Matt Manning, RHP, Double-A in 2019
The Detroit Tigers selected Matt Manning back in the first round of the 2016 MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft. Coming out of Sheldon high school in California, Manning has taken some time to develop, but now being twenty-two years old, he is poised to make a jump to Triple-A, which will be the last level before Manning gets his chance in the big league.
Manning has the opportunity to beat out any competition to become the top pitching prospect in the organization, but for now, he remains at two on the list. Manning is a 6-foot-6, 215-pound right-handed starter, who spent his 2019 season with the Double-A Erie Seawolves.
He made twenty-four starts with the Seawolves, pitching to an 11-5 record with a 2.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP while walking thirty-eight, and 148 strikeouts over 133.2 innings pitched. His exceptional 2019 campaign should leave him poised for a promotion to the Triple-A Toledo to start the 2020 season.
Manning attacks hitters with a three-pitch mix from an over the top arm slot, that features a fastball with some arm-side run that can be run up to the upper 90s when needed. His go-to offspeed pitch is his curveball that is an 11/5 break, which is sometimes referred to as a power or hammer curve that induces plenty of swings and misses.
He also throws a changeup which is his third pitch that has been developing over his years in the minors, it features some arm side run and sink that has it fade in towards right-handed hitters. Manning has a chance to surpass Mize this season if he comes out and becomes as dominant as he projects to be.
MLB Expectation: Manning can become a real threat to be a future ace for the Detroit Tigers if he continues his development the way he has so far. Manning should see his first opportunity in the big leagues sooner rather than later, and he should be a substantial arm in the Detroit Tigers rotation for the coming years once he reaches the big leagues. His big frame, control, and ceiling for development make him one of, if not, the most valuable prospect in the Detroit Tigers system right now.