Machado: On the same level as Trout or Harper?
BALTIMORE — When the Orioles were in Anaheim earlier this month, Angels phenom Mike Trout approached Baltimore’s own wonder kid, Manny Machado, to get acquainted.
“Hey,” Trout said to the third baseman, to whom he’d only briefly been introduced previously, “you stole my line drive.”
“Hey,” Machado said with a grin as he reminded the fleet-footed 21-year-old outfielder, “you do the same for all of us.”
Health permitting, that exchange is one that will become commonplace.
Baseball’s well-documented youth movement has anointed Trout — who in 2012 became the first player in history to hit 30 homers, steal 45 bases and score 125 runs in one season — as one of the sport’s favorite sons alongside 20-year-old Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
But what of Machado, 20, who through his first 89 career games has stats that rival those of both Trout and Harper? Should the smooth defender, who is hitting .331 with five homers and 24 RBIs, be mentioned in tandem with that vaunted duo?
“Trout and Harper are better runners and had video-game numbers [in the Minor Leagues],” said a National League scout. “But can you say for sure you’d rather have them than Machado in the next five, 10 years? It’s so early in their careers. It’s really personal preference. It’s like picking an ice cream flavor.”
This much can be agreed upon: Machado — taken third in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, behind Harper and Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon — has had far less hype.
Click here for the rest of the story on Machado’s rise.