The news that Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was not seriously injured by the knee incident recently is the best news all season for the Orioles. This is even better news than them playing well and nearly making the playoffs for second consecutive season. Machado is far from out from under the knee injury but should be more than one hundred percent by the start of 2014 spring training. Considering the tools he brings to the table for the Orioles, that is the best news they could hope for.
Many wouldn’t think to compare Machado to Miguel Cabrera because of the enormous numbers that Cabrera puts up every season. It might surprise most fans to know that Machado’s WAR stat is only a few decimal points behind that of Cabrera. Miggy sits at 7.0 and Machado was at 6.6 when his season ended prematurely. That isn’t to say that Machado is an MVP candidate but he is much closer to being one than the majority of baseball people think.
When you add in his stellar defense, the value of him as a player goes way up but strictly offensively he has been impressive this season. If you don’t believe me, just glare at his 51 doubles. That is a ton more than Mike Trout or Miggy and more than anyone else in the American League. Among third basemen he is in the top ten in all major offensive categories, even ranking sixth in RBI.
Obviously, those he ranks below offensively fall below him when defense is added in. As a whole player there are few more valuable than Machado is to his team. However the formulas come together to value a baseball player, Machado should be near the top. He is just that good and only barely getting started. Thank goodness the injury to his knee wasn’t more serious.