Hoornstra: Machado Looks More Comfortable Than Harper

Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are putting up similar numbers, but Machado seems more at ease with his new team, J.P. Hoornstra says

June 06, 2019 - 9:28 am
Manny Machado San Diego Padres

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Bryce Harper and Manny Machado were the two most sought-after free agents in baseball this past offseason, and both are putting up similar numbers. Machado is hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs for the Padres (31-31), while Harper is hitting .250 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs for the Phillies (35-27).

But which player looks more comfortable with his new team?

“Having seen Machado play the final three, four months of last season in Los Angeles, he seems less wound up on a baseball field than Harper,” Southern California News Group Dodgers writer J.P. Hoornstra said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Harper, this is going to sound cliche, but it looks like he’s playing 100 percent pretty much all the time. He’s a very intense baseball player. Yes, he looks like he’s having fun, but it’s a very intense fun. 

“Machado, he has another gear, but you don’t see it as often,” Hoornstra continued. “He doesn’t look like he’s going 100 percent all the time. Yet to this credit, he’s a guy who makes plays that are extremely difficult look very easy – and he makes them most of the time. He’s just a very easygoing player on the field. He doesn’t always seem like he’s exerting himself, for better or worse.”

As Hoornstra pointed out, the Phillies have high expectations this season. The Padres, well, don’t.

“Manny Machado knew he was going to a rebuilding team that probably wasn’t going to contend for a playoff spot for a year or two,” Hoornstra said. “Harper was expected – after signing the richest free-agent contract ever – to lead a team into the postseason. The fact that the Phillies really haven’t separated themselves in the NL East, that probably only feeds into his intensity more than it would have at the beginning of the season.”

Click below to listen to Hoornstra’s interview in its entirety.