The O’s beat Justin Verlander and the Tigers yesterday, continuing strong play of late to give them the AL’s third-best record. Manny Machado chipped in with his league-leading 32nd double and “two sparkling plays at third base.”
Neither of those are new for Machado, who’s on pace to break baseball’s season record for doubles and who draws natural comparisons to Baltimore legend Brooks Robinson, one of the great third basemen ever and the man generally acknowledged as the greatest defensive player at the position.
Robinson didn’t hit quite like this, though. Through 123 games and 503 career at-bats, 20-year-old Machado’s slash line is .300/.331/.473. That’s well above Robinson’s .268/.322/.401. If you want to adjust for eras and other factors, Machado’s career OPS+ is 117, Robinson’s was 103.
This combination of defensive and offensive excellence is why Machado leads the AL in Baseball Reference WAR and is third in Fangraphs’ version. But back to the defense for a second, because that’s why we’re here mentioning Manny and Brooks in the same post.
Four GIFs that show Machado is basically the new Human Vacuum Cleaner:
Wait a minute, let’s enhance on that last one:
Cherish this kid.
Update: Hours after posting this Manny broke off yet another diving play.
Update No. 2: I’m just going to keep adding GIFs. This one’s amazing.