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Play of the Day: Manny Machado shows off his strong arm

Jul 7, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

Manny Machado AP

You often hear of the times when scouts and stats are in disagreement, such as last year’s AL MVP debate between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. One area in which the two happily agree is the defense of Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), found at FanGraphs, rates him as the best defensive third baseman in baseball, ahead of Evan Longoria and Nolan Arenado. He leads all American League defenders in defensive Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference. And the scouts say he’s the best in the business at the hot corner, too.

Today, he showed that in a big way. With the Yankees up 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Luis Cruz hit a ground ball down the third base line. Machado ranged to his right but the ball kicked off of the heel of his glove. He stuck with it, corralling the ball almost immediately in foul territory, then fired an off-balance throw to first baseman Chris Davis for the out. Judging from the naked eye, the throw might have been 135 feet.

Shades of Brooks Robinson.

He went 0-for-4 at the dish, but still leads the league with 39 doubles, putting him on pace for 71 over 162 games. That puts him on pace to break Earl Webb’s single-season record of 67 doubles set in 1931.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    I really look forward to the end of the year when someone puts together the Machado highlight reel. It seems he has one of these defensive plays every week that makes you shake your head and question what you just saw. One of my favorites from earlier in the year is when he fielded a dribbler up the line, bent over and threw the guy out. Not typically super spectacular, until you watch it in super slow motion and notice that he only touched the ball with two fingers. Never even got close to the palm of his hand. That guy just lives on another level.

    And of course, let’s not ever froget about this gem.

    • psuorioles - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      I was at the that game against TB, sitting on the 3rd baseline and that was the greatest play I had ever seen live… me and a buddy were going nuts and my wife was confused… I tried to explain how great of a play that was and she just didn’t get it… love watching this kid play…

  2. uscoach - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Jeez …Manny

  3. uscoach - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    The link posted by “Scoutssay…” Is a must-watch for non- O’s fans. Every O’s fan knows the play (from last year) to which I am referring.

  4. aceshigh11 - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    What a killer throw…he made it look so effortless, but he was off-balance, running backwards and still spinning as he let that ball loose, with dead-on accuracy.

    Brilliant play.

    • bigharold - Jul 8, 2013 at 2:06 AM

      From the Bridge of the Death Star Manny Machado is not a good development.

      This young man seems to be limited by only, .. Manny Machado. Of course, there is the possibility the Peter Angelos is every bit the imbecile that he is portrayed to be and will either refuse to pay Machado his worth and lose him or will demand he be traded. But, since Buck Showalter and Dan Duquett are the exact opposite of imbeciles either outcome seems unlikely.

      I fear the force is strong with Machado and unless he can be turned to the Dark Side our hero’s from the Bronx could rue his coming for years! Or, as was stated on this afternoon’s Yes broadcast he might well develop into Baltimore’s Derek Jeter, .. like Jeter developed into the Yankee’s Cal Ripkin. A vicious cycle, …

  5. illadelphiasphinest - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Just Manny being Manny….

  6. pipkin42 - Jul 7, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Trade Hardy, get this guy at his real position!

  7. rockthered1286 - Jul 7, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    And to think this isn’t even his natural position. You’re talking about a kid under 21 in the majors with less than 1 year experience playing 3B… In his entire lifetime!

  8. terpfan76 - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Its a good time to be a fan of baseball in the beltway… Go Nats!!!!

  9. ndnut - Jul 8, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Machado is the best 3B in baseball, and that isn’t even his natural position!

  10. unclemosesgreen - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    My God. Cruz appeared to be hustling out of the box too, he was probably thinking “double” as he left the batter’s box.

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