Baseball Reference has been utilizing Out of the Park Baseball as a way to simulation this season, and Manny Machado is carrying the team.
As the country and the game of baseball has been on lockdown since the end of March due to the novel coronavirus, things have been rocky across the board. To bring a sliver of normalcy to our present, Baseball Reference and Out of the Park Baseball teamed up to bring a simulated season for baseball fans across the United States and the world to follow.
The San Diego Padres are off to an abysmal start through their first 78 games. At 30-48, the Padres sit in dead last in the National League West, facing a 28.5 game deficit to the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. As was to be expected to a fault, San Diego has seen a significant disappointment from their starting rotation and their offense, respectively.
In the wake of disaster, the Friars’ own $30 million man Manny Machado has held his own, and then some. And although it is all fun and games for fans to follow, the simulated season is charging ahead in favor of Machado.
San Diego Padres: Living up to his contract?
During the winter of 2019, the Padres made their biggest free-agency splash in the organization’s history when they signed hot corner stud Machado to a 10-year/$300 million contract.
Machado’s .256/.334/.462 line did not live up to the money spent in the eyes of many fans as most considered the campaign a down year for the former Baltimore Orioles all-star. On a positive note, Machado was consistently healthy, only missing six games the entire year.
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He hit 32 home runs, his fifth straight year with 30+ home runs, and was worth 3.1 Wins Above Replacement. All things considered, Machado produced to an extent at the level that fans hoped he would, at least as a baseline.
Machado kept a consistent walk rate of 9.8 percent while keeping his strikeout rate north of 20 percent, despite an overall uptick in the number. The defensive numbers did decline; however, Machado was able to keep his fielding metric numbers in the green.
Arguably Machado saw fewer at-bats in 2019 than the year before, 48 in fact, and still managed to crush over 30 home runs. He also kept his streak alive of at least 80 RBI in a season and displayed the same consistent numbers in home runs and RBI he has in each of the previous three years.
San Diego Padres: Monster numbers across the board
The simulation, as mentioned earlier, which OOTP is running allows fans to track individual statistics, and it is not a pretty sight for the Padres sans Machado. The great news from the standpoint of simulation, however, is that Machado is capable of putting up monster numbers in San Diego.
Through the first 78 “games” of 2020, Machado is slashing an impressive .289/.336/.530 with a .867 OPS, 17 home runs, 59 RBI bringing his production through the first half to a 2.8 WAR. To put his numbers into perspective from the first half of last season, Machado slashed .266/.339/.489, 20 home runs, and 58 RBI.
While we like to have fun in crunching the numbers from a simulated season, it still shows what Machado is capable of when he is at the top, or, at least, near the top of his game. The Padres are still an incredibly young team, and Machado is the circus’ ring leader in San Diego.
For the Friars to move the needle in their favor, they require the production of Machado, with a consistency from the rest of the offense. Hopefully, when baseball does start up once again, they will be able to progress and make baseball fun back in the sunshine state.