Machado is no consolation prize

Okay, I'll admit I was hoping the Orioles would get high school pitcher Jameson Taillon with the third pick in the draft. To me the numbers 99 (his top velocity) and 18 (his age) don't often go together.

Now, I and all O's fans have to get over it. They didn't make a mistake here, unless winning two more games than the Pirates last year was a mistake.

They got shortstop Manny Machado and Joe Jordan seemed very happy when I saw him earlier today and said, if they did wind up with Machado, it would be no consolation prize.

The 6'2", 180-pound, right-handed hitter batted .639 in high school this year with the Brito Panthers who play near Miami.

Raised by his uncle, Geovany, Machado hit .367-2-9 last summer as the under 18 USA national team went 8-0 and beat Cuba for the gold medal in the Pan American Junior Championships.

Scouts love his bat and his arm. Many think he will stay as a shortstop unless he grows too big for the position. His weakest "tool" is his speed, he is not fast.

Now comes the contract talks. Machado could get five million to sign and with Scott Boras as his rep, the contract talks figure to go down to the wire with the deadline of August 15th to sign.

Machado is still just 17 and is only three months older than number one pick Bryce Harper. He turns 18 on July 6th.

He has a college commitment to Florida International, but it would be a real surprise if he winds up there.

Machado possibly will become the top shortstop prospect in the O's system the day he signs.

He's good and he's no consolation prize.

How shortstops have fared in the O's minors this year:
Robert Andino, Norfolk: .229-6-29 in 55 games
Pedro Florimon, Bowie: .183-1-12 in 37 games, currently on the DL
Carlos Rojas, Bowie: .291-0-6 in 13 games
Greg Miclat, Frederick: .325-0-11 in 34 games
Bobby Stevens, Frederick: .203-2-21 in 15 games
Michael Mooney, Frederick: .122-0-3 in 11 games
Garabez Rosa, Delmarva: .278-1-22 in 49 games
Mychal Givens, Delmarva: .222-0-4 in 5 games, currently on the DL

Rosa was named today to play in the South Atlantic League All-Star game on June 22nd. Rosa, who hit .333 in April, leads the Shorebirds with 20 doubles and is second on the club with 22 RBI.

Shortstops the Orioles have taken in round one:
1967 - Bobby Grich
1968 - Junior Kennedy
1974 - Rich Dauer

Here is Baseball America's scouting report on Machado:

Machado committed early to Florida International, but the Golden Panthers have long since determined he's not headed for campus. Instead he could be headed for the first five picks. He leapt into first-round consideration at the start of the 2009 summer showcase season and never stopped hitting or fielding, helping lead USA Baseball's 18U team to a gold medal in Venezuela in the Pan American Junior Championship. He's of Dominican descent and is a tall, lanky shortstop in South Florida, attracting inevitable Alex Rodriguez comparisons. Machado is skinny at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds but surprisingly strong and has a swing that produces hard contact. He's familiar with wood bats and has shown a knack for centering the ball on the barrel. Scouts project him to hit for average future power, with a chance to be a .300 hitter. Defensively, Machado will remain at shortstop as a pro and has a chance to be an above-average defender. He's smooth, makes all the routine plays and has a plus arm that allows him to make the play in the hole. Machado's weakest tool might be his speed, though he's an average runner. There are few chinks in his armor, and the Boras Corp. client is in play with single-digit picks.

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