We all got to see last year what kind of defensive player he was as he dazzled the world with his now famous, pump fake flip back to third, which if for some odd reason you haven't seen that play, it is part of the video below for your viewing pleasure. He hit the ball fairly well last season (.262/ .294/ .445), but many skeptics said most hitters succeed at first, but once they have enough film on you, a hitter comes back to reality.
With all of that information in our minds heading into Machado's first full season in the big leagues, no one out there could have expected to see what we are seeing from Manny so far this season. Machado has the hottest bat in baseball right now and is playing Gold Glove caliber third base with spectacular play after spectacular play.
Manny isn't just leading the Orioles in batting average, he is fourth in the entire American League. He leads the Birds in several categories, but his presence among the league leaders in the American League is unreal. As mentioned before, he is 4th in batting average, but it goes way beyond that. Machado leads the league in hits and WAR (position players), ranks second in runs, second in at bats, second in total bases, second in doubles, third in plate appearances, and third in extra base hits.
Boy what an offensive player, but let's not forget what we fell in love with right off the get go last season, and that is his defense. Machado ranks second in fielding percentage for third baseman, and even more impressive is that he has the best range factor of any third baseman in the league, so not only is he getting more baseballs than any other third baseman, but he is catching them as well. Since his arrival last season, Baltimore has been one of the top defensive teams in all of baseball, and lead the American League in fielding percentage this season.
This guy is an unbelievable talent that has not disappointed Baltimore whatsoever, and in fact is producing more than anyone could have imagined at 20 years old, which oh by the way, he is the youngest player in the American League at this moment.
Bryce Harper and Mike Trout may get most of the attention as the "best young players in the game," but I am here to tell you only, one of the three is hitting over .300, and that would be Manny Machado at .343!!!
Do not get me wrong, Trout and Harper are great talents, but I am thankful Baltimore has Manny!
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