AL East Positional Rankings: A Step Back in 2017 for Third Base

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers /
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Manny Machado
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – SEPTEMBER 29: Manny Machado /

1. Baltimore Orioles – Manny Machado

Manny Machado started 156 games at third base for the Orioles in 2017, and though it wasn’t a great season by his standards, overall it was still pretty good. Machado hit .259/.310/.471 in 2017 with 33 home runs, 33 doubles, 95 runs batted in and 81 runs for the Orioles.

Machado had a 2.9 offensive WAR and a 1.0 defensive WAR, coming together for a 3.5 WAR. Obviously not exactly what you expect from a superstar, but his defense keeps him at the top of the rankings, along with the fact that a Machado for 156 games is better than Donaldson for 110+ and someone else for 40.

Machado made 14 errors in 425 chances. good enough for a .967 fielding percentage, which is well above the league average of .956. Machado had range numbers well above the league average as well, and the eye test certainly agrees with that.

A Gold Glove finalist, Manny played the most games at third base in the American League and made the second most outs at the position. He also turned the third most double plays at the position for the Orioles, and his fielding percentage and range were both fourth in the American League.

Next: Orioles Have Reached Out to Tillman, Miley

Machado is a free agent after the 2018 season, something full of consternation and concern among Orioles’ faithful.