The Royals signed Andres Machado as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela on November 17, 2010. He made his professional debut in 2011 with the Dominican Summer League (DSL) Royals playing with other Royals prospects Miguel Almonte, Yender Caramo, Luis Villegas, Ramon Torres and others.
In his first professional season Machado pitched 9.2 innings with 7 SO and 11 BB over 7 games with 1 start and a 4.66 ERA. He stayed with the DSL Royals in 2012 and moved up to the Rookie Leauge Burlington Royals in 2013 and 2014. Due to injury and Tommy John surgery he did not play in 2015. After returning from Tommy John surgery in 2016 his career started to take off. He spent all of 2016 with the Idaho Falls Chuckers where he pitched 58.2 innings with 64 strike outs and only 14 walks with a 3.99 ERA over 13 starts.
2017 was a whirlwind year for Machado as he saw action in four different levels of the Royals organization including making his MLB debut. He started the year with the Willimington Blue Rocks pitching 73.1 innings over 21 games including 9 starts. He had an impressive 72 strike outs and only 14 walks with a 5.03 ERA. He was promoted to AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals where he pitched in just 1 game before getting the promotion to AAA Omaha Storm Chasers.
In his single AA appearance, he pitched 3 innings with 1 strike out and 2 walks with a 3.00 ERA. He saw quite a bit of action in Omaha as he pitched 34.2 innings with 38 strike outs and 17 walks with a 3.63 ERA over 7 starts. Then something very unexpected happened, he was called up to the big leagues on September 1, 2017.
Standing over 6 feet tall and weighing 175 pounds the kid was blowing away the competition in the minors and was a surprise September call up. In an article by Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star Ned Yost had this to say about Andres Machado:
Dayton has been telling me about him for about month,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of GM Dayton Moore. “It just got to the point where we were going to protect him (put him on the 40-man roster) anyway this winter.
At 24 years old and after having started the season in A ball with the Blue Rocks Machado made his MLB debut in Minnesota against the Twins on September 2, 2017 during a historic game. Things did not go as planned for the rookie or the Royals, Onelki Garcia made his first MLB start and lasted only .1 inning with Machado coming on in relief. In his debut, Machado pitched .2 innings of relief while giving up 3 walks and 6 earned runs as he faced 9 batters. What made this a historic game is that the Royals suffered a 17-0 loss, the worst shutout in Royals history and the biggest shutout in Twins history. As a side note, this was also my first road game to see the Royals play away from Kauffman Stadium and what a joy it was.
Machado did go on to pitch one more game for the Royals on September 5 against the Tigers in Detroit he pitched 3 innings with 1 strike out, zero walks, 2 home runs and 3 earned runs. He finished his MLB debut season with 3.2 innings pitched over 2 games with 1 strike out, 3 walks and a 22.09 ERA. Whatever you do don’t judge him by these 3.2 innings of MLB work as he has the ability to have a bright future.
In 2016, the then 23-year-old, Machado was named the Pitcher of the Year for the Idaho Falls Chukers. Patrick Brennan from Royals Farm Report wrote about his stuff when he got called up in September 2017:
I’ve never really thought Machado could start at the big league level, but I did always think his makeup was a bit intriguing out of the bullpen. His fastball runs at the mid/upper-90s. His best pitch is a nasty slider. The times I’ve seen his changeup, it’s seemed inconsistent.
Machado is currently listed as the Royals #42 prospect by Royals Farm Report.