BLUF: All-Star caliber player with plus offensive potential and a chance to stick at shortstop.
The Player: Manny Machado (SS, Baltimore Orioles) – Played in only seven games after being drafted in the first round in 2010. Hit .306 across two levels that year. Made full-season debut in 2011, hitting .276/.376/.483 in 38 games at Low-A with eight doubles and six home runs. Promoted to High-A and hit .245/.308/.384 in 63 games after promotion. Pushed aggressively to Double-A in 2012 and has posted a .254/.341/.406 line in 94 games with Bowie.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (Eastern league 2012), Industry Contacts
Body (6-3, 195): Great frame. Very long, lean body with tons of room for physical projection. Has good natural strength and solid athleticism. Easy to project him filling out and he could be a physical beast down the line.
Hit: Starts with an open stance and high hands. Gets the bat to the zone very quickly and on a consistent plane. Plus bat speed. The bat stays in the zone a long time. Good feel for the barrel with a knack for squaring the ball. Easy, loud contact to all fields. Made strides with approach in first full season. Shows potential for controlling the strike zone and should be able to get into good hitter’s counts. Should be plus hitter with some potential to be better than that. Grade – 30/60
Power: Plus to plus-plus bat speed with excellent leverage in his swing. Has natural strength to drive the ball out of the park to all fields. Can project plus raw power as he reaches physical maturity. Should have lots of doubles and 20-25 home runs. Grade (raw power) – 40/60
Arm: Enough arm for the left side of the infield. Shows plus arm strength on most throws and has improved ability to maintain velocity when on the move. Has the strength to plant and throw from the hole. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Really fundamental defender. Knows how to position himself and has good actions for the position. Soft hands and good instincts. Has the tools to stick at SS. Body will determine where he plays. He could bulk up enough that his range diminishes and he moves to 3B. Was encouraged in lone viewing this year and believe he can start his career at SS and be an average defender. Grade – 40/50
Speed: Shows average speed down the line. Difficult to project him to maintain that speed as he fills out and reaches physical maturity. Likely a below-average runner long term. Grade – 50/40
Summation: Most of value lies in projection of bat. Potential plus hitter with plus power. Really natural hitter with good instincts at the plate and he shows the ability to develop his approach and become a more complete hitter. Makes adjustments well. Can handle shortstop now and is a solid defender there. Mixed reviews on where he ends up long term. Could be a third baseman with above-average to plus potential. Projects to start career at shortstop but may be force to third with maturation. Potential All-Star caliber player that hits in the middle of the lineup.
Relative Risk: Moderate. Natural player with good hitting and defensive fundamentals. Well-rounded player with high ceiling.
Future: Should finish 2012 season at Double-A and could even start there in 2013. Has a big league ETA of 2014 and should be a force with the Orioles for an long time.