It's not exactly a secret that the Orioles defied expectations by a good bit last year. In a season where they were expected to finish with a losing record for the 15th consecutive season, they finished second in the always-difficult AL East with a record of 93-69, won the inaugural AL Wild Card game, and fought tough against the Yankees in the Divisional Series. Factors that allowed them to manage such a turnaround have been well-publicized, including a 29-9 record in 1-run games and 16-2 record in extra innings. With such exceptional records in those departments, it's easy to predict the Orioles failing to reach the playoffs, or even .500. However, the fans are holding out hope in the form of Matt Wieters and Adam Jones being a year older and a year better. Still, the most popular hope for the Orioles repeating 2012 performance is: "We'll have a full season of Manny Machado." There is no denying Machado had a good stint with the Orioles in 2012. Called up on August 9, he played every inning of the Orioles' final 51 games, and all of them out of position at third base. Despite this, Machado turned in solid defense (4.5 UZR) at third -- much better than the other options of Mark Reynolds, Chris Davis, or Wilson Betemit -- while handling the bat reasonably well as a 20-year old rookie. In the end, Machado turned in a 1.3 fWAR performance in 202 plate appearances, leaving Baltimore very excited for the future. However, this still begs the question: would a full Manny Machado season really help the Orioles fight off regression that much? ZiPS projects him with a slash line of .252/.311/.418 and a fWAR of 2.7. While solid and encouraging, it hardly could keep the Orioles above 90 wins. However, this is just one prediction. What type of variability could be possible in, say, a set of 140-game seasons. To look into this, one assumption had to be made. We assume that Machado's 200 plate appearance audition was a reasonable sample of what he can do at this time. Obviously, growth is possible, but I think that assumption is a fair thing to say. So, from the previous year's performance, 10,000 potential Machado seasons of 560 plate appearances were created. In these seasons, Machado's AVG, OBP, SLG, wOBA, K%, and fWAR were calculated. Note that his fWAR was calculated under the premise that he had a UBR of 0.0 and UZR of 4.5. If you prefer to believe that Machado will be an elite defender (UZR of say, 10), then bump all the fWAR totals up by half a win. So what could a full Machado season look like? Let's start with one that the O's fans would like to see.
What Could A Full Manny Machado Season Look Like?
Camden Chat | Mar 7