It’s never a sure thing when you talk about a young player and what the future may hold for them. In fact, saying that a player “can only get better” is one of the more commonly incorrect statements that one can make. In the case of Manny Machado, however, it might actually warrant being said.
Manny Machado has burst onto the scene in the last two seasons for the Baltimore Orioles. The 2013 season, his first full campaign with the O’s, has been a wild success that has featured a race towards history as he recorded doubles at an absurd rate, in addition to an All Star appearance back in July.
We know what Machado brings to the table as far as his glove is concerned. He’s one of the best in the league with the leather, regardless of position. He routinely makes a fantastic play at third base, whether it’s flashing the leather, or showing off his cannon of an arm.
And that’s playing a position which is not his natural one. A former shortstop, there’s no reason to think that the Orioles won’t keep Machado at the hot corner for the foreseeable future. He’s been one of the best in the business, as this Orioles team has set records for their defensive skill.
Where we’re going to see Machado improve is with the bat. Machado has 51 doubles on the year, in addition to 14 home runs and 71 runs knocked in. Add in that slash line of .282/.313/.431/.744, and there’s not much to dislike about what he’s doing with the stick.
The scary thing for the rest of baseball is that he’s going to get better. You can read that also as he’s going to get stronger. Many of those 51 doubles are long line drives that just barely miss making it over the fence. As he gets older, those balls are going to start getting over the wall and he’s going to be an even larger force at the plate. This is a guy with a 6.4 WAR for the season, according to Baseball Reference.
Manny Machado is one of the most fun players to watch in all of sports, not just in the bigs. What he brings to the mix with his glove is already well-documented. But the fact that he’s going to get better and stronger at the plate may mean bad news for the rest of Major League Baseball.