Manny Machado popped onto the scene last year with the Baltimore Orioles in a pretty big way. He wasn’t perfect but he was certainly solid and showy enough defensively to earn respect from his teammates and coaches and adoration from the fans. This will be his first full season with the job of third baseman of the Orioles already his. What should we expect and look for?
First of all there are a few legendary players at third base for the Orioles. The job title itself might give Machado a few butterflies. In fact I think it probably should. After that part of it, he will have a great adjustment to make as well. He was up for more than a cup of coffee last season but this year the pitchers around the league will quickly get a scouting report going on him. They will look for a way to get him out and they will find one. When they do it will be his job to adjust and thus begin his great career.
If he is able to do that his offensive season will probably end better than it will begin. To begin with you can expect a quick pop maybe and then a drought as he has to adjust. How quickly he can do that will determine the success of not only this season but all of those that follow. Defensively his job is to stay consistent and not let any plate struggles get in his head out in the field. If he does that it could turn into time on the bench and nobody wants that. Machado won’t be the number one third baseman in the game this year. What he might be is the most promising infielder of the next five years. Offensive adjustments will determine his success.