Padres 3B Manny Machado generating early MVP buzz

Padres Manny Machado

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres’ star third baseman Manny Machado is already garnering MVP consideration for his searing-hot start. 

First off, let’s get this out of the way- yes, it’s extremely early. The Padres completed their 32nd game in their 7-5 loss to the Cubs on Wednesday. However, that is also no longer an insignificant sample size. Many hitters are now well north of 100 plate appearances on the season, which is usually when their true colors shine through.

While wearing the colors brown and gold, Manny Machado is showing the colors that reflect what a Most Valuable Player looks like. This is not just Padres fans clamoring online for their star to be recognized or being biased. just released a poll they took among their writers ” to see which players are viewed as frontrunners for each league’s MVP Award in 2022, based on their production so far this year and prospects for continuing that production throughout the season.”

Mike Trout, unsurprisingly, has a stranglehold on the AL MVP race early on, garnering 39 first-place votes, with the second-place player, Jose Ramirez, bringing in 10. On the National League side, the race is even more spread out. Machado currently owns the top spot with a whopping 45 first-place votes. The next-best player is fellow third baseman Nolan Arenado, with eight.

To sum it up, as the current MVP race stands, there is a Coronado-Bridge-sized gap between Machado and the rest of the pack in the National League. The numbers back it up.

There are only three qualified hitters in Major League Baseball with an OPS north of 1.000, and Machado is one of them at 1.085, which is tops in the National League.

Machado leads the entire major leagues in WAR (2.8), batting average (.385), hits (46), and runs scored (27). In addition to OPS, he leads the National League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and a 222 OPS+. The next closest player is teammate Eric Hosmer, with a 193 OPS+. He also leads the National League with a 208 wRC+.

He is also tied for the second-most stolen bases in the NL and the third-most homers.

Consider all these eye-popping offensive numbers and also factor in his stellar defense. He is putting together another Gold Glove-caliber season at third base, with 3 Defensive Runs Saved already without yet being charged with an error.

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“It seems Machado’s reputation around the league is changing. In the past, some considered a few blown-out-of-proportion incidents to exclude him from the list of the best players in the game.” In San Diego, Machado has been a leader in the clubhouse, consistently taking young players like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ha-Seong Kim under his wing, at times challenging them to be better. He has been a model citizen off the field and truly loves the city of San Diego and its fans. San Diego fans know the real Manny Machado, and he is one of the best baseball players on the planet.

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