Something special is happening in Baltimore. Buck Showalter showed faith in his 20-year-old third baseman and is being rewarded by a stellar performance through the first month-plus of the season.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure if Manny Machado would be ready to hit in the two-hole this season and worried that he may struggle out of the gate. Machado hit just .200 through the first eight game of the season, but has been on a tear ever since. In his last twenty games, Machado is hitting .357/.393/.583 with a pair of home runs, 11 doubles, 14 runs scored and 13 RBI.
He’s crushing right handed pitching on the season, .329/.368/.537 with a .364 BABIP.
Machado has had plenty of chances with runners in scoring position, 33 plate appearances to be exact, and has hit to an impressive .379/.400/.793 slashline with four doubles a triple, two home runs and 16 RBI in those situations. With ducks on the pond he’s hitting .315/.366/.477.
The numbers are impressive, but anyone with a keen baseball eye can see Machado has shown all the signs of a superstar in the making. He’s hit in some big clutch situations, known when to take a cut at the first pitch and has battled back from down in the count.
So far, Showalter’s experiment is paying dividends. Machado has been one of the most consistent hitters in the Orioles lineup and a fascinating storyline to watch unfold.