For a 20-year-old slugger tearing up Major League Baseball, Manny Machado is receiving very little attention. Through 40 games, his line reads .343/.379/.541 with an added five homers, 24 RBIs and four steals. With all the fanfare around Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, Machado is forcing himself into the conversation for the game’s best young player. He is currently the third best fantasy baseball third baseman behind just Miguel Cabrera and Evan Longoria.
Consider these numbers through their first 88 games:
Machado: .289, 12 HRs and 50 RBIs
Harper: .254, 10 HRs and 30 RBIs
Trout: .292, 11 HRs and 44 RBIs
Despite his superior numbers, Machado is far less popular in the media. According to Google Trends, there are eight Harper searches and three Trout searches for every time Machado’s name gets typed into Google.
Harper and Trout have come out the gate with incredible starts but arguably have been outdone by their peer as he has the highest WAR (wins above replacement) among the three.
Machado has been on fire in the month of May, batting .385 including 14 hits over his last five games. Over the past month he has posted 15 multi-hit games to raise his average from .255 to .343.
With the ease that Machado plays the game, it’s easy to forget that he won’t even turn 21 until July. Alongside Adam Jones and Chris Davis, these three make up one of the most formidable and underrated trios in any lineup. Despite mediocre pitching, this group of talented hitters has managed to score the third most runs and keep the Baltimore Orioles within striking distance.
There is no doubt that Machado is a tremendously gifted young player that deserves more exposure. He is performing at an even better rate than the other highly-glorified players of his age. The next generation of hitters is incredibly bright and may end up being led by Machado.