Date of Birth: 2/22/1992 (2014 Opening Day Age: 22)
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2008
Ranking History: #75 (2009), #36 (2010), #26 (2011), #29 (2012), #27 (2013), #26 (2014)
Background: Signed as a skinny teenager, Machado debuted with a .205/.310/.278 line in the VSL in 2009 before coming stateside for a 43 game trial in the GCL in 2010. With the GCL Tigers that year he hit an improved .261 with just seven extra-base hits and 12 steals. He was pushed to Low-A West Michigan in 2011 where he was the primary shortstop and hit .235 with a solid approach in 124 games. Machado made the natural progression to High-A Lakeland in 2012 and he hit an anemic .195 with 16 doubles and two home runs in 119 games, though he did amass nearly as many walks (51) as strikeouts (61). During an injury-marred 2013 season, Machado hit a combined .232 between the GCL (while on rehab) and High-A Lakeland.
|2013 Stats - Hitting|
Body: Tall and thin; no ability to hang muscle; supposedly adds strength every year but body never changes; strength has improved since signing, but not to the impact of his game; lacks physical projection; very good athlete; graceful kid.
Hit: Has good approach and natural feel for contact; doesn't impact the ball; can't handle velocity; recognizes spin well but can't do much with it even when he stays back; all-field ability; too much weak contact and no physical projection makes hit projection difficult; unlikely to hit more than .240 at peak; can work counts thanks to pitch rec and strike zone knowledge; bottom of the order hitter. Grade – Present 2/Future 3
Power: No power in game; doesn't drive the ball; lacks impressive bat speed and/or strength; no power projection even if hit tool miraculously develops; some doubles/triples because of speed; bottom of the scale power. Grade – 2/2
Speed: Has shown plus run in the past; those times are less consistent now; will still get down the line with plus time when he really needs it; more consistently average to solid-average run now; uses speed well on the bases and in the field; has potential for speed to impact game when he's on base; instincts help speed play up; potential to steal 10-15 bases. Grade – 5+/5+
Defense: Tremendous defender; picks it with the best of them; easy glove; moves well to both sides; plus range thanks to good first step and great instincts; hands for days; makes routine plays look simple; difficult plays look easy; will make one sensational play each game is seems; plus-plus peak; valuable defensive profile. Grade – 6+/7
Arm: Among best in the minor leagues; cannon; legitimate elite tool; fun to watch; can throw from anywhere; excellent footwork; uncanny accuracy; doesn't lose much on the run; elite arm strength that makes defensive profile that much better. Grade – 8/8
Other: Injuries continue to hamper him; hard worker; not blessed with ability to add strength; quality makeup; carries himself well; handles the bat; can bunt well.
Summary: Near-elite glove and elite arm; defense first profile; classic shortstop glove; can't hit; good approach; minimal hit projection; no power in game; solid runner; utility profile because of lack of hit; needs healthy season to get back on track to MLB bench future.
Risk: Low risk; Limited ceiling given lack of offensive projection; near ceiling; glove-first player with bench profile.
Projection: Needs a healthy season at Double-A to re-establish any prospect value that remains; bat will always be extremely light; doesn't have offense for everyday profile; near elite glove and elite arm give defensive replacement potential; could play other infield positions given aptitude at SS; potential glove-first utility player.
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