The Baltimore Orioles are in an unfamiliar position as they get ready to make a stretch drive push toward the playoffs. They're enlisting one of the best prospects in baseball to help with that.
The O's recalled infield prospect Manny Machado on Wednesday night in an effort to spark the 60-51 Orioles who are 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East but do hold the lead in the wild card standings.
Machado will, at the very least, inject some youth into the surging Orioles, winners of their last five heading into Thursday. The 2010 No. 3 pick is just 20 years old and becomes the latest member of the 2010 draft class which included players like Bryce Harper and Chris Sale, to reach the bigs.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Machado even got comparisons to Alex Rodriguez upon being drafted out of high school in Miami a couple of summers ago. Machado, like Rodriguez, was drafted as a shortstop, but it's expected that he may make the move to his right to play third base with J.J. Hardy already entrenched as the O's starting shortstop.
Machado was on fire at the time of his call-up, hitting .444 with three home runs and seven RBIs in his last 10 games with Double-A Bowie. Machado has spent the entire season in Bowie, hitting .266 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs. He can also run as well, stealing 13 bases this season, being caught just four times.
Baseball America ranks Machado as the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball, and they place him at No. 2 in the Orioles organization behind flame-throwing right-hander Dylan Bundy.
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