As we inch closer to the 2023 season, I am going to give top three prospects at each position. This will be based on where they currently play and also where they may end up. This will culminate with my newly updated top 30 prospects before the season starts. This week, we are looking at the third base position.
1. Joe Perez
After a breakout performance in 2021, Perez had and up and down 2022 season. He made his big league debut early with a call-up due to injuries. He went back down to Double-A and had a .731 OPS before finishing the season in Triple-A, and he finished hot. Perez hit .483 in 8 games in Triple-A to finish off a year where he hit .290 overall in 83 games. It felt like a lost season at times, but Perez has the most upside of anyone on the list with potential to add more power to his game too. He has a great arm at the hot corner and is still only 23 years old.
2022 Stats: 83 G, .290 BA/.359 OBP/.417 SLG, 20 2B, 7 HR, 37 RBI, 4 SB
2. Will Wagner
Wagner, the son of former Astros closer Billy Wagner, was a 2021 draftee and had a good first full season in the Astros organization after a solid college career. Wagner played in 117 games between High-A and Double-A and slashed .261/.374/.394 with 19 2B, 10 HR, 53 RBI. He also put up a really good walk rate (13.5%) and strikeout rate (19.7%) as he made his way up the system. Wagner has played multiple infield positions but has the arm strength to succeed at third base. Read more on Wagner here.
2022 Stats: 117 G, .261 BA/.374 OBP/.394 SLG, 19 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 53 RBI, 8 SB
3. Corey Julks
Ranking third here is not a knock, just shows the depth at third base. Julks was solid in 2021 but had a breakout season in 2022. The 26-year-old and his new found power led the Astros system with 31 HR in 130 games, all coming in Triple-A. He also managed to hit .270 and steal 22 bases with the increased power. While Sugar Land plays in some great hitter’s parks, Julks performed better at home (.882 OPS) despite Constellation Field playing down compared to the rest of the PCL. He started his career in the outfield but saw allot of time at third in 2022. Read more about him here.
2022 Stats: 130 G, .270 BA/.351 OBP/.503 SLG, 21 2B, 4 3B, 31 HR, 89 RBI, 22 SB