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  • The Five Best Third Basemen In Brewers History

    Harold Hutchison

    At times, the Brewers have seen some of their best players man the hot corner. At other times, it has been a revolving door where nobody nailed down the position.

    Image courtesy of © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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    The recent signing of Brian Anderson, a one-time Marlin, brings into focus the best the Brewers have had at third base over the years.

    5. Tommy Harper
    .264/.354/.410 with 54 HR and 175 RBI over three seasons

    Harper was arguably the first superstar of the Brewers. During his three seasons manning the hot corner, he posted one 30-30 season while also leading the league in steals (with a record that still stands today in Brewers history) with the Seattle Pilots in their lone 1969 season. Harper brought outstanding on-base skills to the table and handled second base and all three outfield positions. He was dealt to Boston in the deal that brought George Scott to the Brewers.

    4. Aramis Ramirez
    .284/.342/.473 with 65 HR and 262 RBI over four seasons

    Ramirez was a free-agent signing, and for most of four seasons, he held down the hot corner for the Crew. His first season was the best by far, but he provided solid offensive production during the rest of his tenure until he was traded for Yhonathan Barrios.

    3. Don Money
    .270/.338/.421 with 134 HR and 529 RBI in 11 seasons, five as primary third baseman

    Don Money was the primary third baseman for five years, held down second base for another, and was a valuable utility player for five other seasons, playing all over the infield. He brought power to the table. Two of his four career All-Star Game appearances came as the Crew’s primary third baseman, along with a top-30 finish in MVP balloting.

    2. Jeff Cirillo
    .307/.383/.449 with 73 HR and 418 RBI in 8 seasons, five as primary third baseman

    Jeff Cirillo had two stints in Milwaukee. In his first, he proved to be one of the best pure hitters the franchise had ever seen. He made contact, and while he never was a home run threat, he hit many doubles and was able to coax walks before his involvement in a fateful three-team trade before the 2000 season. In his second stint with the team. He saw a return to that form and proved a valuable utility player for two years.

    1. Paul Molitor
    .303/.367/.404 with 160 HR and 790 RBI in 15 seasons, six as primary third baseman

    The Ignitor ranks as one of the iconic players in franchise history, with a heartbreaking departure via free agency. Injuries robbed him of the 1984 season and parts of others, but when he was on the field, Molitor could crush a home run but also made his mark on the base paths with a franchise record 412 steals. Molitor also held down second base for three seasons, then spent time at first base, center field, and designated hitter.

    Honorable Mentions
    While his decision to let Molitor walk in free agency was infamous, Sal Bando served as the primary starter at third base for three seasons for the Crew. Travis Shaw averaged four wins above replacement as the primary third baseman in 2017 and 2018. Ryan Braun posted one outstanding offensive season as the primary third baseman. Since his move to left field, the Brewers had seven primary starters throughout his career, plus others who rotated in. Until Shaw’s arrival, Braun outproduced every primary starter at third base on offense.

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    I think Clancy has this one totally right.




    A Ramirez


    I generally like to stand up for the 1970s Brewers, and Tommy Harper was a unique hitter, responsible for one of the top 5 offensive seasons in team history.  But he wasn't here long enough to merit a higher spot, and his defense was certainly the worst of this group of players.

    And I can go back and forth on whether  Cirillo or Don Money gets the 2/3 spots.  Cirillo's 4 year stretch from 1996-99 was better than Money's peak, so I lean towards Jeff Cirillo at #2.

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    Harper really was an incredible offensive asset - and I'd have loved to have seen a player with that profile on the 2017-2022 Brewers. 

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    Just a little surprised one name was missing in Kevin Seitzer, over 5 years batting .300/.376/.422. for the Brew. Him , Cirillo, Ramirez, and Mark Loretta were some of my favorites as a kid.

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    On 1/25/2023 at 12:16 AM, BrewersRice said:

    Just a little surprised one name was missing in Kevin Seitzer, over 5 years batting .300/.376/.422. for the Brew.

    Yeah, I'd have him in my top 5 and he's not even in the Honorable Mention. Weird omission. 

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