- Full name Manuel Arturo Machado
- Born 07/06/1992 in Miami, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 218 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Brito Miami Private School
- Debut 08/09/2012
Drafted in the 1st round (3rd overall) by the Baltimore Orioles in 2010 (signed for $5,250,000).
View Draft ReportMachado committed early to Florida International, but the Golden Panthers have long since determined he's not headed for campus. Instead he could be headed for the first five picks. He leapt into first-round consideration at the start of the 2009 summer showcase season and never stopped hitting or fielding, helping lead USA Baseball's 18U team to a gold medal in Venezuela in the Pan American Junior Championship. He's of Dominican descent and is a tall, lanky shortstop in South Florida, attracting inevitable Alex Rodriguez comparisons. Machado is skinny at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds but surprisingly strong and has a swing that produces hard contact. He's familiar with wood bats and has shown a knack for centering the ball on the barrel. Scouts project him to hit for average future power, with a chance to be a .300 hitter. Defensively, Machado will remain at shortstop as a pro and has a chance to be an above-average defender. He's smooth, makes all the routine plays and has a plus arm that allows him to make the play in the hole. Machado's weakest tool might be his speed, though he's an average runner. There are few chinks in his armor, and the Boras Corp. client is in play with single-digit picks.
Organization Prospect Rankings
After Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon went 1-2 in the 2010 draft, Machado was a clear choice with the third overall pick, so the Orioles grabbed him and signed him for $5.25 million. He ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the high Class A Carolina League and No. 2 in the low Class A South Atlantic League in his first full pro season, even with a dislocated left kneecap in May that sidelined him for a month. Machado has all the tools to be an all-star shortstop. He's an above-average hitter with a knack for making solid contact, and he has the bat speed and strength to generate average power. He's a rangy teenager who's still filling out and getting stronger. Machado has good hands and range and a plus arm, so he'll be a fine defensive shortstop as long as he doesn't outgrow the position. In instructional league, Baltimore emphasized putting together good at-bats and improving his two-strike approach, as well as using his legs more and getting his feet in better position on defense. He's an average runner. The Orioles see no deficiencies in Machado that experience and maturity won't clear up. The only real question is whether he eventually slides over to third base, but they'll try to keep him at shortstop. He could open 2012 at Double-A Bowie.
The Orioles have leaned toward pitching at the top of recent drafts and hadn't selected a shortstop in the first round since taking Rich Dauer out of Southern California in 1974, but Machado's talent was too much to pass up. The scouting consensus was that the top three players in the 2010 draft--Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon and Machado--were a cut above everyone else, so the Orioles were happy to grab their shortstop of the future with the No. 3 overall choice after the Nationals picked Harper and the Pirates selected Taillon. Machado laid the groundwork for going near the top of the draft with his standout showcase performances in 2009, with the highlight coming when he batted .367 to help the U.S. 18-and-under team win the Pan American Junior Championship. He earned BA High School All-America honors as a senior, batting .639 with 12 homers and 17 steals for Brito Miami Private High. Machado gave up a scholarship from Florida International to sign at the Aug. 16 deadline, netting a $5.25 million bonus that's the sixth-highest ever for a high schooler and the second-highest in franchise history, trailing only Matt Wieters' $6 million bonus in the 2007 draft. The Orioles let him get his feet wet with brief assignments in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and at short-season Aberdeen, then brought him to their abbreviated instructional camp in Baltimore in September. The Orioles brought in J.J. Hardy to fill their gaping hole at shortstop, but longterm they had no one in the system to take over the position until signing Machado, who has legitimate five-tool ability. He has a good swing and bat speed. He makes consistent hard contact--he struck out just three times in 36 pro at-bats--and repeatedly puts the barrel on the ball. The ball already carries well off his bat, and he has the room to add muscle to his wiry 6-foot-3 frame. Baltimore believes he can become a .300 hitter with 20 homers a season as he matures. Machado also has the arm, build and strength to be a major league shortstop. He shows advanced defensive skills, with solid range, soft hands and a plus arm. His weakest tool is his speed, but even that rates as fringe average. In addition to his physical ability, Machado has made a quick impression with his makeup, showing a great work ethic and receptiveness to instruction. When working on nuances of shortstop with Orioles instructor Mike Bordick in the fall, such as the footwork on his feeds from shortstop on the double play, he quickly made adjustments and never reverted to his previous habits. He would execute the new skill within two or three ground balls. Machado has all the tools and just needs to play. Because of his build, Dominican bloodlines and hype as a high school shortstop coming out of South Florida, he earns obvious Alex Rodriguez comparisons. He's not as physically mature as Rodriguez was when he came into pro ball, and his ceiling isn't as lofty, but Machado still has the look of a perennial all-star. He'll open his first full season at low Class A Delmarva, and should move quickly through the system if he hits as expected. He could be ready for Baltimore at some point in 2013.
Minor League Top Prospects
Machado hurtled through the minors, making his big league debut in August less than two years after signing as the 2010 draft's No. 3 overall pick. Thrust into a pennant race in Baltimore, he contributed key plays on both offense and defense, taking quickly to the hot corner despite playing just two games at the position as a professional. Four of his tools grade as plus, which combined with his instincts for the game, ought to translate into multiple all-star nods. Bowie coaches worked with Machado to level his swing plane and tone down a bat wrap. Regardless of how he does it, scouts like his loose swing, plate coverage and ability to hit with authority to all fields. His feel for the strike zone ought to allow him to hit for both average and power, especially as he adds strength to his long, rangy frame. What once seemed a foregone conclusion--that Machado would outgrow shortstop and shift to third base--no longer seems the case. His range is above average at shortstop, his hands are sound and his plus arm strength is a difference-maker. He has below-average raw speed but makes smart decisions on the bases.
Machado posted a 1.062 OPS in his first 25 games and looked every bit Harper's equal as a prospect before he dislocated his left kneecap on May 5. He missed a month and didn't look the same after his return, but that didn't stop the Orioles from promoting him after the SAL all-star game in late June. He had his ups and downs in high Class A, yet still ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Carolina League. With impressive bat speed and the ability to consistently barrel up the ball, Machado projects as a plus hitter with at least average power. Though he has just fringy speed, his range, hands and arm strength should allow him to remain at shortstop unless he outgrows the position. At worst, he'll be a quality hitter and defender at third base. "I saw him a lot in high school and he looked a little bigger and stronger this year, which is what you expect to see," a National League scout said. "He has everything you want from a shortstop. The injury slowed him down a little but he's going to move up fast as long as he stays healthy."
Machado didn't exactly set the Carolina League on fire, showing a little power and making the occasional spectacular play with his glove. That still did little to dissuade many who watched him from thinking that he'll end being quite special. One observer compared him to a puppy with big paws--he may be somewhat skinny and rangy right now, but one look at his massive feet gives a good indication that he'll be an imposing man one day. Machado has plenty of power potential and should deliver on it once he strengthens his base, as his legs are still skinny. Machado's approach will still have to be refined. He needs to lay off breaking balls and stop chasing so many fastballs out of the zone. But considering he's a teenager, it's easy to see why he projects as a plus hitter with plus power. Though Machado may be able to stick at shortstop, some scouts believe his range will be below average once he fills out. If he has to move, he could be a standout defender at third base with excellent hands and a plus arm. Others see him as an Alex Rodriguez clone who will be able to handle shortstop because of his positioning and arm.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Eastern League in 2012
- Rated Best Defensive SS in the Eastern League in 2012
- Rated Most Exciting Player in the Eastern League in 2012
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the Baltimore Orioles in 2012
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Baltimore Orioles in 2012
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the Baltimore Orioles in 2011
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Baltimore Orioles in 2011
Background: After Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon went 1-2 in the 2010 draft, Machado was a clear choice with the third overall pick, so the Orioles grabbed him and signed him for $5.25 million. He ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the high Class A Carolina League and No. 2 in the low Class A South Atlantic League in his first full pro season, even with a dislocated left kneecap in May that sidelined him for a month. Scouting Report: Machado has all the tools to be an all-star shortstop. He's an above-average hitter with a knack for making solid contact, and he has the bat speed and strength to generate average power. He's a rangy teenager who's still filling out and getting stronger. Machado has good hands and range and a plus arm, so he'll be a fine defensive shortstop as long as he doesn't outgrow the position. In instructional league, Baltimore emphasized putting together good at-bats and improving his two-strike approach, as well as using his legs more and getting his feet in better position on defense. He's an average runner. The Future: The Orioles see no deficiencies in Machado that experience and maturity won't clear up. The only real question is whether he eventually slides over to third base, but they'll try to keep him at shortstop. He could open 2012 at Double-A Bowie.
- Dominican Republic activated 3B Manny Machado.