After watching Manny Machado take home the American League co-Player of the Week honors after just his first four days in the big leagues, I can’t help but think back to Matt Wieters’ promotion to the big leagues in 2009. Remember MattWietersFacts.com and constant comparison’s to Joe Mauer?
Thankfully, the Baltimore Orioles unexpected promotion of Manny Machado didn’t allow Orioles fans the time to hype Machado into oblivion. Maybe we wised up after expecting Wieters to single handedly turn around the Orioles franchise or perhaps this move just completely caught us off guard.
While comparing Wieters and Machado as players isn’t entirely fair, seeing as they play different positions and their development processes are each unique, there are still many similarities in their stories. They were both drafted high by a team who hasn’t produced a star position player in years and were expected to become impact players at the big league level upon their promotions.
I compared the call ups of Wieters and Machado in my weekly column on MASNSports.com.
I think what I enjoyed most about Machado’s unexpected promotion was that no one had time to hype the 20-year-old infielder like they did with Wieters. No one saw the news coming. I was on vacation in Cooperstown, N.Y., when my phone exploded with texts from Orioles fans sharing the news with me. No three-day build up, just a promotion to improve the ballclub.
It could be a difference in general managers, but I obviously think the Orioles’ decision to bring up Machado has a lot more to do with their current situation than Wieters’ promotion did. The Birds were 60-51, 4 1/2 games back of the Yankees and in a three-way tie for the wild card when Machado got the call. They were looking for defensive help at third base and hoping for a little more offensive production, as well.
There’s just something about the way Machado carries himself, his composure at age 20 is unbelievable. You can see the confidence, but it doesn’t hinder his desire to learn and become better even at the highest level.
It’s the ultimate combination.