Manny Machado was barely out of diapers when Adrian Beltre made his MLB debut.
On Tuesday, Machado won his second Gold Glove award at third base and prevented Beltre from taking home his fifth, but after winning the award, Machado took time to praise his elders in Beltre and fellow finalist Evan Longoria.
Machado was groomed as a shortstop in the minors before getting called up to the bigs in 2012 as the Orioles' starting third baseman. Since then, he's never looked back, and he credits his fellow finalists for his progression at the hot corner.
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“When I came up, I never played third base in my life,” Machado told the Baltimore Sun. “So I watched a lot of YouTube video, so I watched a lot of video on Adrian and Longoria … just to kind of see how they played. See their pregame routine, how they did their pre-pitch [preparation], how they caught their grounders, just kind of see their highlights, just kind get a feel for what third base is and how I’m supposed to be playing it. To this day, I’m still learning.”
Among the three finalists, Beltre recorded the most defensive runs saved (18), and Longoria committed the fewest errors (9), but Machado had the best SABR Defensive Index score.
According to the Sun, Machado’s SABR Defensive Index score — which uses two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play data — of 11.8 bettered both Beltre (7.8) and Longoria (5.1).