AL East Positional Rankings: A Step Back in 2017 for Third Base

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers /
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Josh Donaldson
Josh Donaldson /

2. Toronto Blue Jays – Josh Donaldson, Darwin Barney, Chris Coghlan, *Note – Russell Martin started nine games at third base, and did not make any errors….

Josh Donaldson had a year that was actually quite good but was affected by injuries. Donaldson hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 21 doubles, 78 runs batted in and 65 runs in 113 games for the Blue Jays.

The three-time All-Star had a 4.6 offensive WAR and a 0.5 defensive WAR for Toronto. Donaldson’s fielding percentage and range numbers were slightly below average, which reflected the fact that he is not quite the defender that Machado is. Donaldson had 13 errors in 273 changes for Toronto.

Barney served as Toronto’s utility man in 2017 and saw a lot of work due to injury. Coghlan, who made almost a third of his career starts at third base in 2017, struggled defensively with four errors in 32 chances. He didn’t make up for it offensively either, hitting the Mendoza line at .200/.299/.267 in 88 plate appearances.

Donaldson has one more year in Toronto, and then he also will be a free agent. The position could be very different across the division after 2018.