Manny Machado, the wunderkind recently ranked as the ninth-best prospect in the game by Baseball America, made his MLB debut last night at home against the Royals. Machado finished the night 2-for-4 with a triple, becoming the first 20-year-old to have a multi-hit game in his first big league game since Giancarlo Stanton in 2010. Here's a quick breakdown of how pitchers attacked Machado:
Machado's 1st AB
Royals lefty Will Smith started Machado off with a curveball that Machado took for a strike. After taking a fastball just off the outside corner, Machado grounded out on a middle-of-the-plate curve.
Machado's 2nd AB
Machado showed his youth -- and pure hitting ability -- in this AB. He took an 88 MPH fastball down the middle for strike one, and then whiffed at curveball at the shoe tops. But Machado adjusted, drilling an outside curve to the right field gap for a sliding triple.
Machado's 3rd AB
Machado took a big hack at a borderline changeup from Smith and came up empty, then fouled off a fastball to fall behind 0-and-2. He took a high-and-tight fastball for a ball, then hit a squibber on an inside slider that rolled away from Smith for an infield single.
Machado's 4th AB
Machado took a 95 MPH from Jeremy Jeffress for strike one, checked his swing on a low-and-away slider to even the count and then flied out on a high-and-inside fastball.
While Machado is awfully young, the O's promoting him might not be as big of a rush job as it first appears. He showed a mature plate approach at Double-A Bowie with a 48/70 K/BB ratio in 459 plate appearances, and his .266/.352/.438 line looks better once you consider that the Eastern League average is just .260/.331/.391 in 2012. He'll have some rough moments, as any 20-year-old facing a two-rung promotion to the majors would. But itt'l be fun seeing just what type of hitter Machado becomes as he fills out his 6-foot-3, 185 pound frame.