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The Ringer: If Manny Machado Still Played Third, He Might Be MVP


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#1 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:08 AM

If Manny Machado Still Played Third, He Might Be MVP
The impending free agent is enjoying a Triple Crown season at the plate, but the long-awaited return to shortstop that was supposed to finally catapult him to the sport’s Troutian ranks might instead be the thing keeping him from them

 

https://www.theringe...tstop-struggles

 

 


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#2 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:23 AM

He is not a good SS. Now he may well turn out to be one once he has spent more time back there. But to me its mind boggling how stuck he seemed to be to want to move back to SS because he grew up playing there instead of playing 3B where he was an absolute monster.

 

Seems more like he should have been playing 3B all along. He finally, through some good fortune, had to move the 3B since SS was covered by JJ Hardy. Instead of waiting for the day to return to SS he should have been thanking his lucky stars and embracing 3B with a passion.



#3 RShack

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:44 AM

He is not a good SS. Now he may well turn out to be one once he has spent more time back there. But to me its mind boggling how stuck he seemed to be to want to move back to SS because he grew up playing there instead of playing 3B where he was an absolute monster.

 

Seems more like he should have been playing 3B all along. He finally, through some good fortune, had to move the 3B since SS was covered by JJ Hardy. Instead of waiting for the day to return to SS he should have been thanking his lucky stars and embracing 3B with a passion.

 

He played SS because he was the best ballplayer on every team he was ever on.... that's pretty normal....

 

He wants to play there because it's more of a glamour job than 3B.... I agree with you that he's better at 3B.... what he's got at 3B is stuff you can't teach... he looks like he needs some teaching at SS...


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#4 clapdiddy

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:49 AM

I think this team would be better off with Manny at 3B and some random all glove/no hit guy at SS.  



#5 Mackus

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:52 AM

He's not there yet but I still think he'll end up as a pretty good defensive SS. 



#6 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:58 AM

The numbers hate him at SS.   I think those are noisy. 

I think if he stays at SS with his next team, he'll improve (additional time, experience, his natural talent) and become an above average SS; but never great.

He's all-time elite at 3rd though, and because of that, that's where he should be imo.


Sure he's going to go somewhere where SS is promised.



#7 bnickle

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:27 PM


I think this team would be better off with Manny at 3B and some random all glove/no hit guy at SS.

When I was saying we should consider bringing back Hardy or someone as defensively adept as hes been in his career I was mocked. No, Manny and Beckham would be worlds better

#8 bnickle

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:30 PM


He's not there yet but I still think he'll end up as a pretty good defensive SS.

Pretty good is a little vague but I think Id disagree at this point. As he gets older and likely bigger I dont see the range improving. He'll slowly start to lose some of his arm strength which is his biggest strength. I dont think he'll ever be much above avg and could settle in below average

#9 Mackus

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:52 PM

Pretty good is a little vague but I think Id disagree at this point. As he gets older and likely bigger I dont see the range improving. He'll slowly start to lose some of his arm strength which is his biggest strength. I dont think he'll ever be much above avg and could settle in below average

 

He's got 7 seasons to go before he's 32.  I don't think age is a concern for him. 

 

We'll see what happens if he plays SS beyond this season.  Will mostly depend on where he signs.  "Pretty good" is vague, that's fair, I think he'll be as good as any of the guys who aren't in the gold glove discussion.  Outside the elite but clearly above the average.  I think he'll evolve to that level because of the flashes he's shown combined with how rarely he had attention/focus/fundamental mistakes at 3B which seem to be the majority of the mistakes he's made at SS that I've seen.

 

Maybe whomever ponies up for him will already have a SS and want him to slide back to 3B and we'll never find out for sure how good he could be.  I don't think he's set in stone to look the way he has thus far long term at SS though, if he does get the chance. 



#10 BSLRobShields

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:55 PM

As usual, people are jumping to conclusions based on SSS.

Manny may never develop into an above average SS but it’s way too early to tell right now.

He has the skill set to be above average over there but he also has to get used to the position again. It could take a while. I don’t think we will truly know how good or bad he will be until next season, assuming he is a SS next season.
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#11 CA-ORIOLE

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:57 PM

I think his play at SS has improved. Still I'm not sure you ever see anything more than average to a bit above average if you even see that. This guy had the greatest defensive season in baseball history statistically (and arguably subjectively) not that long ago. Brooks Robinson stated late during that year that he wasn't even close to Manny Machado as a third baseman. Why do you mess with that and why would Machado not want to build on that? Oh, he likes SS. Mind boggling to me.

 

Wasn't expecting him to replicate that year, but the guy regressed enough to where he wasn't even considered the best best third  baseman in baseman anymore (that's Arrenado). I'd guess most analysts would say he wasn't even a top 5 defensive third baseman last year. I just don't think the guy worked at it hard enough and applied himself. He'll similarly bore himself at SS and will never excel, or reach his limited defensive upside there imo. 

 

Great talent but he can go away. 


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#12 dude

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:34 PM

Wasn't expecting him to replicate that year, but the guy regressed enough to where he wasn't even considered the best best third  baseman in baseman anymore (that's Arrenado). I'd guess most analysts would say he wasn't even a top 5 defensive third baseman last year.

 

So I agree with this and it usually gets overlooked.

 

He's certainly been an excellent defender at 3B, but people seem to only view him as the Platinum Glove (2013...4 years ago) when it's difficult to repeat that type of season, let alone maintain it.  There's a group of guys that are outstanding defenders across the league at 3B, Manny is one of them.

 

The notion that his SS defense is hurting him from some great accolade is silly.


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#13 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:42 PM

Meh...  if you go by metrics only, yeah.... Machado regressed defensively at 3rd in '17.

He had a 2.2 UZR / 150, and +6 DRS.   He just generally struggled all over in the 1st half last year. I believe the defensive numbers improved during the year.  I don't think it was a regression of ability.

Plus if you are just going by metrics only, you don't have to go back to 2013 to find the last time he was elite.... he had 9.9 UZR/150, and +13 DRS in '16.

 

For the record, Arenado's DRS have been excellent in his career... but his UZR/150 has never been off the charts (aside from '13).

In '17, Arenado had a UZR / 150 of 5.9 (by far his best since '13), and a +20 DRS. 

By all accounts he's great.  I highly doubt he is legitimately any better than Machado at 3rd.



#14 BSLRobShields

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 11:56 PM

Interesting to hear Brooks' comments about Manny going to SS...basically said its a big mistake because Manny was just so good at 3rd.  


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