Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has played at a high level this season, but you probably already knew that. What you may not now is how well Macado has played during May, as he has an opportunity on Friday to accomplish something at the big league level that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have not.
Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted out an interesting statistic about Machado on Friday morning:
ELIAS: Manny Machado had 44 hits in the month of May, the most in a calendar month by a player under 21 since Mantle had 46 in July '52.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 31, 2013
Machado's 44 hits in May have led the third basemen to hit .367/.392/.575 over 126 plate appearances. The third baseman has 16 extra-base hits in May, including three home runs.
Of course, it's not like Machado slouched during the first month of the season, as he hit .304/.344/.470 in his first 125 plate appearances. Machado has also played excellent defense to compliment his hitting, as Fangraphs credits the the third baseman with 10.9 runs saved compared to an average third baseman.
The Orioles will play the Detroit Tigers at Camden Yards tonight, so Machado will have a chance to pass Mickey Mantle for most hits in a calendar month by a player under 21. That would be an impressive accomplishment to add to Machado's growing resume.