Over the past year, we have seen several young superstars come into Major League Baseball. You can look at players like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper as great examples. If there is one that could challenge Trout for being the best who was brought up during the 2012 season, it would be Manny Machado. The Baltimore Orioles decided to make the move to promote Machado in August and he showed he can be a solid everyday third baseman. This season though should show the real potential of Machado.
Machado hit seven home runs in 191 at-bats for Baltimore last season and while he did have a lot of struggles in the playoffs, those are just growing pains. Machado will be much better from that experience and getting his MLB debut under his belt. Machado can come into the 2013 season positive that he has the third base job to himself with no competition and that should allow him to relax even more.
Machado could easily hit 15-20 home runs in 2013 with 80-90 RBI for a Baltimore team that only seems to be improving every day. There are enough players around Machado in Baltimore where he won’t be expected to pick up the majority of the load on offense and can focus on playing better defense. If Machado can improve on his defense and still be able to hit around .275, Baltimore could find himself back in the playoffs. I really hope that the pressure of last season’s failures doesn’t get to Machado though with his young age. This time will be the true test of what Machado can really do on the Major League level.