The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Sean Manaea | LHP
Undrafted out of an Indiana high school in 2010, Manaea didn’t establish himself as a prospect until he dominated the Cape Cod League last summer. The Indiana State southpaw owns a 1.47 ERA with a 93/27 K/BB in 73.1 innings this year after posting a 3.78 ERA with a 197/85 K/BB in 188 innings during his first two years on campus. Manaea rolled his ankle earlier this spring and that led to hip problems, and he had to skip yesterday’s scheduled start due to shoulder stiffness and continued hip problems according to Jonathan Mayo. He’ll try to start Saturday instead.
A big and physical left-hander listed at 6-foot-5 and 235 lbs., Manaea overpowered hitters with a 94-96 mph fastball and a wipeout mid-80s slider on the Cape last summer. He hasn’t shown the same caliber of stuff this spring, instead throwing his fastball in the 88-91 mph range with a few 94s. His slider has sat in the low-80s. Manaea’s third pitch is a split-changeup hybrid in the upper-70s/low-80s that doesn’t do much of anything. No fade, no drop off the table, it just kinda goes. He employs a low Madison Bumgarner-esque arm slot and his command has been just okay this spring. A high leg kick and an especially long stride add deception. There are plenty of videos on YouTube.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Manaea as the eighth and tenth best prospect in the draft in their latest rankings, respectively, but that was before yesterday’s shoulder and hip problems. The Yankees have three first round picks (26th, 32nd, 33rd), and for what it’s worth, Law said he’s gotten “the sense that they’d love to get one good college arm out of their three first-round selections” in his latest mock draft. He’ll have to fall quite a bit due to the injury concerns to be available when New York picks. Regardless of who drafts Manaea, they’ll be banking on their development staff turning him back into the guy he was on the Cape last summer.