Everyone knows about Mike Trout and Bryce Harper (by the way, I would go with Trout if I was starting a team today).
Both players are extremely young, incredibly entertaining, and immensely talented. Going into this season, most would have classified them as a class of their own. However, it is time to add another name to this class: Orioles Third Basemen Manny Machado.
Machado, along with Harper, isn’t even old enough to drink yet, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting off to a red-hot start in 2013. The 6’ 3’’, 185 pound Miami native, is in his first full season in the big leagues and is absolutely thriving.
Batting 2nd for the 21-14 Orioles, Machado is on pace to hit .306, with 23 HR, 102 RBI, and steal around 20 bases. All of this while playing 3rd base, which is not his position by trade.
To go along with all of that Machado has been one of the most clutch hitters in all of baseball. Take a look at a breakdown of Machado’s situational hitting:
(Trout and Harper in parentheses)
Average w/bases empty: .289 (.265/.306)
Average w/runners on: .344 (.304/.325)
Average w/RISP: .400 (.351/.389)
Average w/RISP and 2 outs: .500 (.333/.400)
While we have obviously had a bigger sample size when it comes to Trout and Harper, it is safe to say that if Machado continues at this pace, we will have no choice but to include him in the same group as Trout/Harper.
I know already do.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson