The Toronto Blue Jays selected West Virginia University hurler Alek Manoah with the 11th overall selection in the 2019 MLB amateur draft.
The 21-year old right-hander was ranked 11th among the draftable players by MLB.com and was the second-ranked pitcher on the draft board aside from southpaw Nick Lodolo. The estimated slot value for Manoah is in the neighborhood of $4.55 million.
Alek Manoah is a larger than life specimen coming in at 6’6″ and tipping the scales at 260 pounds. The hurler predominately worked out of the bullpen before asserting himself as a starter in the Cape Cod League. Manoah has a fastball that touches 98 MPH but sits in the 94-97 MPH range complimented with a wipeout slider and a sporadic changeup.
MLB.com gave the following scouting grades to Manoah: Fastball: 65 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55. According to MLB.com “Players are graded on a 20-80 scale for future tools — 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.”
Manoah projects to be a middle of the rotation starter if he can develop an effective third pitch otherwise he may be destined for the bullpen. Manoah’s older brother Erik is currently pitching in the Angels farm system after being selected by the New York Mets in the 13th round of the 2014 amateur draft.
The Blue Jays have one of the top-rated farm systems in all of the majors, however, it is lacking in pitching after the likes of Nate Pearson, Eric Pardinho and a few other top-ranked arms. The selection of Manoah came as no surprise with the Jays rumoured to be interested in the young arm.
The Jays also targeted another arm with their second-round selection drafting high school pitcher Kendall Williams.
There are also some available Blue Jays bloodlines available in this draft as Braden Halladay, Jack Leiter, and Glenallen Hill Jr. are all eligible to be drafted. The son of Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman is also tabbed to go at some point over the next few days.