WATCH LIST: MANNY MACHADO

Photo: Steve Cummings/HotStoveHeat.com

PARENT CLUB – BALTIMORE ORIOLES
DRAFTED – Baltimore 2010, 3rd overall (Brito Miami Private School, Miami, FL)
CURRENT ASSIGNMENT – AA Bowie Baysox (Eastern League)
NOTES: Baltimore Orioles #2 Prospect (Baseball America), #9 on Baseball America Mid-season top 50 Prospect List

Manny Machado was drafted out of high school with the third overall pick (behind Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon) in 2010. He only appeared in nine games in 2010 between the Gulf Coast Rookie league and the New York Penn Short-Season league. 2011 saw stops between loA Delmarva (South Atlantic) and hiA Frederick (Carolina) where Machado hit .257/.335/.421. At age 21, Machado is listed at 6-3, 180 and has the hands and athleticism to be a solid major league shortstop with a good bat and some pop that projects to get better as he grows. With that height and frame, he’s a good fit at third as well.

PLAYER PAGE at MLB.com
PLAYER PAGE at MiLB.com

OCTOBER 4, 2013

Manny Machado was one of the early entrants on the HotStoveHeat.com Watch List and he shattered the concept in short order. What this section was set up to do was identify minor leaguers or college players that caught HotStoveHeat.com’s eye and follow them as they climbed through the ranks towards the major leagues, whether the results were for better or for worse.

Machado was playing in AA at the time of his addition to this section in July of 2012 and things weren’t going so well for the former #3 overall draft pick. But he got a surprise callup in August of 2012 for the equally surprising pennant run that the Orioles were putting on and he has never looked back.

When Manny Machado went down with a knee injury in the waning days of the 2013 season, he had played in 156 games as the Orioles’ everyday 3B and his batting line was .283/.314/.432. Well into the season he was on pace to set the MLB record for doubles but he had to “settle” for 51 two-baggers this season. His bat was good enough to land him on the 2013 AL All-Star team but it was what he did with the glove that drew the most open-mouthed responses.  

Manny Machado’s off the Watch List. This thread will stay up, but his progress has left the realm of a prospect trying to make the bigs. In the struggle of young baseball players to make it to The Show, Machado blew right through the minors and is an established major leaguer. An All-Star. In other words, it’s over…he won.

SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

A tough break for Machado as he suffered a freak injury to his left knee on a nothing play where he had an easy single. The immediate visual was scary as Machado went down in a heap, screaming in agony. But it was revealed the next day that there were no tears and his recovery would be roughly 6-8 weeks.

Nevertheless, the injury ended the first full big-league season of this phenom who had played in 156 games in his first full season on the big league level in the year he turned 21.

JUNE 28, 2013

The slow start is long past for Baltimore’s third baseman, who is likely looking at an All-Star spot. Machado’s hitting line is .318/.348/.479 and after 81 games he has 37 doubles. That full-season pace of 74 would beat the all-time record of 67 set in 1931 by Earl Webb.

With all the batting success, Machado is a standout with the glove as well, leading all third baseman in FanGraphs.com’s Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR/150 rating) stats. For non-FanGraphs folks, those are metrics for runs prevented on defense (DRS) and how much range a defender covers (UZR/150). Machado’s at the top of the list for both as well as other defensive categories. (More explanations here).

For a player who was expected to excel, it has been a surprisingly good first half of the year for the 20-year old in his first full big league season.

APRIL 10, 2013

Manny Machado started the 2013 season as Baltimore’s everyday third baseman at age 20, following his late-season success last year. He’s off to a slow start with the bat but tonight saw some heroics in an 8-5 comeback win over the Red Sox. After the Orioles tied the game with two ninth-inning runs, Machado belted a three-run homer to provide the margin of victory at 8-5.

It was Manny’s first homer of the season and he now sits at .200/.243/.314 with 4 RBI in 35 AB. In the field, he has logged 70 innings with no errors on 19 chances, 5 PO and 14 A.

OCTOBER 10, 2012

The Orioles made the playoffs as a wild card team and had a one-game battle with Texas. Baltimore won, with Machado going 1-for-3 with an RBI.

The Orioles are battling the Yankees in the  Division Series currently, and Baltimore faces elimination after tonight’s 3-2, 12-inning loss in New York. Machado hit a go-ahead home run in the fifth inning off of Hiroki Kuroda to make it 2-1 Baltimore. But Raul Ibanez came off the bench for the Yanks and tied it in the ninth with a bomb, then  won it in the 12th with another. The homer was Machado’s first hit in the series, and he now stands at 1-for-10 as they enter game 4.

Machado finished the regular season at .262/.294/.445 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI while playing some spectacular defense at 3B. In 191 ABs he walked 9 times and had 38 strikeouts. The gutsy move to call him up in the heat of a pennant race and install him as the everyday third baseman paid off, despite speculation that it was too much too soon. Machado played a key part in Baltimore’s drive to the wild card berth.

AUGUST 30, 2012

Machado went 0-for-3 last night in a loss to the White Sox and that put him at 5 for his last 33 (.152) over the last 10 games. In 18 games since his callup to the Orioles, Machado’s line is .238/.492/.750 with three homeruns, 10 RBI and eight runs scored. At 3B, he’s only made one error and has a fielding percentage of .980, but FanGraphs has his UZR at -0.6. After early success at the plate, things have gotten tougher for the 2010 3rd overall pick, but he is gaining valuable experience at the big league level at age 20.

AUGUST 9, 2012

Machado was called up to play 3B for the Orioles. In his major league debut he went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored. The callup generated a lot of debate as to whether or not Machado was ready and if the Orioles were putting too much pressure on him. Opening night was a success. The dog days of a pennant race lie ahead for the 20-year old.

AUGUST 4, 2012

The troubles at the plate have been handled as Machado is back to raking and tonight led the AA Bowie Baysox to victory by hitting for the cycle. The 4-for-4 night with a homer, three RBI and three runs scored brought Manny’s line up to .262./.345/.427 in 105 games.

There were two errors at shortstop tonight, one fielding and one throwing. That brings the season total to 22.

Tonight’s perfect night at the plate left Machado 13-for-36 over his last 10 games with two homers, five RBI and 10 runs scored.

JULY 27, 2012
Machado is in a pretty bad tailspin with a 5-for-35 run over his last 10 games at AA Bowie. Just a couple of weeks ago he made a splash in the Futures Game with a 1-for-3 effort that included a two-run double. And just before the Futures Game, Machado was red-hot, but overall it has been a bit of a struggle at AA. He checks in with a line of .248/.336/.394  and continues a trend of lowering OPS in three seasons as a pro (.831 in 2010, .756 in 2011 and .730 this year).

The Orioles are having a surprising 2012, keeping their heads four games above the .500 waters and holding down second place in the tough AL east. With an added wildcard spot up for grabs, more clubs find themselves as buyers this year, but O’s GM Dan Duquette is adamant that future stars like Machado and Dylan Bundy aren’t available in exchange for some immediate help at the big-league level.

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