Manny Machado set career highs in home runs, RBI, runs, and batting average, cementing his first-round status despite not stealing a single base. Such $30 players have to be good across the board or great in a few things, and luckily for Machado owners, he is excellent in the other categories. Sure, it would be nice if he stole bases again, but the rest of his excellence will do just fine. Picking faults in Machado is like saying your Lamborghini is only getting up to 220 mph on the Autobahn. While he is split-neutral in terms of batting average, 86 of the 105 homers he has hit in his career have come against right-handed pitching. Machado has good bats in front of him and behind him, which puts him in an ideal spot of the lineup to continue to be a top-shelf run producer. The team hits like a softball team, but Machado could be even better if the Orioles add a true table-setter to the leadoff spot.
Machado agreed to a one-year, $11.5 million contract with the Orioles on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Machado batted .294/.343/.533 with 37 homers and 96 RBI en route to a second consecutive top-five finish in the American League MVP voting -- and he's still just 24. He's now regained shortstop eligibility after making 45 appearances at the position last year, but it's uncertain how often Machado will run moving forward.
Machado had a huge day Tuesday, going 3-for-6 with a grand slam and five RBI in an 11-2 win over the Rays. The blast came as part of a six-run fourth inning that gave the Orioles a lead they would never relinquish. It was Machado's 34th home run of the season and brought his RBI total to 90. Combined with his solid .304 batting average and excellent defense at third base and shortstop, it's been an all-around spectacular season for Machado, who is still just 24 years old.
Machado went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer Tuesday against Toronto. Machado's 444-foot bomb in the fifth inning was one of three long balls for a homer-happy Orioles offense. The 24-year-old is now just three shy of last season's career-high 35 home runs, and has made up for a lack of steals with a .306/.357/.563 line. He has left the yard 10 times in August after doing so just nine times in the previous two months combined.
Machado went 3-for-5 with a run scored in Sunday's win over the Yankees. He's racked up four multi-hit performances in his last five games with three home runs, seven RBI and six runs scored, pushing Machado's slash line on the season to .309/.360/.564. Expect him to once again be a big part of the conversation when it comes to the AL MVP at the end of the year.
Machado was the lone bright spot in Friday's 14-4 loss to the Yankees, going 2-for-4 with a pair of homers and three RBI. He was responsible for the majority of the Orioles' meager production on the night, opening the scoring with a 421-foot solo shot in the first and adding a two-run blast in the sixth. Outside of an 0-for-4 outing against the Nationals on Thursday, Machado has wielding a hot bat, hitting safely in eight of his last nine, with five homers and 12 RBI over that span.