Detroit Tigers: Be excited about the Dixon Machado difference
It has been said over and over again that the Detroit Tigers have a weak farm system and they need to grow it to produce more Major League players.
Detroit Tigers youthful infielder Dixon Machado may have a few arguments to make with that statement.
What the Stats Say
Machado is a 25-year-old who did a very good job filling in for Ian Kinsler while the veteran was out with injured. Through 59 at-bats this year, he is hitting .322.
Not only is he showing the ability to hit, but in a recent game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Machado flashed the leather taking a foul ball out of the first row.
However, in all fairness he has made four errors in 2017.
It looks like an issue of routine plays, but with his ability to make the hard one the ship should right itself.
Those who live and die by Sabremetrics are going to talk down on Machado, but don’t listen.
Because he is not a huge power hitter, Statcast is not too kind to him. His exit velocity and launch angle are below league average.
And the cornerstone stat, Wins Above Replacement (WAR), is not too pretty either. To this point in the 2017 season, he posted a WAR of -0.2, and a career WAR of 0.1.
As I said, don’t let the Sabremetrics fool you, Machado is a very capable player with a bright future ahead of him.
Over the last three seasons Machado has gotten some sporadic playing time. But this season he is showing up the best he ever has.
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In 63 plate appearances, he has accumulated 22 total bases.
This tops his previous mark in 2015 of smashing 19 total bases through 78 plate appearances.
What is even better is his batting average on balls put in play.
The 2017 season brings a career high .373. That number is much higher than his previous career high of .296.
There is one number that could still use work.
Hitting off left handers has not gone well, ending with a .182 average. Which means his batting average off righties is a colossal .405.
Deciphering The Numbers
It may be tough to see right now, but Machado’s flexibility to play any infield position except for first base allows for many trades to happen.
While I still believe Nicholas Castellanos should be a mainstay in the Detroit Tiger lineup, this allows for the front office to put out feelers on Kinsler and Jose Iglesias.
Something should happen to plug Machado into the lineup soon though. Righty or lefty on the mound it does not matter.
The fact that he was able to progress over the years means that with some time against lefties, he will start to hit them. All it takes is experience.
His glove goes along the same lines. He shows solid fielding mechanics, so his glove will develop behind him.
Remember Machado is young, and a very promising player for the Detroit Tigers.
Next: Importance of a resurgent Jordan Zimmermann
Machado will be a future important piece to any future Detroit Tigers success. I am sure of that. Even without a spot in the day to day lineup right now, the future looks very bright for the young infielder.