Matt Manning | RHP
Manning, 18, is the son of former NBA player Rich Manning. He attends Sheldon High School in Sacramento and has a 2.51 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 14 walks in 22.1 innings this spring. His baseball season started a little late because he was focused on basketball full-time. Manning is committed to Loyola Marymount, where he could play both sports.
At 6-foot-6 and 185 lbs., Manning is the classic “dream big” high school pitcher. He’s an excellent athlete with a loose arm who did not start pitching full-time until his junior year. During that time he’s upped his fastball from 87-89 mph into the 92-94 mph range, and the heater plays faster because he gets so much extension. He’s run his fastball as high as 96-97 mph in short outings during showcase events. Manning can spin a hard curveball in the upper-70s but the pitch lacks consistency. He doesn’t have a changeup or a third pitch in general, so that will be a project going forward.
Manning was ranked as the 12th, 21st, and 25th best prospect in the 2016 draft class by Keith Law (subs. req’d). MLB.com, and Baseball America in their latest rankings, respectively. The Yankees pick 18th. The athleticism, fastball, and promising curveball are enough to get Manning picked in the first round. He is raw and not someone who figures to shoot up the minor league ladder in a hurry. The Yankees have not had much success developing lottery ticket prep arms like Manning in recent years — Dellin Betances is by far their biggest success story — and as a result they’ve leaned towards college players. For what it’s worth, Manning is physically huge with a big fastball, and those are two Yankees trademarks.