Scout's View: Manny Machado
Manny Machado has gotten off to an excellent start with low Class A Delmarva, hitting .333/.450/.611 in his first 90 at-bats. He had to leave Thursday's game with a knee injury, and he and the Orioles are awaiting results of an MRI, but up to now, he's living up to every expectation that came with being the No. 3 pick in the 2010 draft.
Here's what a scout who recently saw Machado thought about the minors' best shortstop prospect.
"Machado's got really good hands. He made plays under pressure. He has a real calm demeanor defensively. The hands are fine. The arm is fine, he can make the throws from all angles. (As far as shortstop) it's all going to come down to range. Can he maintain the range, can he maintain the mobility? I know he went to the API (the Athletes Performance Institute) last offseason and really worked on his agility. But he's a big kid who may get bigger. If he can't stay at shortstop, it will be a real easy transition to third base. He's not like a real quick-twitch runner. His first step isn't great. No matter what he has does he has to keep working on his agility.
"At the plate, he's really good. I don't think he'll fly through the system there. Once he gets to Double-A, Triple-A he will have to make adjustments. I don't think the Alex Rodriguez comps are fair. A-Rod is one of the best hitters of all time. But (Machado's) a very good hitter.
"I do think as he goes up levels, as he sees really good breaking stuff, I think his pitch identification will have to improve. You don't see a lot of really good breaking balls in low A. He's struggled a little bit when he does see them. I think he'll make the adjustments, but he'll have to continue to work on it. I like the guy a lot. He's going to hit. He's got really good hands at the plate. If he does scuffle, he's got the makeup to work through it."