manny machado

The Orioles Are Good, But Very Lucky

The Baltimore Orioles are the American League East Champions this year, and rightfully so. This is a team led by veteran presences such as Matt Wieters and Chris Davis, along with youngster Manny Machado being the best young infielder in the game.

Wait, what happened? Okay, scratch that then. At least they have a pretty solid rotation led by offseason signing Ubaldo Jimenez, who will be the most trusted guy in their rotation in this upcoming postseason run.

Okay, now you just have to be messing with me. Is Adam Jones still there? Nelson Cruz? Okay, that’s a little relieving then.

Somehow, the Orioles won the division, and still deserved it the most. Even though most of their notable names went down for several different reasons, their replacements did good enough to ensure the team wins. The best example of this: Steve Pearce.

Steve Pearce is arguably the most valuable on the Orioles this season, and he doesn’t even have 400 plate appearances. He’s filled in wherever he needed to, whether that was at first when Davis went down with an injury (later with a suspension), or in left field when David Lough wouldn’t produce offensively. Pearce is currently 2nd on the team in overall WAR with 4.8 and could easily be a 5 WAR if he plays every game left in the regular season.

Here’s where the “luck factor” comes in. Steve Pearce was always labeled as an offensive prospect when he was in the Pirates organization, but just couldn’t find his groove when he eventually made it to the Majors. This led to him being bounced around in 2012, playing with the Orioles, Astros & Yankees. He eventually did make his way back to Baltimore in late September of that year. Before this season, Pearce has never finished a season with a WAR above 1 or played in more than 50 games. Whether this is the “real” Steve Pearce is yet to be determined, but right now, the Orioles don’t care.

Another example is Caleb Joseph. A 28 year old rookie catcher who had to take on a rotation that many viewed as less than average. Well, that “less than average” rotation has flourished in the 2nd half of this season with Joseph behind the plate for most of it. And for Joseph’s value? He will probably finish with a WAR at or around 1 (he’s currently at 0.9), which is more than the Orioles could have asked for from a guy who considered quitting baseball just a year ago.

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Want more examples of pure luck? How about late season acquisitions Alejandro De Aza and Jimmy Paredes. In 16 games in Baltimore, De Aza is slashing .308/.366/.554 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI’s. And for Paredes; he’s currently slashing .350/.381/.600 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI’s in 13 games. Now, obviously these are small sample sizes for players nobody would expect this kind of production from, but De Aza and Paredes have been two big parts in the last month of games for Baltimore.

With everything in life, luck is involved. You can’t escape it, no matter what you do. Obviously all of these players have the skill to be their absolute best, and that has obviously shown this season, but luck plays a big part in it as well. How this translates to postseason play is another thing, since it’s a completely different atmosphere. One thing is certain though: the Orioles will be playing in the playoff while Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Ubaldo Jimenez all have to watch.

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Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson?

Two of the best third baseman in the league right now are Manny Machado of the Orioles and Josh Donaldson of the Athletics. Both are amazingly talented baseball players who will hopefully be cornerstones for their respected franchises for the rest of their careers. This leads to people choose one or the other to say is “better”.

With recent events that happened, the two players don’t seem to like each other and have started the “Machado-Donaldson Rivalry”, if you want to call it that. I’m sure you know what happened during that whole series. Benches were cleared, bats were thrown and players got really angry. Now I’m here to find out which one is the better baseball player.

To fully compare them, I’ll do it by season since the two have a significant age gap (Donaldson is 28, Machado is 22).

Batting Average (BA)
2012: Machado (.262), Donaldson (.241)
2013: Machado (.283), Donaldson (.301)
2014: Machado (.270), Donaldson (.238)

On Base Percentage (OBP)
2012: Machado (.294), Donaldson (.289)
2013: Machado (.314), Donaldson (.384)
2014: Machado (.319), Donaldson (.318)

Slugging Percentage (SLG)
2012: Machado (.445), Donaldson (.398)
2013: Machado (.432), Donaldson (.499)
2014: Machado (.442), Donaldson (.449)

Isolated Power (ISO)
2012: Machado (.183), Donaldson (.157)
2013: Machado (.148), Donaldson (.199)
2014: Machado (.152), Donaldson (.211)

Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP)
2012: Machado (.293), Donaldson (.278)
2013: Machado (.322), Donaldson (.333)
2014: Machado (.298), Donaldson (.250)

By these, it’s evident that Josh Donaldson has unleashed his true potential as a power hitter this season, with his batting average and average on balls in play have taken a hit. Machado, not known as a power hitter, has upped his average to .270 this season after a very slow start to his season. Both have been fairly even at getting on base the same, with the exception of 2013 when Donaldson’s was way higher than Machado’s. The most notable differences are the spike in power for Donaldson this season and Machado’s consistency while growing into the player he will be for the rest of his career.

Both players are amazing defensively and will be the front runners for the Gold Glove for many years to come. Both have exceptional range, arm strength and ability to make amazing plays everyday.

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Both of these guys are amazing baseball players and would be amazing pieces to any franchise, but which one would you rather have?

Manny Machado: 80 Grade Everything

Manny Machado is the Orioles third baseman, and he is very well received around the league. Many fans go to see the youngster play an amazing third base, which he was recognized for with the Platinum Glove, which I guess is a thing now. There are many things to love about Machado, so I figured I’d help point out a few things that would get an 80 grade on the rating scale that baseball players are usually measured by.

80 GRADE DERP

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80 GRADE SMILE/LAUGH

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80 GRADE HEAD NODDING 

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80 GRADE HOME RUN CELEBRATIONS

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AND FINALLY, 80 GRADE DEFENSE

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Never change, Manny ❤