I’ve heaped a lot of praise on manager Buck Showalter this season, and rightfully so, but let’s not forget that former scouting director Joe Jordan used the third pick in the 2010 player draft on Miami prep shortstop Manny Machado.
The Orioles had serious interest in Texas high school right-hander Jameson Taillon, but the Pirates grabbed him with the second pick. That left Machado, who wasn’t getting past the Orioles.
Here are the top 10 selections from that year:
1. Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals
2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
3. Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore Orioles
4. Christian Colon, SS, Kansas City Royals
5. Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Cleveland Indians
6. Barret Loux, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
7. Matt Harvey, RHP, New York Mets
8. Delino DeShields, 2B, Houston Astros
9. Karsten Whitson, RHP, San Diego Padres
10. Michael Choice, OF, Oakland Athletics
Jordan also drafted catcher Matt Wieters, pitcher Dylan Bundy, outfielders Xavier Avery and LJ Hoes and infielder Nicky Delmonico, to name a small batch, but he’s constantly bashed for Billy Rowell and Matt Hobgood (or the entire 2009 class, for that matter.)
If you’re being swept away in Machado mania this weekend, you should pause to consider who got it rolling.
Will Machado be in tonight’s lineup?
(Sorry, that’s Thursday’s question. How did that get in here?)
Machado will start at third base against Royals right-hander Luis Mendoza. He batted ninth on Thursday and eighth last night. Could seventh be far behind?
Knowing Showalter, he’ll try to lessen the hype and keep Machado eighth. Then he’ll remind us later tonight that it’s only been three games.
Machado has an 0-for-4 in his future. Don’t be too disappointed when it happens. But this has been fun. And I really appreciate how the 20-year-old kid carries himself in such a professional manner. Same with Bundy in spring training.
You hear about teams loving a player’s “makeup.” They don’t mean eyeliner.
While I’m praising Jordan today, I’ll throw a little love in executive vice president Dan Duquette’s direction for signing pitcher Miguel Gonzalez - on the recommendation of Fred Ferreira, the executive director of international recruiting - along with outfielders Lew Ford and Nate McLouth, and trading for second baseman Omar Quintanilla.
Last night’s lineup included shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones and designated hitter Chris Davis. Reliever Pedro Strop pitched the ninth inning and extended his scoreless streak to 15 appearances. Steve Johnson made his first major league start on Wednesday and earned his first major league win.
They’re here because of Andy MacPhail.
There’s lots of credit to go around. And if we’re going to obsess over the misses, we may as well acknowledge the hits.
A win tonight will put the Orioles 10 games above .500 for the first time since June 24 (41-31), before they lost six of seven.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “Wall to Wall Baseball” from noon to 2 p.m. on MASN before heading to Camden Yards.