Manny Machado was the Baltimore Orioles first round pick (3rd overall) in the 2010 draft. He immediately became the Orioles top prospect and a player counted on by the organization to be a future cornerstone player. No one saw this all coming so soon.
In a surprise move, the Orioles called up the 20-year-old shortstop this summer to help shore up their infield defense. One problem, the Orioles best defensive infielder is J.J. Hardy and he plays shortstop. So, of course, the Orioles have Machado start at third-base, a position the 20-year old has no experience playing. It isn’t enough he is making the jump from Double-A to the majors. It isn’t enough he is only 20-years old. Now he has to worry about playing a different position.
Well Manny is just being Manny. That’s right, I want to give “Manny Being Manny” a new meaning. No longer should baseball fans relate that saying to Manny Ramirez and his idiotic actions on the baseball field. Now fans can think of a future superstar player who plays the game like a crafty veteran at the age of 20.
Machado is batting .272 with four home runs and 12 RBI’s. He has only walked twice and struck out 22 times. He has actually looked like a 20-year-old rookie at the plate during at bats. However, he has hold his own. Let’s be honest, .272 over an entire season would make him one of the top Orioles hitters. Machado also just had the game winning hit today in extra innings to help the Orioles sweep the Tampa Bay Rays.
It’s Machado’s defense that has been absolutely magical. Yes that’s right, it’s as if there is some “Orioles Magic” in Machado’s glove. He has proven game after game to already be a great defensive third baseman. He looks as if he has been playing the position his entire life. The Orioles desperately needed Machado to solidify third base for them. If Wilson Betemit or Mark Reynolds were still playing third base, the Orioles may not be where they are right now. If anyone underestimates just how important defense is in baseball, you haven’t been watching the Orioles progression in the field this season.
The play Machado made Wednesday night against the Rays where he charged a slow ground ball and faked the throw to first and caught the Rays base-runner off the bag at third base, was a play most third baseman never make. This kid has the feel and instincts for the game. Whether he ends up at shortstop or third base, you can tell Machado has that “it” factor only a few players have.
I have a feeling Orioles fans and baseball fans will be finding a new meaning for the phrase “Manny Being Manny.”