Before the season started, I predicted that the Orioles would have at least three Gold Glove winners again in 2013. Last year, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones were all rewarded for their outstanding efforts in the field. This year, I like Manny Machado‘s chances of bringing home the award.
I know it’s early, but through seven games I’m feeling good about that prediction. In the bottom of the first on Monday, Machado snagged a sharp line drive off the bat of Shane Victorino. GIF after the bump.
Machado has logged 61 innings at third base this season and has recorded five putouts and 14 assists. His 2.5 UZR, puts him between average and above average in defensive ability after seven games played. In 468 innings last season, Machado was slightly above average at third with a 5.3 UZR.
As he continues to log innings at third base, I expect the UZR and DRS to climb. Last season Machado recorded a 7 DRS, he’s at 4 currently.
His biggest competition is likley Evan Longoria in Tampa Bay and Adrian Beltre in Texas. Last season, Longoria played just 74 games with a 2.8 UZR. He won Gold Gloves in 2009 and 2010 with a 19.7 UZR and 12.1 UZR respectively. Beltre won it in 2011 and 2012 with a 11.3 and 10.0 UZR.