Jul 9, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) bats in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Nationals defeated the Orioles 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
I originally had Manny and the Orioles in fourth, but then I looked at Donaldson’s defensive stats. Manny is a defensive wizard, and he also should be fully healthy for the beginning of this season. For Manny, it all comes down to being healthy. Machado is only 22 years old and has a bright future if his knees can last.
Many believe his power is still developing, and that is for a guy who hit a league-leading 51 doubles in 2013. Many expect more of those to become home runs as Machado continues to improve as a player. Machado was just starting to get back to his normal self when he suffered another knee injury in 2014. His 2013 season made him an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner, and the O’s hope he can regain that form this year.
Flaherty is a favorite of Buck Showalter and will likely make the team over Paredes because of Flaherty’s defense. As written previously, the glove is what Flaherty possesses.
Pearce has been working out some at third, but one would think he wouldn’t see much time there unless an injury occurs to Machado.
Next: Donaldson - overrated 2014