No concerns over Machado & Schoop

They are two of the best prospects in the Orioles’ organization and both are just 19 years old. But, after putting up some big stats in the South Atlantic League, both Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop have struggled in the Carolina League.

They will both play in the Futures Game this Sunday.

Here is how they have done this year:

Machado at Delmarva: .276-6-24 in 38 games with .859 OPS
Machado at Frederick: .209-1-3 in 13 games with .616 OPS.

Scoop at Delmarva: .318-8-34 in 51 games with .890 OPS.
Schoop at Frederick: .216-0-10 in 26 games with .527 OPS.

Machado, who turned 19 on Wednesday, was batting .333 with five homers and 21 RBIs in his first 25 Delmarva games before he injured his left knee in early May and missed a month.

Orioles president Andy MacPhail said neither he nor anyone among the O’s minor league staff is worried about the players.

“Nobody seems to be terribly concerned,” MacPhail said this week. “I read the game reports every day and they seem to be hitting the ball hard and according to our manager, they don’t appear to be overmatched. Same thing with John (Stockstill, O’s Director of Player Development). I’ll get a chance in the not too distant future to see them for myself. I’m happy with both.”

MacPhail said when Stockstill wanted to move both players up a level, he signed off on the moves.

“This is pretty much John’s show,” MacPhail said. “He told me what he had in mind. John is going to push them up the ladder. He’s going to let them play and will not be shy about moving them up.

“Generally, he is not going to move a player to a level he doesn’t think they can handle. He’s done it with (LJ) Hoes, who is 21. He moved to Double-A and now is hitting .320 and he scuffled in the beginning. (Xavier) Avery too, he’s 21.”

MacPhail said the Orioles are pleased with how both players have handled themselves with Frederick.

“There are certain things you only learn by experiencing and certain adjustments that you make only when you realize you have to make them,” he said. “John is aggressive, more aggressive then I am by nature. But you can’t look at the results and not think they made sense.

“I think they will follow the path that Hoes and Avery took. Scuffle initially, figure it out and go.”

Machado seems to be starting to figure it out now with Frederick. After batting .148 in his first eight games, he is 5-for-16 (.313) in the last five games with the Keys. He drove in two runs Wednesday night and last night went 1-for-1 with a double and four walks.

MacPhail did not want to say if the Orioles have a master plan timetable of sorts for when Machado should be able to reach the major leagues.

“Those decisions become self-evident. Those timetables are not worth the paper they are written on. Obviously we model stuff out, what our roster might look like years out. But at the same time, you can’t take that too seriously. Because they are human beings and things can change,” MacPhail said.

This week, Baseball America ranked the 50 best prospects of the first half of the season and they listed Machado fifth in all of baseball behind only the Nats’ Bryce Harper, the Angels’ Mike Trout, the Rays’ Matt Moore and Julio Teheran of the Braves.

It was just last August that the Orioles gave Machado a $5.25 million dollar signing bonus. MacPhail said that certainly appears to be money well spent.

“Yeah, I’m delighted to have him,” he said.

Time to promote something: I get asked often about the Orioles efforts in international scouting. Coming up next week, I will examine this issue with in-depth interviews with MacPhail and Ben Badler of Baseball America. You will read here starting Monday what MacPhail says on this topic and how Badler sees the O’s doing on the international front. I recently had a very long interview with MacPhail on the subject and will publish that interview in this space on Monday.

Time to promote something else: Hope you follow me on Twitter @masnsteve. I am pushing to reach 1,000 followers by the All-Star break. I hope many readers of this blog check out my radio show each weeknight at 10 p.m. It’s called Baltimore Baseball Tonight and we take calls about the Orioles every night on 105.7 FM the Fan.

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