After a strong start to the season in the Midwest League, Manning was recently promoted to High-A Lakeland and named to the Futures Game in July. He landed at #33 in our recent Midseason Top 125.
At 6’6’’ and 190 pounds, he’s a tall and athletic frame that uses his height well to create angle. He fastball sits 93-to-95 mph with late life, touching 96 at best. There’s enough power and movement to miss bats with the pitch, and he’s able to locate it to both sides of the plate. Manning is still ironing out parts of his mechanics, and as a result, his command and velocity aren’t as advanced from the stretch at this stage. His power curveball flashes plus, showing sharp bite and long down action in the 77-to-80 mph range. The changeup is a work in progress, overthrown a bit at 86-to-88 mph with occasional backups over the plate. His best ones show late dive, and considering Manning’s age and athleticism, there’s room to project on the pitch.
A physical power arm with the chance for numerous plusses, Manning’s ceiling is as high as any pitching prospect in baseball. Developing his changeup and finding mechanical consistency are the keys to his development. He has shown enthusing increases in control this year, and while there’s still some overall rawness, he’s only 20 and there’s reason to believe more adjustments are on the way. Manning has the ingredients of a true frontline starting pitcher.