The Orioles announced tonight that they were promoting pitching prospect Dylan Bundy to AA Bowie, and he will make his first AA start next Tuesday.
Now we get word that the team is calling up Manny Machado, and will play him at third base. Here is the tweet from Orioles beat writer Brittany Ghiroli:
The— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) August 9, 2012
#Orioles plan to select the contract of INF Manny Machado from Double-A Bowie Thursday. He will be making his major league debut.
Machado is hitting .266-.352-.438 with 11 HRs, 26 doubles, 5 triples, 60 runs, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 17 attempts in AA this season. He doesn't strike out a ton, and actually his strikeout rate is down from 18.5% in 2011 to 15.4% this season. He is walking at a 10.3% clip this season, up from 8.5% last season, so his plate discipline has improved as he has moved up a level, a very good sign for the 20 year old shortstop.
The decision comes with risks, as Machado is all of 20 years old, so not only are the Orioles calling up a very young hitting prospect, but they are moving him to third base with the big league club. They still see him as their long term shortstop, but Machado has only played two games at third in his minor league career.
For fantasy owners in keeper leagues, go out and grab him. He struggled to start the AA season at Bowie this season, so I expect him to struggle in his first shot at big league pitching. I own him in an AL-only keeper league and will hold off activating him until I have to. Fantasy owners in non-keeper or deeper mixed leagues, I would suggest grabbing him, and trying to deal him to that owner who loves prospects.
This move begs the question, and I am stealing this from @Jaypers413, since the Orioles are calling up Machado, will we see Bundy in the big leagues in September?