Machado earns another First Team All-MLB selection

December 6th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- As Manny Machado goes, so go the Padres, it seems.

In the fledgling four-year history of the All-MLB Team selections, Machado has earned First Team honors twice. In both seasons, the Padres advanced to the postseason.

That includes 2022, as Machado on Monday was named the third baseman on the All-MLB First Team after leading the Padres to a National League Wild Card berth. It was a repeat of ‘20, when Machado first earned All-MLB honors and the Padres reached the playoffs in the pandemic-shortened season.

The 2022 All-MLB selections were based 50% on the judgment of a panel of experts and 50% on fan voting held last month. Voters were asked to consider only regular-season performances.

Machado’s body of work -- a slash line of .298/.366/.531, plus 32 home runs, 100 runs scored, 102 RBIs and excellent defense -- rated ahead of the Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado, who earned Second Team recognition. The All-MLB voting was in line with the NL MVP balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, in which Machado finished second to Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, while Arenado was third.

The biggest difference between Machado’s two All-MLB seasons is that this time around, he didn’t have playing to his left. Machado, 30, shouldered a greater load both in the lineup and in the clubhouse. Perhaps knowing this, he returned to the field earlier than expected after a scary-looking left ankle sprain in June.

Before and after his return, Machado deflected questions about the injury. But he clearly came back at less than 100%. His OPS in July was .694 -- .146 lower than any other month last season.

Machado played because the Padres needed him. His presence in the lineup was essential, even if his production fell off while he healed.

“If you go out there and post every single day,” he said on Nov. 18, just before the MVP results were revealed, “you play, you lead by example, you put your blood, sweat, tears into this game and this uniform, I think guys will appreciate that.

“That’s the biggest accomplishment for a player. You go out there, and you know you’re going to leave everything on the field -- for your teammates, for your city and for your organization.”

The Padres have had at least one First Team player in each of the four seasons of All-MLB selections:

2022: Manny Machado, 3B
2021: Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
2020: Manny Machado, 3B, and Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
2019: , RP