Sep 27, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) turns a double play as Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) slides during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
2) Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
Bio: 23 y/o, 6’3″, 185 lbs, bats right, & throws right
MLB Years: 4
Games Played in 2015: 162 (156 as 3B)
- .286 batting average
- .359 on-base percentage
- .502 slugging percentage
- 35 home runs & 86 RBIs
- 70 walks to 111 strikeouts
- 3.01 range factor
- .961 fielding percentage
- 19 errors, 337 assists, & 132 putouts
‘It’ Factor: Youthful Vigor
Machado’s age should scare most teams, as the man-child can only get bigger and better from here.
His excellent power and keen eye for the ball make him a danger each time that Machado comes to the plate. He walked or found the ball to hit to get himself on base, helping his team any way he could. These numbers came after still recovering from injury. Imagine what will happen when he hits his prime at 100% health. The RBI total would have been even better if his teammates would have gotten on base more often. However, down the stretch, the Orioles couldn’t put enough hits, runs, or wins together to give Machado to show off his talents in the postseason.
Compared directly to Longoria, Machado’s defensive numbers may be questionable if you only looked at the figures. If you watched the games, Machado reached balls that most third basemen have no business tracking down, straining his body to try to make the out. Often it worked out for him, sometimes it didn’t, which explains his error total. His assists, however, show a different story, one of amazing range and effort. So much so, that the team called on him a few times to play shortstop when they needed help. It’s not like just anyone can play one of the toughest defensive positions in baseball, but Machado did it with relative ease.
Having a strong player who has hands and range of a shortstop playing third base would make any team drool and puts Machado above the aforementioned three men on this list because of it. The future looks very bright for him, as he can only go up from here. Any Orioles fans need a towel to wipe up the moisture forming on their floors?