Manny Machado by the Numbers

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

In which we marvel at the breath of fresh air that is Manny Machado.

It's difficult for me to contain my excitement about Manny Machado. He just finished an outstanding May in which he hit a ridiculous .355/.380/.556 with 14 doubles and three home runs. And he hasn't even played a full season of baseball yet.

In Context

Among the 39 third basemen with at least 400 PA between 2012-2013, here's how Machado ranks:

  • WAR: 8th (4.4)
  • wOBA: 12th (.350)
  • K%: 15th (15.9%)
  • BB%: 35th (4.9%)
  • OBP: 21st (.333)
His successful 2013 is contributing to these rankings quite a bit. Among qualified MLB third basemen this year:
  • WAR: 2nd (3.1)
  • wOBA: 4th (.375)
  • K%: 7th (13.7%)
  • BB%: 17th (5.3%)
  • OBP: 5th (.363)

True Talent

Machado's BABIP this year is a robust .368. Here are some things to consider:

  • He has only 465 PA in the big leagues.
  • His career BABIP is .336. In the past 20 years, .336 is the highest BABIP for a player with between 465-500 PA. But it's not an extreme outlier; there are 14 other players above .300.
  • The highest career BABIP in the past 20 years overall is .367 (owned by Austin Jackson). Machado's .336 is tied for 57th with a few other players.
With these facts in mind, it's reasonable to guess that Machado's career BABIP will be on the high side, but not .368.

Manny Facts

  • Machado loves hitting when the score is tied. In 135 such PAs, he's .378/.402/.591.
  • Manny dislikes hitting when the O's are behind. In 146 such PAs (hey, it's happened a lot this year), he's hit .226/.290/.414.
  • If he faces a starting pitcher for the third time in a game, watch out. In 73 such PAs, he's .397/.403/.706 (!).
  • He doesn't use the whole field, but he's not a pull hitter. 56% of his 130 career hits were up the middle, 33% were pulled, and 11% were to the opposite field.
  • Manny hits better at night: .311/.347/.500 vs. .273/.306/.440 in day games.
  • Even if you get an 0-1 count on Manny, you aren't safe. In 28 such PA, he's hitting .423/..407/.538.
  • If you have a full count on Manny, he will look for a walk. He's hitting .167/.400/.361 in 50 such PAs.
  • Manny likes four-seam fastballs (8.2 runs above average, per PITCH/fx) and change-ups (3.5 runs above average). You can get him out with two-seam fastballs (2.9 runs below average) and sinkers (1.9 runs below average). I hope no Yankees staff members are reading this post.

The Sky's the Limit

Manny's playing exciting baseball, and as I keep having to remind myself, he's only 20 years old. He's still 7-8 years away from his peak, and he's under team control through 2018. At the moment he's providing more value than anyone on the team not named Chris Davis. Given that Manny will always sit towards the more difficult side of the defensive spectrum, I wonder how long it will take Dan Duquette to think of a contract extension.

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