Manny Machado 2020 Fantasy Baseball Outlook

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Manny Machado 2020 Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Summary: Once elite, Manny Machado looks to revive his stat line in second year with San Diego

How Machado helps: Manny Machado will hit in the heart of a blossoming Padres lineup. He provides consistent power (five straight 30+ HR seasons). He has a solid floor in runs and RBI, likely 180+ combined when you add Fernando Tatis Jr. and Tommy Pham around him in the lineup.

You can count on Manny to be on the field as well. In every season since 2015, he’s played at least 156 games, including playing in all 162 twice. If your league factors in strikeouts in any way, he provides a decent percentage at 16.8% lifetime, though he spiked last season to 19.4%

How Machado hurts you:  Inconsistency. Do we really know what type of numbers Machado will put up in 2020? As stated above, just about the only thing you can predict about him is that he will be on the field and that he will provide 30 home run pop. Otherwise, his statistics are wildly inconsistent. Here are some trends of Machado’s 2017- 2019 campaigns, respectively:

  • ISO: .213, .241, .206
  • BA: .259, .297, .256
  • OPS: .785, .905, .796
  • K%: 16.7%, 14.7%, 19.4%
  • BABIP: .265, .304, .274

So just who is Manny Machado? When you think about the fact that he’s played on the Orioles and Padres most of his career, he can be forgiven for relatively low run and RBI totals. Machado was very much considered a superstar after his 2015 breakout when he slashed .286/.359/.502 with 35 home runs, 102 RBI, and 20 steals to boot.

In 2016, he improved on the average, homers, and RBI (.294-37-105) but stole zero bases.

When it really comes down to it, his name carries more weight than his final statlines. That’s not to say he’s not a valuable fantasy player. Anyone with a career .800+ OPS interests me in some way. However, his .279/.335/.483 slash line over the course of his entire career is mediocre from a fantasy perspective. In fact since 2015, among players with a minimum of 2000 PA, Machado ranks 31st in OPS with mark of .845. Tommy Pham also has an OPS of .845 over that time, while Ryan Braun sits at .846 and Michael Brantley is close at .841. These guys can be had for a lot cheaper than Manny Machado on draft day.

Intangibles / Analytics:  Is there hope that his elite price tag will be met with elite numbers? The Padres certainly hope so.

I’m holding on to one particular metric that says some “bounce back” may be in Machado’s future. He made hard contact 43.7% of the time in 2020, the absolute highest of his career by a wide margin. Somehow though, his BABIP of just .274 was the second lowest he’s produced. What does it mean? Well, perhaps he was a bit unlucky last year.

Or…

Perhaps not. When comparing his 2018 and 2019 metrics, he grounded out more, hit fewer line drives, popped up to the infield more, and struck out at the highest rate of his career. While his batting average might come back to the .265-.270 range, I just don’t see him hitting .290 again.

Where to draft him:  As of March 14, Manny’s ADP was sitting at 52.2. The market certainly reflects that owners are no longer drafting Machado by the hype that landed him in the first round just a few years ago. Who would’ve thought he’d be going after names like Whit Merrifield or Luis Castillo? He’s still ahead of guys like Anthony Rizzo or Jose Abreu. Personally, I like those two guys better because you know what you’re getting. Maybe there’s still some hope that Machado is going to explode and provide us a .285 30 HR 100 RBI season, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I’m taking him in the late 60s.

Dynasty and Redraft Comparison: I think I like Machado more in Dynasty than redraft. He’s still only 27 and if he does prove me wrong and put together a solid season, you can use those numbers plus the hype behind his name and trade him at a profit.

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