PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges expected to see Manny Machado make acrobatic plays at third base and hit clutch home runs. What Hedges has learned this spring about his new teammate is just how smart he is.
"Everybody knows he can do that," Hedges said of Machado's Gold Glove-caliber defense at third base. "I think people notice the things that are God-given but they don't get to see what we get to see and that's the work that he puts in and the way he studies the game, which is taking a very talented player and turning him into arguably the greatest player in this game right now."
This is Machado's first spring with the Padres after signing a $300 million, 10-year contract in February. He batted .297 with 37 homers and 107 RBIs last season.