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Just 21 years old and already setting himself up for a Hall of Fame career.
Manny Machado has been so impressive since his call-up last August, he looks as though he's been playing big-league baseball for a decade now.
He's been playing third base at a Gold Glove level; in fact, if he doesn't win a Gold Glove at the end of 2013 season, it'll be highway robbery. Machado makes difficult plays look routine and spectacular plays look natural.
The most amazing this is that he only played one game at third base in the minor leagues, yet has played exclusively at third since his call-up.
Machado currently leads the league in doubles during his first full MLB season with 44, and is batting .296. His OBP is only .325, but that number should go up as he gains experience and better learns how to work counts. He has 11 homers, 60 RBI and an OPS of .772, which are all very good numbers for a 21-year-old, especially one who plays defense as well as he does.
Despite being tall at 6'2", he's only 180 pounds, meaning he'll likely gain muscle mass and grow into his frame as he gets older. His doubles stroke will turn into a home run stroke, and he'll become not just a doubles machine, but an extra-base-hit machine as well.
Not to mention he's already made his first All-Star team, being chosen as a replacement player on the 2013 squad.
The biggest question about Machado's future is going to be whether to leave him at third base—where he's had a ton of success thus far—or move him over to shortstop, his natural position.
Current Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has one more year left on his contract, and the team could try to sign him to another extension. That would keep the left side of the infield strong both offensively and, most importantly, defensively.
However, I'm sure Machado would like to return to his original spot on the diamond, which he can't be blamed for. I don't think he'll force the O's hand there and demand to be moved back. But it'll be tricky deciding where to have him play long-term. Likely, it'll depend on what position the O's can fill more easily either from their farm system or on the market.
It's a great problem to have, especially when the player's future is as bright as Machado's. If he keeps playing the way he has been, he'll be a lock for the Hall of Fame.