Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are two of the best young players in baseball. Both got their careers off to good starts when they were called to the major leagues this year, Harper on April 28 and Machado on Aug. 9.
Here are the stats for each after their first 10 MLB games:
Machado: .270 avg., .289 OBP, .649 slugging, .938 OPS, 3 homers, 7 extra-base hits.
Harper: .265 avg., .381 OBP, .441 slugging, .822 OPS, 0 homers, 6 extra-base hits.
By the way, the Angels’ Mike Trout was called up last year and after his first 10 games had a batting average of .176, an OPS of .479 and just two extra-base hits.
So if Orioles fans want bragging rights, Machado’s first 10 games top both Harper and Trout. Yes, that is very impressive.
In Manny’s first four games, he went 6-for-16 with a double, a triple, three homers and seven RBIs. In his second major league game, at 20 years, 35 days old, Machado became the first player in modern major league history (since 1900) with two homers and a triple through his first two career games in the majors.
He became the youngest player in Orioles franchise history, which includes the St. Louis Browns from 1902 to 1953, to hit two or more homers in a game. Machado became the youngest player in major league history to have a multiple-home run game in either his first or second career game
Those first few days were amazing and record-setting for Manny. Now, however, Machado is hitless in three straight games for the first time as a big leaguer, going 0-for-10. It has dropped his average from .333 to .250.
Since those first four games, Manny is 4-for-24 over his last seven games with two extra-base hits, a pair of doubles.
Should we worry about any of this? Absolutely not.
We all knew Manny couldn’t keep putting his name in the major league record book nightly and that some 0-fers would come. We knew some big league hurlers would make him look bad at times and we’ve seen that in recent games.
But I think the Orioles brass knows that a few hitless games won’t get Machado down or hurt his confidence even a little. On opening night in Bowie this year, I asked Manny what would happen if he got off to an 0-for-20 start in the Eastern League. He said he’d just show up earlier and work harder the next day. Of course, he then went out and homered on the first pitch he saw at the Double-A level. No chance for 0-for-20.
Manny seems to be able to find the correct balance between being a confident - but not a cocky - player. There is no ego or arrogance there and he never seems impressed with his many press clippings.
Even Trout and Harper have had their big league struggles. No reason to think Manny would avoid that. His defense at third continues to be top-notch and there is no reason to think that will fall off.
Machado burst onto the scene with some remarkable games and it was thrilling to watch. Now, as he settles in and the stats begin to level off, I see no reason for concern.
O’s fans should just appreciate the amazing talent they have playing third base every night now at just 20, realizing they may be watching the beginning stages of someone that could have a special career in Baltimore.
Up next for Bundy and Gausman: Dylan Bundy pitched last night for Double-A Bowie and gave up two runs and five hits over six innings for the Baysox at Richmond. Bundy’s next start is set for this Sunday at home when Bowie hosts Harrisburg.
Kevin Gausman made his debut with Single-A Frederick on Saturday. His next scheduled outing is this Friday when Frederick plays at Potomac.