Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 131 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Julio Cesar Machado is a 6′, 185 lb. second baseman, third baseman, and shortstop from Ocumare del Tuy, Venezuela, the same origin as fellow Miami Marlins player Elieser Hernandez. Machado was born on September 12th, 2000, which means he completed his first professional season at an age where most of us hadn’t completed high school.
Machado reported to the DSL Marlins in the rookie-level, Dominican Summer League for his first professional appearance. In his debut, on DSL’s Opening Day, June 2nd, Machado led off and produced an 0-for-4 day in a 2-1 loss to the DSL Braves. He also went 0-for-4 in his second game, batting second in a 4-1 victory over the same Braves. At least he only struck out in one of his first eight plate appearances. He would also end the season on an 0-for-8 mini-slump. Between those two dates, he would hit .249. Here’s Machado, courtesy of Baseball America:
On June 5th, in Machado’s third career game, he collected a pair of hits, a single and a double while batting third in a 4-3 loss to the DSL Dodgers Robinson. He would have multiple hits in a dozen of his team-lead-tying 67 appearances for the Marlins, including a pair of three-hit games. He had his best performance on June 20th, batting second and hitting two singles and a double, drawing a walk and knocking one in as the Marlins absorbed a 6-4 loss to the DSL Braves.
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On the defensive side of the ball, Machado needs a lot of work at third base, fielding just .924 in 308 innings, with nine errors in 119 chances. As a shortstop, he put up a .964 mark over 60 innings of work. Machado really shone, though, as a second baseman. In 112 innings, he turned nine double plays and fielded 63 clean chances for a perfect fielding percentage, as well as a ridiculous 5.09 RF/9. The club finished with a respectable 42-30 record.
Machado turned 18 just after the end of the short season, and is currently 11th on Miami’s organizational depth chart at third base. As I’ve said, though, after his performance as a second baseman, his future may be at the four.
Since Machado is still so young, it’s likely he begins the 2019 campaign back with the DSL Marlins for a second season. Long-range projections see him cracking the big leagues sometime around 2024, provided continued progression and improvement.
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