Manny Machado began his minor league career last season at Single-A Delmarva, and in his first game there, went 2-3 with a double and 2 RBIs. When he got promoted to Frederick mid-season, he went 1-4 in his 1st game there, tacking on a home run at the High-A level.
After being promoted with 2B Jonathan Schoop to the Bowie Baysox this year, Machado got into AA pitching in a hurry. On the first pitch he saw of the 2012 season last night, Machado hit a rocket shot over the left center field wall (the ball was eventually retrieved by fan Romeo Santos). He went 2-4 on the night overall.
A strong start with the Baysox would give Orioles fans some great hope in 2012 as the Orioles look to rebound from a disappointing 2011 under Buck Showalter. While the pitching core has had its ups and downs, Machado is the first position player since Matt Wieters to get national hype for his star power ability, and a start like this surely helped to boost fan morale about the organization.