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.
Thoughts on Machado potentially trending downwards?