The 2019 first round pick that was selected 11th overall is having a remarkable Spring Training, but what is working against him was the lost 2020 season. After being drafted in 2019, he made just six appearances for the Vancouver Canadians in Short Season “A” Ball. In those six outings, Manoah was as close as dominant as you can be making your professional debut. Manoah threw 17 innings, striking out 27 while posting a 1.06 WHIP and 2.65 ERA.
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Many believed that the 2020 season would see Manoah reach New Hampshire, which would bring speculation of an MLB debut in 2021, however COVID had other plans. Manoah was able to continue his development by being placed into the development camp during the summer months last year, but it does not hold the same riggers of a full minor league system. Outside of the pure talent that Manoah possesses, he also has the benefit of now being 23 and has a 6’6”, 270 lbs frame and he appears ready to take on a bit more of a workload.
Manoah made his first appearance this spring against the New York Yankees on March 3 in a game when he came in second after Woods Richardson. Manoah threw two innings, allowed one hit while plunking one batter and striking out four. He completely turned heads on Sunday this weekend (March 14) when he started against the Yankees. Manoah induced Mike Tauchman into a soft ground ball to start the game before striking out seven consecutive batters. His out ended on a ground ball out to a diving Bo Bichette. Manoah was able to get strikeouts using his fastball that was sitting around 95-96 mph, as well as his slider and changeup.
Manoah’s outing on Sunday had him trending on Twitter and many fans calling for him to start the season in the rotation. What I believe will likely happen is that he will start the season in New Hampshire and if all things go well he could end up coming out of the bullpen in August to help control his innings. I am more than welcome to being wrong on this prediction, but either way Manoah is looking like he may be a front of the rotation pitcher and in the not too distant future.
What are your thoughts, where should Manoah start the 2021 season?