It was only a matter of time before Manny Machado's numbers at the plate started to come around. Now they have, and it has earned him his first American League Player of the Week Award in 2017.It marks the third overall AL Player of the Week Award for Machado and
It was only a matter of time before Manny Machado's numbers at the plate started to come around. Now they have, and it has earned him his first American League Player of the Week Award in 2017.
It marks the third overall AL Player of the Week Award for Machado and the third for the Orioles this season. Shortstop Timothy Beckham took home the honors earlier in the month, and second baseman Jonathan Schoop won the award in mid-July.
"It's impressive," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Machado's numbers. "First of all, you look at the competition. You're talking about 14 clubs. I think any of those things -- Player of the Day, Player of the Week, Player of the Month -- it's something you can be real proud of.
"I don't know how you can do more than Manny's done here recently."
• Past AL Players of the Week
Baltimore's third baseman entered July batting .216/.289/.423. But after a blistering past week in which he drove in 12 runs and clubbed four homers -- including a walk-off grand slam in a come-from-behind win over the Angels on Friday -- he's raised his season slash line up to .266/.319/.492 entering play on Monday.
Machado has hit the ball hard all season, but his numbers are only now beginning to reflect it. The 25-year-old leads all Major Leaguers with 191 hard-hit balls (those struck with a 95+ mph exit velocity, per Statcast™) for the season, and it's not particularly close. The Mariners' Robinson Cano ranks second with 175 such batted balls.
Machado has seen his OPS rise in each month since the start of May, and he entered Monday hitting a scorching .361/.353/.735 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 19 games in August.
"Somebody's going to pay," Showalter said of Machado's slow start to the season. "It's frustrating and somebody's going to pay when you have that type of ability. We're still holding out some hope that it happens between now and the end of the year with a couple other guys. And not just position players."
Machado's stellar play of late has the Orioles in the thick of the AL Wild Card race as the club was tied with the Rays four games back of the second Wild Card spot entering Monday.
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB. Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.