MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

2017 Prospect Watch: Top 10 third basemen

Red Sox's Devers king of hot corner, Reds' Senzel, Blue Jays' Vlad Jr. follow

2017 Prospect Watch: Top 10 third basemen

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Third base is definitely an offensive position. MLBPipeline's Top 10 Third Base Prospects list starts with two of the game's top power prospects (the Red Sox's Rafael Devers, the Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) and two of the best pure hitters in the Minors (the Reds' Nick Senzel, the Giants' Christian Arroyo).

Top 10 Prospects by Position
RHP - Breakdown | List
LHP - Breakdown | List
C - Breakdown | List
1B - Breakdown | List
2B - Breakdown | List
3B - Breakdown | List
SS - Breakdown | List
OF - Breakdown | List
Top 100 - List revealed on Sat., Jan. 28

The question is how many of these players will remain at the hot corner. Among the Top 10, only Matt Chapman (Athletics) rates as a plus defender or better -- and he also happened to lead the Double-A Texas League with 29 homers last season. Senzel and Ke'Bryan Hayes (Pirates) are the only others who grade as better than average.

Scouting reports, grades, stats and video on Prospect Watch

1. Rafael Devers, Red Sox
Devers has been overshadowed in Boston's system by the likes of Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada, but that should change in 2017 with Benintendi in the big leagues and Moncada traded to the White Sox. Devers blends a rare combination of hitting ability and power potential, and he's ready for Double-A at age 20.

Top Prospects: Devers, BOS

2. Nick Senzel, Reds
The best college bat and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 Draft, Senzel hit .329/.415/.567 in low Class A and may not require much time in the Minors. Not only will he hit for average, but he also has developing power, draws a lot of walks and plays a fine third base.

Top Prospects: Senzel, CIN

3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
It's not hyperbole to say that his offensive upside rivals that of his father, who just missed election to the Hall of Fame by 15 votes. Guerrero Jr. has everything needed to do a lot of damage at the plate: bat speed, strength, hand-eye coordination, feel for hitting and a mature approach.

Top Prospects: Guerrero Jr., TOR

4. Christian Arroyo, Giants
After spending most of his first three years as a pro at shortstop, Arroyo saw as much action at third base as he did at short in 2016. He fits better defensively at the hot corner and still profiles offensively there, thanks to his ability to barrel balls about as well as any prospect.

Top Prospects: Arroyo, SF

5. Jeimer Candelario, Cubs
No player on this list is more in need of a trade than Candelario, who's blocked by Kris Bryant at third base and Anthony Rizzo at first base. Candelario has the bat to start for several clubs, as he's a switch-hitter who makes repeated contact, drives the ball and takes a lot of walks.

Top Prospects: Candelario, CHC

6. Matt Chapman, Athletics
The 2016 Texas League MVP finished third in the Minors with 36 homers between Double-A and Triple-A, and his defense can be just as jaw-dropping as his power. Chapman can make any throw needed with an arm that once delivered 98-mph fastballs on the mound, and his hands and range are assets as well.

Top Prospects: Chapman, OAK

7. Miguel Andujar, Yankees
Andujar has raw power and arm strength similar to if not quite the equal of Chapman's. He reached Double-A and played in the Arizona Fall League at age 21, so he's not too far away from Yankee Stadium.

Top Prospects: Andujar, NYY

8. Austin Riley, Braves
Riley entered 2015 as one of the top high school pitching prospects in the Draft, yet he wound up a supplemental first-round pick as a position player in June. Another member of this Top 10 who stands out for his power and arm strength, he bashed 17 homers and slugged .581 in the second half of last season.

Top Prospects: Riley, ATL

9. Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pirates
Hayes could be a better pure hitter and definitely is a better defender than his father Charlie, who spent 14 years in the Majors as a third baseman. Hampered by a fractured rib during his first full pro season, Ke'Bryan could break out in 2017.

Top Prospects: Hayes, PIT

10. Hunter Dozier, Royals
A surprise pick at No. 8 overall in 2013, Dozier stalled for two years in Double-A until he finally stopped trying to yank every pitch out of the park last year. He's capable of hitting for some average and power while playing a capable third base, though he's blocked at the hot corner in Kansas City and may wind up on an outfield corner.

Top Prospects: Dozier, KC

Next up
The 2016 Draft provided several intriguing third-base prospects who could climb onto this list a year from now. A two-way standout who helped Arizona get within a win of the 2016 College World Series championship, Bobby Dalbec (Red Sox) has massive raw power and posted a 1.101 OPS in his pro debut. Lucas Erceg (Brewers) has a similar background, sticking out most for his pop, pulling double duty in college and excelling in his first taste of pro ball.

High schooler Joshua Lowe (Rays) also was a two-way star and was one of the best all-around athletes available in the 2016 Draft, one of the reasons that he went 13th overall. Nolan Jones (Indians) ranked as one of the top hitters in last year's prep class and also has promising power.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.