With 19 days remaining until Manny Machado’s 21st birthday, Elias Sports Bureau and its number-crunching competitors are running out of time to come up with age-20 stats for the Orioles’ prodigious third baseman.
Here’s the latest: If Machado, who has 99 hits this season, gets his 100th tonight in Detroit, he will tie Ty Cobb (100 hits in 71 games in 1907) and Alex Rodriguez (ditto in 1996) for the third-fewest number of games to reach 100 hits in a season by a player under 21, according to Elias. Al Kaline (101 hits in 68 games in 1955) and Mike Trout (100 hits in 69 games last season) are the only players to do it faster than Cobb and Rodriguez.
The impressive stats don’t end there for Machado. He leads the majors with 32 doubles and is still on pace to set that all-time record. He has a 14-game hitting streak going, making him one of six players with multiple hitting streaks of 11 or more games this season. And he has more multi-hit games (29) than hitless ones (13).
After a strong start, Machado is showing no signs of fading.
Through 70 games, Machado is fifth in the American League with a .327 batting average and seventh with 45 runs. He has five home runs, 37 RBIs and a .495 slugging percentage.
In this weekend’s four-game series against the Boston Red Sox, Machado went 9-for-19 with four doubles, three runs and three RBIs. He now has multiple hits in five straight games.
So what will Manny do next? And better yet, what crazy stats and factoids will Elias dig up to go with those accomplishments?
Manny Machado is the first player in baseball history to hit six doubles and score six runs while celebrating his 21st birthday?
Manny Machado is the fourth right-handed player in Baltimore history to have multiple hits on seven consecutive Saturdays?
Manny Machado is the ninth-youngest 21-year-old to switch from boxers to briefs during a hitting streak of 20-plus games?
OK, so maybe I’m being a little flippant here about the factoids, but that’s not to say that I don’t continue to be impressed by Machado, who seems like an All-Star shoo-in at this point.
Machado’s first 12 months in the major leagues have been fun to watch, and I can’t wait to see what he does after he turns 21.
And whatever he does, at least we know the number-crunchers will be prepared to put his accomplishments into context for us.