Manny Machado deserves high ranking 

May, 16, 2013

While it seems as if everyone acknowledges Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper as the best young players in baseball, it sure looks as though the Baltimore Orioles have themselves a special young talent as well in third baseman Manny Machado. The 20-year-old had four more hits Wednesday, the fourth time in a week he delivered three or more, and raised his season batting average to .343, right up there among the league leaders.

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Manny Machado
Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Manny Machado has more than lived up to the hype so far this season.

I can’t admit I expected Machado, only a few months older than Harper, to do quite this well, but after six weeks of standout play I’m certainly on the proverbial bandwagon, a fact shown by my generous mid-May ranking. (Click here for the staff rankings!) I admit to being surprised my colleagues aren’t completely on board; after all, in addition to the lofty batting average, Machado is on pace for 20 home runs, 97 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who knows a thing or two, clearly trusted Machado when he exalted him to the No. 2 lineup spot, and fantasy owners should trust him, too. He is now my No. 5 third baseman, and yes, his outstanding play has pushed him into the dynasty league discussion with Trout and Harper. We should stop discussing the fact he’s not playing shortstop and realize he is a clear stud regardless.