Manny Machado will lead the team in RBI
If not home runs, Machado is going to lead the team in some other category. Perhaps, best sideburns? No? Then he’ll have to settle for runs batted in. Last year, Eric Hosmer led the team with 99 RBI, and Machado finishing behind him with 85 RBI.
Tatis could make a compelling case for this as well, but if he remains in the leadoff spot, it’s going to be difficult to match the same production as someone who bats in the middle of the order. As noted, 2019 was a down year for Machado, but he posted a career-high 107 RBI in 2018 – split between the Orioles and Dodgers – and hadn’t finished with less than 90 since 2015 before last year.
I suspect that Machado’s contract expectations got the best of him last year, but in year two, his numbers should normalize. In a recent interview, he indicated that he had been working on squaring up the barrel to the ball this offseason.
This was coming on the heels of his worst barrel percentage (8.0), which was the lowest since 2015. Fangraphs pegs him for 33 home runs and an even 100 RBI, which should lead the team. Hosmer is another guy that could sneak his way up there, but the arrow may be trending downward on him now.