Who is the best recently upgraded third basemen to use? Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, or Todd Frazier?

In the past roster update, SDS has given some nice rating boosts to three new third basemen. Donaldson upgraded to a 93 overall, making him a Diamond Card. Manny Machado jumped up 6 points to a 92 overall, making him one point away from a Diamond. Todd Frazier has taken MLB by surprise this year with his power surge and recently got upgraded from an 87 to a 91 overall. Besides emptying your wallet for Schmidt, Cabrera, or Brett, these are all three viable choices for 3rd base. So which one is the best for you?

Josh Donaldson

Donaldson has been an MVP candidate for the AL and has finally gotten his due in MLB The Show. Is he the right fit for your team, though?

Lets start with Donaldson’s hitting…He has 68 contact and 76 power vs right handed pitching and 87 contact and 92 power vs lefties. Out of the three, he has the best splits vs lefties. However, his splits vs righties is something left to be desired (ranked 23rd among all third basemen) and right handed pitching is the majority of what you will see in Diamond Dynasty. Frazier has more power vs right handed pitching, while Machado has more contact vs righties. Personally, I did not hit too great with Donaldson. His stance may bother some as well and he seemed vulnerable to inside pitches. This could have just been my personal experience, however, and it is always best not to rely on a small sample size.

Donaldson’s defense is above average. His 67 reaction is not the greatest, but he has a good glove over there. I’d compare his defense to George Brett. Donaldson ranks ahead of Frazier, defensively, but is behind Machado.

Donaldson’s speed and baserunning is sub par. He is behind both Machado and Frazier in these categories. There is nothing special at all here. So what is Donaldson good at and why should you use him? He is much more affordable than Schmidt and has similar splits, albeit Schmidt does have the advantage overall. His defense is above average and he does have good power, overall, even against righties (ranked 7th overall despite the 76 overall rating). However, he is the most expensive out of the three players we are comparing.

Overall, I would Donaldson is the guy for you if you want a good balance of defense and hitting. He truly only shines vs left handed pitching and is a good player to sandwich in between two left handed bats.
MLB15_The_Show_Donaldson_overall

Manny Machado

Machado has emerged this year and has started hitting for power. In his recent update, he got a huge boost in power, bumping up his power vs RHP at 71 and LHP at 67. Machado’s contact is 71 vs both righties and lefties. Overall, he has balanced splits, along with a high clutch (95) and solid vision (72) and discipline (60).

Machado’s strength comes on defense, however. Besides Schmidt and Robinson, Machado is the best defensive third basemen. Overall, he has 92 fielding (ranked 3rd overall, 86 Arm Strength (ranked 3rd), and 72 reaction (7th overall). Compared to Donaldson and Frazier, Machado outshines them drastically in defense. Machado can also play SS for you if needed.
Speed and baserunning isn’t bad for Machado either, at least compared to other third basemen. Machado ranks 6th overall, among 3b, in speed and is 2nd in stealing, behind Rendon. Overall, Machado is actually an above average baserunner.

Machado will only cost you 8-9k, as well, and can get the job done, regardless if you are running a budget squad or high power team. Personally, I hit pretty well in the two games I used him, including a homerun. I speculate that I could hit much better with Machado vs righties over guys like Schmidt and Donaldson due to his balance splits. His stance is a bit more relaxing to me and his cold zones are less forgiving. He also has power to all fields, while Donaldson and Frazier are more dead pull hitters.
MLB15_The_Show_Machado_Overall

Todd Frazier

Frazier has the most power of the three and ranks 2nd, behind Schmidt, among all third basemen. He has 65 contact and 89 power vs righties, while he has 69 and 96 vs lefties. His clutch(70), plate vision(64), and discipline (60) are all slightly above average but nothing too special. This will make Frazier’s PCI a bit smaller compared to Donaldson and Machado. The power is the most important attribute for Frazier and where he really shines at, however.

Defensively, Frazier is below average with 68 fielding, 65 arm strength, and 60 reaction. There is nothing to write home about and you would get about the same fielding with a player like Miguel Cabrera playing at 3b, despite it being his secondary position.

Speed and baserunning is something where Frazier excels at, surprisingly. He ranks 2nd in speed among all third basemen and third for stealing. 70 speed is very good for a third basemen. Lets keep in mind players like Peter Bourjos and Drew Stubbs are only in the 70’s for speed.

Frazier is actually the cheapest out of the three on the market. He can be bought for 6-8k stubbs.
Personally, Frazier is someone I’d use over Donaldson, since his splits are more balanced. He is a poor man’s Mike Schmidt at the plate, but has more forgiving cold zones.
MLB15_The_Show_Frazier_Overall

So who should I choose and why?
Well the grand question is which newly updated third basemen studs should you use and why? It really depends on your style and what type of hitter you are, plus what type of team you have. If you are running a small budget team then I recommend Frazier or Machado for sure. Donaldson’s price is very inflated due to his diamond status and really is not even a superior hitter out of the three.

If you are a good pull hitter, especially if you use Directional then I’d recommend Frazier. Aim up and in and swing early! If you can pull the heat with zone then I’d recommend Frazier to you as well. However, most zone hitters have trouble pulling everything consistently, so if you are more of a push hitter then I recommend Machado. If you are running just high budget team and looking for a third basemen to platoon vs lefties then I recommend Donaldson. His splits are the best vs lefties and he will play above average defense for you over there.

One last thing to keep in mind is that stadiums you like to play in. If you play at a big park with huge gaps then Machado can best be utilized with his good gap power hitter to all fields. If you play at a park with a short porch to left then Donaldson or Frazier with their dead pull spray charts may be your best fit.

Remember to try all three, if possible. Let me know who you guys prefer and why? Also if you want to come these players in action, check out my stream where I have been using all three (twitch.tv/cardinalbird5). Happy gaming to everyone and hopefully you guys can now fill a hole at third base! Check back daily for new MLB 15 The Show Tips and more info from all of your favorite sports games!

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Cardinalbird5
Derek is a 27 year old that has been a sports gaming enthusiast since his early age. He has played sports games since he was age 5, going from RBI Baseball on the NES to MVP Baseball 2005 on the Xbox and now to MLB The Show on PS3/PS4. He plays MLB The Show competitively and has been ranked in the top 10 the past three years, as well as winning multiple challenges of the week. Derek strides to play sim, innovative, and implement real life baseball tactics that you see in the game today. He is also a huge St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Dolphins fan.