The Top 10 Third Basemen in Cleveland Indians History

The Top 10 Third Basemen in Cleveland Indians History

Indians

The Top 10 Third Basemen in Cleveland Indians History

Updated October 2018

The top ten Cleveland Indians third basemen of all time. For more information on any player click on the link on their name for their All-Time Indians Bio. Third has been one of the weakest positions in Indians history, but the list does include the last Indians MVP and quite a few fan favorites.

10. Lonnie Chisenhall – Years Starting 3B: 2013-2016

Like Blake to follow, Chisenhall began his career at third, but didn’t really take off until moved to right field. Calf injuries cost him his final two years in an Indians uniform and kept him on the 3B rather than the top 10 right fielders where he would have been closer to #6. Mostly a doubles hitter, he had 132 over eight seasons with just 64 home runs.

9. Larry Gardner – 1919-1922

Gardner was the starting third baseman on Tris Speaker‘s 1920 World Series championship team. He didn’t have a particularly long career, but still hit 128 doubles and 36 triples.

8. Casey Blake – 2003-2004, 2007-2008

Blake was one of the more versatile players in recent Indians history, switching to right field full time in 2005, but moving back to third at the end of his time in Cleveland.

7. Brook Jacoby – 1984-1990, 1992

Jacoby started eight seasons for the Tribe, missing just 1991 when Carlos Baerga was used primarily at third. His consistancy over this long period allowed him to become third all-time in home runs, doubles and RBI among third basemen.

6. Travis Fryman – 1998-2000, 2002

Fryman took over for Matt Williams after they were traded for each other from the expansion Diamondbacks in 1997. Fryman then won a Gold Glove and made the All-Star team in 2000.

5. Toby Harrah – 1979-1983

Harrah was certainly an underrated player during his time with the Tribe. His time at third occured during a particularly down part of Indians history, but he still managed a decent combination of good productivity and longevity.

4. Bill Bradley – 1901-1910

Bradley was the Indians first third baseman and the only one over the next 100+ years that could be considered speedy. He leads every player on this list in triples and steals. He is still the second longest tenured 3B in Indians history, starting 10 years for the Blues and Naps.

3. Jose Ramirez – 2014-Present

Easily the Indians best offensive third baseman over the last fifty years, Ramirez is also a defensive stalwart and has been the starter on two consecutive All-Star teams at third. His speed on the bases gives the Indians something they haven’t seen from a third baseman since Bradley in 1910 and his power rivals the best of the best. He walks more often and strikes out less than nearly everyone on this list, particularly considering his contemporaries. While he has moved to second to end both 2017 and 2018 and started as a short stop, he will be considered a third baseman until he is permanently moved.

2. Ken Keltner – 1938-1944, 1946-1949

Keltner was the longest tenured third baseman in Indians history, starting for 11 of his 12 seasons with the team. He was an above average hitter and helped the Indians win their last World Series in 1948 as the starting third baseman. He leads all Indians third basemen in career games, runs scored, hits, doubles and RBI and is second in home runs. In 1950 he was released to make room for #1 on the list.

1. Al Rosen – 1950-1956

Rosen was the Indians last MVP in 1953 and was part of both the 1948 and 1954 Indians World Series teams. He hit more home runs than any other Indians third baseman ever (if you consider Thome a first baseman) and is second in RBI despite playing in 500 less games than the leader (Keltner). His .285 career average is second behind just Gardner while his slugging percent remains number one among third basemen.

Third Base AB 2B HR RBI BB SB OBP SLG
Al Rosen 3725 165 192 717 587 39 .386 .495
Ken Keltner 5655 306 163 850 511 39 .332 .441
Jose Ramirez 2292 165 87 309 249 93 .357 .488
Bill Bradley 4648 238 27 473 242 157 .303 .373
Toby Harrah 2577 111 70 324 403 82 .383 .417
Travis Fryman 2184 116 74 343 212 14 .339 .440
Brook Jacoby 4314 192 120 524 428 14 .338 .412
Casey Blake 2981 183 116 417 281 28 .337 .451
Larry Gardner 2306 128 10 401 223 22 .349 .400
Lonnie Chisenhall 2159 132 64 296 150 20 .320 .427

Borderline: Graig Nettles, Buddy Bell, Max AlvisWillie Kamm, Matt Williams

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