A-Rod 'extremely impressed' by Machado's talent, work ethic

April 26, 2011|By Matt Vensel

When he wasn't busy hitting grand slams and chowing down unsatisfactory meals at P.F. Chang's with Cameron Diaz, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez found some time during his recent weekend getaway in Baltimore to discuss shortstop Manny Machado, the Orioles' top minor-league prospect.

"If I was an Orioles fan, I would be really excited to see what this kid has to offer for the next -- at least for the next -- decade or so," Rodriguez told MLB.com. "It's going to be very exciting."

Rodriguez has been mentoring Machado, who like Rodriguez, was a highly-touted high-school shortstop who grew up in the Miami area. Rodriguez has been keeping tabs on the 19-year-old prospect and said that he "was extremely impressed with his talent and his willingness to want to get better."

In 16 games with the Single-A Delmarva Shoreboards, Machado is batting .290 with 18 hits and 11 runs batted in. He hit his first home run of the season last night in Delmarva's 7-3 win over Savannah.

So why is Rodriguez lending a helping hand to the top prospect of one of the Yankees' AL East rivals?

"To see kind of when the roles are reversed how incredibly good [Cal Ripken Jr.] was to me, how he took me under his wing and became a mentor to me and his game, he helped me out of a lot," he said. "I feel like this is an opportunity to do the same for another young fellow. So it's kind of a nice circle, a little energy going."

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