Big-12 Pitcher of the Year Alek Manoah might be an intriguing option for the San Diego Padres with the sixth overall pick in the MLB Amateur Draft.
The San Diego Padres, home to one of the deepest and most talented farm system in all of baseball, are about to get an overall boost to their ranks.
With the sixth overall pick in the upcoming MLB Draft, an organization that is approaching contention will obtain a potential impact player.
This six or seven-piece series will take an in-depth look at who the Padres could select with the sixth overall pick in the draft. These are not predictions, but instead just breaking down some of the options that may be available when San Diego is on the clock.
West Virginia starting pitcher Alek Manoah has been one of the best pitchers in all of college baseball this season.
An All-American as a two-way player in high school, Manoah arrived at West Virginia and made 19 starts as a freshman while earning Big-12 All-Freshman team honors. His numbers regressed in his sophomore year, but Manoah made an astronomical jump going into his draft-eligible season.
Manoah has an absolutely massive frame, as the right-hander stands at 6’6″ and weighs in at around 260 pounds. Despite being such a large human being, Manoah is naturally athletic and his build should not be a concern.
Class: College Junior
Weight: 260 pounds
In his first full season as a starter, Manoah is 8-3 with a 1.91 ERA over 94.1 innings pitched. His 125 strikeouts are the eighth most in all of Division 1 baseball and he’s generated so many strikeouts while only walking 25 batters all season. It’s hard for hitters to square Manoah up as opponents are batting a pitiful .181 against him with only three home runs.
Manoah operates primarily out of the stretch from a high-3/4 arm slot. Primarily used as a reliever prior to 2019, Manoah’s success this season is mostly because of his ability to consistently repeat his mechanics. He lacked consistency despite having quality stuff, but Manoah’s improved his control and has an above-average feel for all three of his pitches. His fastball plays in the 94-97 mph range with natural sink to it that generates a high amount of swing-and-misses. A power slider pairs well with his high-velocity fastball and makes hitters uncomfortable at the plate, while flashing potential to be a plus pitch as he develops. Manoah showcased his changeup in the Cape Cod league, and it was a quality offering but has stuck to a fastball-slider combination this spring.
The lack of mileage on his arm has to be attractive for teams when considering if they should draft Manoah. San Diego has elected to go with prep arms in the previous two drafts, but Manoah at number six overall may be tempting for the team’s front office.
Much like fellow draft prospect Nick Lodolo, Manoah is a strikeout pitcher with an advanced off-speed pitch that gives him a rather high-ceiling. His fastball could reach triple-digits as well, which makes his floor either a back-end starter or a high-quality reliever. Manoah has to be one of the safest college arms in this entire class.