Ranking the NL East: Third Base

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Oct 6, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) hits a single during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants in game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Third base in the NL East boasts two former All Stars, another who should begin making annual appearances soon, seven top 10 MVP seasons, two top 5, three Silver Slugger awards, and two Gold Gloves. There’s a lot of talent here, and while the supremacy of David Wright as the top third basemen is being challenged by Anthony Rendon, there’s youth to be had in Cody Asche in Philadelphia and a new arrival in Martin Prado who’s no stranger to those familiar with NL East baseball.

Will Chris Johnson with the Braves bounce back from a down year? Will Wright recover from an injured left shoulder? Is Rendon the real deal, or was last year a career year and the kid’s already reached his ceiling? What about Asche? Does he begin to prove all those scouting reports right and fulfill all the promise that had the Phillies selecting him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft?

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I believe that two of the men in this group will be playing in the All-Star game this year and will finish as the two best third basemen in the NL. You probably don’t need to guess who those two are if you follow me at all.

There are three teams in the East with legitimate chances to win the division or take a wild card spot, and three of the players listed here will play key roles. Will one of these players win an MVP this year?

If I had anything to say about it, both Rendon and Wright already would have. 2015 will be an interesting year, and it’s probably the last year that there will be any reasonable debate about the division’s best.

Next: Number Five?