PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Manny Machado doesn't feel like he has to prove he is still one of baseball's top offensive players.
Machado says opponents are still afraid of him when he steps in the box, even after his disappointing debut with the San Diego Padres last season.
“I don’t need to show anybody. They know who I am,” he told the AP. “They’re still afraid of me when I step in that box. No matter if I’m hitting .100 or if I’m hitting 500, I’ve just got to go out there and do my my thing.”
Machado hit a career-low .256 after signing his $300 million, 10-year contract. That was after the four-time All-Star missed the start of spring training while completing a free-agent deal.
The third baseman says he had a regular offseason this time. He was there for San Diego's first full-squad workout Tuesday.
Teammate Eric Hosmer believes Machado has a clean slate.
“I think it’s a clean slate for Manny to finally go home in the winter and not have to worry about contracts or negotiations or anything like that, and just worry about being a baseball player,” first baseman Hosmer told the AP. “We know he’s one of the best baseball players there is. So for him to just solely focus on that, you know, you feel pretty good about him heading into this year.”