With the departure of Jace Peterson, the trio of Luis Urias, Brian Anderson, and Mike Brosseau are likely to take over most of the duties at third base in 2023. The Brewers have a myriad of options at the hot corner beyond those three, including rookie utility man Brice Turang and other utility infielders like Abraham Toro and Eddy Alvarez.
Let’s take a look at Milwaukee’s options at third base heading into the season.
After missing the start of 2022 with an injury, Urias turned in a strong year across 119 games with Milwaukee, slashing .239/.335/.404 with 16 homers and 47 RBIs. Finishing with an OPS+ above 110 in both 2021 and 2022, Urias has proven that he can be an everyday player with Milwaukee, and his ability to play all over the infield makes him a valuable asset for Craig Counsell.
Urias played 73 games at third base, 46 games at second base, and 24 games at shortstop in 2022, and there’s a pretty good chance those splits will stick in 2023. Urias has finished with a 3.1 WAR in each of the last two seasons, and he’s projected for a similar season in 2023, with a .249/.337/.412 slash line, 16 homers, and 56 RBIs, according to Baseball Reference.
In his age-30 season and his first season outside of Miami, Anderson will be looking for a bounce-back campaign with the Crew. He hasn’t appeared in more than 100 games since 2019, although he did play in 98 games in 2022. A career .256/.341/.410 hitter, Anderson was a valuable asset in Miami’s offense in both 2018 and 2019, finishing top two on the team in WAR in both years.
In limited appearances at spring training with the Brewers, Anderson has four hits, including a homer. With appearances at every position except for pitcher and catcher, Anderson offers more versatility for Milwaukee. While his primary position is third base (332 games), he’s also played quite a bit of right field (182 games), including 35 starts in right field with Miami last season. With the injury to Tyrone Taylor, it’ll be interesting to see if Counsell utilizes Anderson in a larger outfield role to open the season.
After being traded to Milwaukee last offseason, Brosseau appeared in a career-high 69 games with the Brewers, slashing a solid .255/.344/.418 with six homers and 23 RBIs in a super-utility role. While 55 of his appearances were at third base, he also appeared at shortstop, first base, and pitcher. He’s played at every position except for catcher across his career, and his slightly above-average bat (career 108 OPS+) makes him a solid backup at any spot on the diamond.
Baseball Reference projects him to have a career-high 297 plate appearances with a .239/.314/.409 slash line and 10 homers, which would also be a career-best. With Milwaukee having so many options all over the infield, expect to see Brosseau playing all over with the Brewers in 2023.
Milwaukee’s 2018 first-round pick, Turang has developed into a decent all-around player. While he hasn’t yet made his MLB debut, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll make Milwaukee’s opening day roster after spending his entire 2022 at AAA Nashville.
In 131 games with the Sounds, Turang slashed .286/.360/.412 with 13 homers and 78 RBIs. While he primarily played shortstop in Nashville, Turang can also play in the outfield and at second base and third base. Stuck behind Willy Adames at short, he’ll likely see most of his reps at second base and third base in the bigs.
Toro, acquired from Seattle this offseason, hasn’t produced thus far in his big-league career. Even with a career-high 109-game sample size last season, he hit just .185/.239/.324 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs. His career OPS+ is just 74, and he hasn’t had an above-average season up to this point in his career.
He’s looked solid so far in spring ball, slashing .250/.357/.500 with a homer and four RBIs across 14 plate appearances. Like the others on this list, he can play at multiple positions, with most of his appearances coming at second base and third base. He’ll likely get more opportunities at second base in 2023 considering the Brewers' depth at third. Milwaukee will look to unlock some of Toro’s potential in 2023, as he’s still just 26.
A former speed skater who medaled at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Alvarez spent 2022 with the Dodgers after two seasons with Miami. In 50 career games, he’s hit just .183/.262/.262 with one homer and 11 RBIs. With it unlikely that he’ll make Milwaukee’s opening day roster, Alvarez will offer some depth for the Brewers later in the season, as he can play all over the infield and outfield.