Padres News: Manny Machado trending “downwards” in third basemen rankings
By Ryan Sikes
Jim Bowden of The Athletic recently ranked Padres’ Manny Machado as the fourth-best third basemen but indicated that he’s trending downwards.
Despite hitting .256 with 32 home runs and 85 RBI, Manny Machado’s first season with the Padres could be considered a disappointment. After playing on three teams in two years, he’s now settled into a ten-year, $300 million deal that will keep him in San Diego for the foreseeable future.
He accounted for a 3.1 WAR in 2019, which ranked 16th among qualified third basemen. For reference, his 6.2 WAR at shortstop last year was second best. As such, the Padres will be relying on a bounce-back year from Machado, albeit in what is likely to be a shortened season.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic has been putting together his Top 10 by position. If you recall, he had Fernando Tatis Jr. as the fifth-best shortstop, noting that it’s just a matter of time before he’s atop the list.
As for Machado, he comes in as the fourth-best third basemen on Bowden’s list. He touched on the difficulty transitioning from Camden Yards to Dodger Stadium to Petco Park in a two-year span. As we noted, Machado did not hit well at Petco last year, and hitting for average at home will go a long way for re-establishing himself as a top-tier third baseman.
Bowden mentions that he expects a huge year from Machado in 2020, despite what others may be inclined to believe. He and Tatis have formed a formidable 1-2 punch atop the Friars lineup, but much hinges on Machado’s ability to hit for average at home.
Of note, Bowden has just Alex Bregman, Nolan Arenado, and Anthony Rendon ahead of Machado, with all three of them still trending upwards. Only Bregman is younger than Machado.
Thoughts on Machado potentially trending downwards?