You see how I’m segueing from the 2013 fantasy baseball rookies into the 2013 fantasy baseball sleepers. Shizz is seamless, yo. You’re welcome. When Manny Machado was first called up, I compared him to Hanley Ramirez, because of his power/speed combo and his maturity beyond his years. (That’s baseball maturity, I can’t speak to Hanley or Machado’s ability to make responsible decisions; to have confidence and the capacity for self-assertion, certainly; the ability to laugh, and to laugh at yourself, not at the expense of others; to take risks and– well, other signs of maturity as suggested by Ann Landers. I don’t know from maturity, I had to Google it.) Unfortch, Machado no longer has middle infield eligibility. Whatever, his power and speed at the age of 20 (!) will play at 3rd base. Also, I love that the Orioles are going with him. By the age of 22, he could be drafted in the top rounds. So, what does that mean for Manny Machado in 2013 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Last year, I wrote, “In keepers and AL-Only leagues, pursue with reckless abandon. As soon as next year, he could give you 15/15/.250.” And that’s me quoting me! That still sounds pretty right on. FWIWuertz, Bill James projected him for 15/14/.256. I gave him those other projections line prior to him getting one major league at-bat. After seeing him for nearly a third of the season, I could see bumping his line up a little. I worry that his walk rate bottomed out last year in his first major league go-around. He needs to lift his 4.5 BB% by about double. For someone who jumped from Double-A, that’s not surprising and is doable. He saw his first batch of real off-speed pitches on an everyday basis in the majors, and he still hit seven homers in 51 games. Once he conquers the off-speed junk, he could hit 30 homers, and climb to a mountaintop and scream, “I conquered off-speed pitches!… Hello? Hey, anyone around? Damn, I should’ve never used a Groupon for a sherpa.” To give you another real-life example, Miggy jumped from Double-A to the majors at the age of 20, hit 12 homers in 87 games and then hit 31 homers at the age of 21. Do you see the kind of comparisons I’m making? I’m not comparing Machado to Alcides or Victorino or Headley, I’m comparing him to Hanley and Miggy. I’m comparing him to guys that make you wanna kiss your girl on the neck to see if she’s in the mood, which she isn’t. Sorry, she’s got a headache. BTW, next time your girl says she’s got a headache, tell her that’s okay, you’re gonna eff her brains out. It’s classy, chicks love that. It wouldn’t shock me if Machado is that guy who comes (virtually) out of nowhere and puts up huge numbers. Yes, I’m excited. Yes, I’m gonna be drafting me some Machado. In 2013, I’m gonna give him the line of 72/19/81/.274/12. That’s good for a corner infield slot in all mixed leagues with upside for much more.