Manny Machado seeks long overdue Padres history in 2024

Aug 21, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado (13) hits a sacrifice fly against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Machado could put himself in the Padres history books with a solid 2024 season.

The Padres have had some great third basemen come through town over the last few decades. Gary Sheffield won a batting title in 1992 at age 23. Ken Caminiti won an NL MVP in 1996. Phil Nevin was an All-Star after swatting 41 homers in 2001. Chase Headley was a mainstay at the hot corner, playing over 900 games in Padres threads.

None of them were better than the Padres’ current third baseman, Manny Machado. While Caminiti won his MVP, Machado finished top three in voting in two out of three seasons, including a runner-up finish in 2022. Caminiti never received MVP votes outside of his award-winning 1996.

Machado has received MVP votes in three of his five full seasons in San Diego.

In some ways, Machado is already the greatest third baseman to ever don a Padres uniform. He leads all Padres third-baggers in WAR at 20.3. His 20.1 fWAR is third all-time in franchise history, regardless of position.

Yes, that means, in some aspects, Machado is the best Padres hitter ever, not named Tony Gwynn or Dave Winfield. Even then, give Machado another two or three years, and he will likely start surpassing Winfield in most categories.

In just his sixth season in a Padres uniform, the Miami native is chasing history in 2024.

The Padres’ all-time home run king, Nate Colbert, hit 163 over his time in San Diego. He last played for the Friars in 1974. That number has stood for nearly 50 years now.

In addition, what’s really sad is that even though the figure has stood now for half of a century, it’s also the lowest total of any current franchise home run king.

It’s time for that record to fall, no offense to Mr. Colbert.

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Think of the bats that have come and gone from San Diego’s lineup over the years.

The aforementioned Sheffield, Caminiti, Winfield, Gwynn, Nevin, plus Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Klesko, and Fred McGriff. Yet none have been able to reach Colbert’s 163 in a Padres uniform.

Because of his game-sealing blast in Korea in Game 2 of the Seoul Series, Machado now stands just 25 homers shy of becoming the Padres’ all-time homer king.

Over his Padres career, he has averaged a home run every 20.2 plate appearances. If he maintains that pace, he will reach 26 homers this season around his 526th plate appearance. That would suggest he reaches the record sometime in early September if he stays healthy.

It’s not just home runs, either. He is 192 hits and 36 runs away from the all-time marks for a Padres third baseman as well.

Given that he is already third in franchise history in WAR and soon to be the franchise’s all-time home run king, Machado is well on his way to being one of the greatest Padres ever.

Perhaps after another few solid seasons, he will seal the fate of his No. 13 being up there above the press box with the likes of Steve Garvey, Gwynn, Winfield, Randy Jones, and Trevor Hoffman as former Padres greats with their numbers retired.

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