Humble Machado Getting Better Every Day

Read what Orioles top prospect Manny Machado wants to eventually accomplish for his family.

Baltimore Orioles top prospect Manny Machado has made the journey from High School to advanced Class-A Frederick with hopes of making the big leagues sooner rather than later.

Machado, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2010 MLB amateur draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He was a first team All-American and a top 100 prospect coming out of high school in Florida and knew he was going to be a top selection in the draft because of his good habits.

"It is all about my work ethic," Machado said. "I worked really hard in High School and put a lot of work into my hitting and it has really helped me out in my career."

The former Brito High School shortstop posted remarkable numbers in his senior year with a .639 average, 12 homeruns and 56 RBI.

After The Orioles drafted Machado many wondered if he was going to sign with the organization or attend Florida International University where he committed. The Orioles top prospect feels he is in the right place and just wants to play the game of baseball.

"My Grandfather passed away a couple years ago and he was really big on school but I think I made the right decision to play pro ball. Hopefully I can go back and get my mom and grandfather a college degree."

Machado says that the pressure that comes from being a top prospect and a high draft pick doesn't really affect him. The important thing for him is to just go out on the field every day and play 100 percent and everything else will follow suit.

Keys manager Orlando Gomez is impressed with the way Machado has handled him self and sees the prospect as a leader of men on the field.

"I believe he has handled it very well," Gomez said. "I believe for an 18 year-old kid he has a good approach at the plate and a good approach fielding. He looks like he has been playing the game for such a long time."

Machado just tries to keep the game simple and let his personality show the kind of person he is on and off the field.

"I just try to be myself," Machado said. "I am a pretty humble guy and I am the type of guy that gets along with everybody. I don't try to prove that I am a first round pick or better than anybody else. Everyone here is in high A and they won the first half without me so I mean it is not really about me. I just try to be myself and get along with everybody so it is all good."

Some scouts and experts are concerned about Machado's long term stay at shortstop because of his size and believe he will eventually move to third base. A move over to the hot corner is not what the 2010 first round pick wants in his future.

"O yes of course I want to stay at shortstop," Machado said. "That is what all other people think I mean no one has actually asked me what I thought about it. Experts are already saying well he is too big he is going to move to third base so I can stay with range but all great baseball players work hard."

Machado has worked with Alex Rodriguez in the past and feels that the comparison of his game to the current Yankees third baseman is valid.

"I worked out with him and a couple other guys and they out work me and I am just 18 years old so that drives me to work even harder," Machado said. "Every offseason I am just looking to get better, faster and stronger so it will help me to try and stay at short."

"I think it is a fair comparison. Everyone has their own opinion. I just try to be my own player. We are both from Miami so we have that special flavor to play the game."

In his first full season of pro ball, Machado is playing well hitting .274 with seven home runs and 25 RBI in 41 games with Delmarva and Frederick. The walks are one of the more impressive stats as he is on pace for over 70 walks in his first season.

Most 18 year olds are not as patient at the plate as Machado and he believes in taking pitches to be able to get good pitches to hit.

"The higher you go up the better the pitchers are going to be. It is very important to be patient at the plate because you have to look for your pitch to hit. If your not taking pitches you are going to be swinging at pitches out of the zone and you will miss a pitch that you could have had if you were patient."

The injury bug struck Machado earlier in the season as he injured his kneecap tagging to third base with Delmarva and missed nearly a month. It was not an easy effort to recover from the injury. Machado went down to Sarasota for extended spring training for rehab and it taught him a lot.

"It is baseball and it is a part of life. Everybody gets injured and it is really not how or why you got injured but how you come back from the injury. This was the first time I really got hurt in my career and in my life. It is tough to be sidelined for a month but I just got stronger for me I learned new things and I got smarter about life. Its unfortunate I got injured, so hopefully I don't get hurt again and I can tear the cover off the ball."

Despite being a number one prospect, there are still aspects of the game that Machado believes he needs and wants to work on at becoming a better player. Consistency is important to the young prospect.

"I learn something new every day," Machado said. "Everything is different because I still have to work hard. The higher you move up, the harder it is to stay there. The players become better and smarter. Working on my game teaches me how to better myself and outsmart other players. I have to practice everyday because I want to stay at shortstop. Consistency is important. I need to go 10 for 10 in fielding rather than say 3 for 10 so it is all about consistency."

Inside The Os Top Stories