Is Detroit Tigers’ third baseman Jeimer Candelario a top 10 third-baseman in baseball?
Known to some as the Detroit Tigers 2021 MVP and our position player of the year, Jeimer Candelario has been quietly proving that he is one of the best third-basemen in baseball. But, where does he rank? Along with, how does he compete with the rest of the MLB at a position that is the home of some elite names in the sport?
Jeimer started getting a lot more attention not only from Tigers fans but from fans and analysts all around the sport during the 2020 season. In the early part of the 2020 season, Jeimer started the year with an 0/27 slump in the box.
Though as the year went on his bat started to heat up and he ended the year slashing, .297/.369/.503/.872 stat line. Though it was a great year for Jeimer a lot of fans thought it was just lucky with it being a 60 game season and facing the same 7 teams all year. But, Candelario proved a lot of his doubters wrong this year, in a full 162 game season.
In 2021 Jeimer Candelario had an outstanding year, really pushing the point that he is a top 10 third-basemen in baseball. Candy finished the year with a 3.2 WAR, which would give him the 10th highest war among all third-basemen.
In addition to being top 10 in WAR, he also ranked 9th in wRC+, 8th in BB%, 9th in OBP, 9th in OPS. Ranking top 10 is some of the most important hitting stats in baseball. Those were just the areas where he was top 10. Jeimer has some stats where he ranks top 5! Those being, BABIP where he ranked 3rd, and Batting average where he finished 5th, and the cherry on top is he finished third in the whole MLB in doubles with 43!
(Chart list the stats named above)
Furthermore, Jeimer plays good defense over at the hot corner. This is where the eye test is very important because, if you take a deep dive and look at Jeimers advanced fielding numbers it would show he is a below-average defensive third-basemen.
But, if you watch his play on the field you would see he is a very suitable defender over there. Now yes, he does have stuff he could easily clean up to take his defense to the next step, and if he does we could argue that he could even crack a top 5 third-basement spot.
But if Jeimer is so good why isn’t he talked about more in the division?
That is because he plays in the same division as a yearly MVP candidate in Jose Ramirez that also is a third-basement and Yoan Moncada who is also a very good player that is on a really good White sox team. So Candy gets overlooked. But Jeimer holds his own when you dig down and look at his numbers.
So in conclusion, I believe that Jeimer Candelario not only has a case to be called a top 10 third basemen but he has an EXTREMELY good case. Being a top hitter in almost every hitting stat while being an average to slightly above average defender is something you don’t come across often and I think it’s time Jeimer starts getting the recognition and credit he deserves for being a top third-basemen in the league.