How High Does Manny Machado Rise If The Season Is Played Outside Of SD?

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We recently looked at Nolan Arenado and the potentially negative impact that a season played away from Coors Field could have on his 2020 outlook (click here to view).  On the flip side is the case of Manny Machado, who could greatly benefit getting out of Petco Park for the upcoming season.  Just look at the split he had in his first season in San Diego:

  • Home – .219 (62-283), 15 HR, 40 RBI, 35 R
  • Road – .289 (88-304), 17 HR, 45 RBI, 46 R

The obvious difference was in his average, though you have to wonder how much of that was tied to him trying to compensate for his new home ballpark.  While he was hitting the ball hard regardless of where he played, he was far more pull heavy at home (Oppo% of 23.7% at home compared to 30.0% on the road) and was putting a few more balls in the air (fly ball rate of 42.5% at home compared to 39.9% on the road).

Those numbers helped to a significantly worse BABIP on the road (.314), compared to a poor .230 at home.  Just consider that he owns a career .298 BABIP, most of which came while playing half his games in Baltimore where the power played well.  Now consider that it wasn’t just his average that was better on the road.  While the home runs look similar, consider these marks:

  • Home – 22 extra base hits, .406 SLG
  • Road – 33 extra base hits, .513 SLG

Now you have what he’s done while playing at Chase Field (obviously all of his games wouldn’t come there, but it gives us an idea).  In 33 AB last season he hit .303 with 3 HR, and it’s fair to expect similar numbers over a full allotment of AB.

Our original projection for Machado had him hitting .277 with 36 HR, 95 RBI and 85 R.  Even if we left his power the same, if we moved his BABIP from our original .295 to .310 thanks to moving out of Petco Park and there’s a significant increase in value.  More hits and more times on base will lead to more RBI/R and suddenly our projection goes to:

.288, 36 HR, 100 RBI, 90 R

That would move him above Josh Donaldson and into the sixth spot on our 3B rankings (and over Javier Baez among shortstops).  That means he’s a borderline Top 25 player, making a significant leap from a Top 50.  In other words, Machado become an ideal player to buy in all formats if this type of scenario becomes reality.

Sources – Fangraphs, CBS Sports

Make sure to check out all of our 2020 prospect rankings:

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