As the calendar turns to 2013 soon, fantasy baseball gets ready to begin in full force. There are some players that I will talk about more in the couple weeks that you must draft in 2013 but one player that may be a sneaky pickup for any keeper league or to just put on your bench is Manny Machado. Machado appears to have a starting job locked down with the Baltimore Orioles and could bring his owners some good stats next season.
Machado finished the 2012 season with a .262 average but did struggle in the postseason with a .158 batting average. You can’t expect Machado to hit that badly for a full season in 2013. The interesting thing about Machado is that he will be only 21 years old next year and has rocketed through the Baltimore farm system to reach the big leagues. Machado could give fantasy owners between 15 and 20 home runs with 80-85 RBI.
Machado isn’t a starting third baseman in most leagues right now but would work great in a starting utility role if owners don’t have a better option or didn’t draft one of the designated hitters in the American League. Machado is only going to get better as well so drafting him somewhere near the end of the draft with maybe the final pick is a safe bet because when you can plug a starter into your lineup anywhere that has upside, it is a plus. I would take my chances on a full season with Machado and see what kind of numbers he can put up.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.