On Monday, we talked a bit about Bryce Harper, and the fact that he is making a legitimate run at Mike Trout for the title of best player in baseball. Harper is somehow building off of last year’s dominant season, and at 23, he’s taking his remarkable performance up another level. But Harper isn’t the only 23 year old superstar playing near the beltway, and remarkably, he hasn’t even been the best player in the area this year. That title belongs to Manny Machado.
Through the first couple weeks of the season, Machado ranks second in the majors in batting average (.407), fourth in on-base percentage (.467), and second in slugging percentage (.796). This across-the-board dominance means that his .530 wOBA edges out Harper’s .526 wOBA for the top spot on the leaderboard, and Machado is the primary reason the Orioles are in first place in the AL East. While he has been overshadowed by the remarkable early-career success of Trout and Harper, and to some extent by Carlos Correa‘s arrival last summer, it’s important to realize just how great Machado has become.