Manny Machado even plays elite defense in the on-deck circle

Mark Townsend
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Manny Machado’s sharp reflexes are a big reason he’s become one of the best defensive infielders in MLB.

Whether he’s at third base, where he’s already won two Gold Glove awards, or at shortstop, his preferred and current position with the Baltimore Orioles, Machado’s quick reactions help him make plays that few others in the league can make on a consistent basis.

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As it turns out, Machado’s quick reflexes are also pretty good for his own safety and the safety of those around him. During the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the New York Mets, Machado needed a quick reaction to effortlessly snag the flying bat launched by teammate Adam Jones, who lost his grip in the batter’s box just 20 feet away.

Machado, who was standing in the on-deck circle at the time, wasn’t directly in the bat’s path. It actually struck the netting first, which helped saved some fans from a potentially painful experience.

As it bounced off though, Machado had to react fast to keep it from landing on his own head. As he so often does in the field, Machado reached out with the backhand and calmly made the play.

The visual itself was pretty remarkable. Of course, for a human-highlight reel like Machado, it was just another ho-hum moment.

After saving himself, Machado would go on to save the last-place Orioles with another excellent all-around game. At the plate, he drove in Baltimore’s lone run in a 1-0 win against the Mets with a sacrifice.

He also added a superb defensive play in the field, robbing New York’s Asdrubal Cabrera of a hit with a diving play.

There’s literally nothing Manny Machado can’t do on a baseball field. Wednesday was just the latest reminder.

Manny Machado’s an elite defender everywhere on the field. Even the on deck circle. (Getty Images)

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