ESPN Analyst Xavier Scruggs Praises Padres' Manny Machado

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado
Wikimedia | False casey

Tristin McKinstry

The San Diego Padres are having a great start to the 2022 MLB season. They hold a 21-13 record and are just a half-game back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West division. And according to ESPN analyst Xavier Scruggs, one man has played a considerable role.

Scruggs praised third baseman - Manny Machado in a video he tweeted on Saturday, declaring, "Manny Machado has straight put the Padres on his back to start the season."

MVP In All Aspects

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado
Wikimedia | Merson

"Manny is already one of the best players of his generation," Scruggs begins. "I think sometimes we don't put enough respect on his name because of the other superstar who usually plays right next to him in the infield," he said about shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.

Scruggs said the 29-year-old has played with "some serious swagger" to begin the campaign, highlighting his OPS over 1.000, seven homers, and six stolen bases. He then went further. "This man is currently leading baseball in value produced. (Machado is) playing at an unreal pace of 15.17 WAR per 162 games, with the 217 Weighted Runs Created Plus (WRC+), and a +14 Fielding Runs Above Average per 162 games."

"If those numbers are a little advanced for you, it basically means he's playing beyond MVP pace in all aspects of the game," Scruggs finished.

Machado's Early Years

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado
Wikimedia | Muboshgu

Machado, as a shortstop, was drafted third overall in the 2010 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He reached the major leagues in April 2012. He had his first multi-homer game in just the second game of his career, against the Kansas City Royals.

His rookie season wasn't spectacular, but the O's made the postseason in 2012, bowing out to the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. He was an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner in 2013, the first of five All-Star selections and two Gold Gloves.

Exiting Baltimore

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Manny Machado
Wikimedia | Adeletron 3030

Machado broke out in 2014 and 2015, finishing top 5 in MVP voting both years. Baltimore made the postseason in 2014 and 2016, but Machado missed the 2014 postseason with a knee injury.

In 2018, Machado moved back to shortstop. On July 18, one day after Machado made his fourth All-Star Game appearance, he was traded to the Dodgers in exchange for five prospects. Machado and the Dodgers went to the 2018 World Series but lost to the Boston Red Sox.

$300 Million Richer

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado hitting a home run
Giphy | San Diego Padres

Machado hit free agency for the first time and signed a 10-year $300 million contract with the Padres in February 2019. At the time, it was the largest free-agent contract signed in American sports history. It was surpassed by Bryce Harper's $330M mega-deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Machado is in his fourth season with the Friars. He finished 3rd in NL MVP voting and won a Silver Slugger award last season, and he reached the NLDS in 2020 but lost to the Dodgers.