After he had about 25 people over to watch the draft, where he was selected with the third overall pick by the Orioles, shortstop Manny Machado took part in a telephone conference call interview with Orioles reporters tonight.
Here are the questions he got and his answers:
Q: What was today like for you and did you think you would be drafted by the O’s?
Machado: “I was just here, hanging out with my family, sitting around, waiting for my name to be pronounced over the TV. It was a great feeling once I heard my name. My heart dropped, all the nervousness went away and it was just a great feeling, it’s a good opportunity. The Orioles have paid much attention to me this year, it’s been a good year and I look forward.”
Q: Any thoughts on the player you’d like to become and do you have Major Leaguers as a role model?
Machado: “Yes I do. I’m really going to work hard, whether I play or not. Just work hard and get up to what I’m going to be. Just gain some weight, get some pounds and get stronger and get better. Try to be a Major Leaguer soon.”
Q: Do you have a favorite big leaguer you emulate?
Machado: “I’m just Manny Machado. You can’t be like anybody else, you’ve got to be yourself.”
Q: Maybe it’s unfair for any young player to be compared to Alex Rodriguez, but you have as a young shortstop from South Florida. How do you deal with that?
Machado: “You know, it’s a great honor to be compared to A-Rod, one of the greatest players of all time. It’s just a great feeling to be compared to A-Rod, it’s delightful.”
Q: You are a young man facing the chance to make a lot of money, have you thought about that?
Machado: “I haven’t really thought of that aspect, you know, I’m just taking it one day at a time. Today I just got drafted, so we’re just taking it one day at a time.”
Q: Do you follow the O’s at all and any idea of any players on their team?
Machado: “Well, yeah, I’ve seen a couple of games when they play Tampa, the Yankees. I really haven’t put any mind into any team or anything. Baltimore Orioles are in Baltimore, that’s kind of what I know.”
Q: Tell us more about yourself, like when you started playing?
Machado: “Well, I started playing when I was six years old. I’ve been playing ever since. I’ve always played my shortstop position. I’ve been playing these past four years with my high school career at shortstop, playing varsity my entire four years.”
Q: If the business side of this takes a while, into August, will you be playing in any games anywhere or have you been advised against that?
Machado: “Well, no, right now I have a summer team and will be playing on and off a couple games to keep my bat sharp, but I’m just going to be working out all week and get a couple of at bats with my summer team.”
Q: When did you realize you could be an elite prospect?
Machado: “Ever since last summer, all I’ve been doing is working hard. Been dreaming for this day for maybe a year or so. Once I got out of perfect game-national, I just was working hard every day trying to be the person and player I am now.”
Check Roch’s blog tonight for quotes from O’s scouting director Joe Jordan.