The Orioles signed Manny Machado minutes before the midnight EST signing deadline, after selecting him with the 3rd overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft. An 18-year-old recent high school graduate, Machado had been under scholarship to attend Florida International.
As soon as he was drafted the 6-foot-3, 190 pound SS was already thought of as the Orioles top prospect, and to a greater extent, the top shortstop prospect in the minors by some. And there’s no doubting Machado’s impact potential.
It’s hard to find 5-tool shortstops, but that’s exactly what Machado is. He projects to hit above .300 at the major league level and although it’s a small sample size, his plate discipline has been impressive through the first couple weeks of 2011. He projects to hit anywhere from 20-30 home runs in the majors.
There were some concerns as to whether Machado will outgrow shortstop and eventually need to move to third base although those concerns have died down somewhat and it seems most are fairly confident Machado is a shortstop going forward. His range is above-average, but should settle in at about average once he’s completely filled out. He has good hands, footwork and a plus arm.
The Orioles have what looks to be their shortstop of the future in Machado, and we could see him in Baltimore in late 2013, but more likely sometime in 2014.