Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 8/8/12

Well, this is unexpected and reeks of a desperation move: the Baltimore Orioles are calling up Manny Machado, their top pick from the 2010 draft (third overall) and the second best prospect in the organization. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun surmises that Machado will be playing third in the majors due to the presence of JJ Hardy at short.

The 20-year old Machado has spent the year at AA Bowie, and has a .781 OPS for the season. It's not great, but considering that he's young for AA and holding his own, you cannot complain about that at all. Baltimore's primary third baseman this year has been Wilson Betemit, who has a .776 OPS at the position this year. Betemit will likely platoon with Machado, due to Machado's strength against lefties this year (.920 OPS) and Betemit's weaknesses against them (a pathetic .419 OPS).

Baltimore is rolling the dice by bringing Machado up instead of continuing to nurture his development like they are with top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, promoted to Bowie after his start tonight. But by pushing Machado right away, Baltimore seems confident in his abilities to produce at the major league level.

Photo coutesy of Daylife.com

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