plate.

Robinson, who played entire career with the Baltimore Oriole was named to 18 AL All-Star teams while also winning 16 straight Gold Glove Awards at third base. His play in the field earned Robinson a long list of nicknames including the Human Vacuum Cleaner and Mr. Hoover.

To go along with his defensive numbers, Robinson won the 1964 AL MVP Award, led the AL in runs batted in in 1964, and won the 1970 World Series MVP. 

Accolades:
  • 18× All-Star (1960–1974)
  • 2× World Series champion (1966, 1970)
  • AL MVP (1964)
  • World Series MVP (1970)
  • 16× Gold Glove Award (1960–1975)
  • Roberto Clemente Award (1972)
  • AL RBI leader (1964)
  • Baltimore Orioles No. 5 retired
  • Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame
  • Major League Baseball All-Century Team




1. Mike Schmidt

Team(s): Philadelphia Phillies

Landing at number one on the Top 10 MLB Third Baseman All-Time Rankings list is the Philadelphia Phillies great and MLB Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. Schmidt, like fellow MLB great Brooks Robinson, played his entire career with one organization.

Over that stretch from 1972 to 1989 Schmidt put together a Hall of Fame career posting a career .267 batting average while hitting 548 career home runs to go along with 2,234 hits.

In addition, Schmidt was no slouch in the field taking home 10 Gold Glove Awards. The awards didn't stop there as Schmidt took home three NL MVP awards, was named to 12 NL All-Star teams, won the 1980 World Series MVP, led the NL in home runs in eight different seasons, and hit four home runs in one game.

Accolades:
  • 12× All-Star (1974, 1976, 1977, 1979–1984, 1986, 1987, 1989)
  • World Series champion (1980)
  • 3× NL MVP (1980, 1981, 1986)
  • World Series MVP (1980)
  • 10× Gold Glove Award (1976–1984, 1986)
  • 6× Silver Slugger Award (1980–1984, 1986)
  • 8× NL home run leader (1974–1976, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986)
  • 4× NL RBI leader (1980, 1981, 1984, 1986)
  • Hit 4 home runs in one game on April 17, 1976
  • Philadelphia Phillies No. 20 retired
  • Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame
  • Major League Baseball All-Century Team
  • Major League Baseball All-Time Team



How would you rank these great Major League Baseball third basemen? Rank below to be added in the Power Rankings.

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