Moving forward with our coverage of the 2016 MLB Draft (with lots more to come), we turn our attention to one of the top high school right-handers available: Matt Manning, from Sheldon High School in Sacramento, California.
Athleticism runs in the family with this one: Manning's father Rich (listed at 6-11) played in the NBA. Matt isn't as tall as Dad, standing 6-5 to 6-6, but he is very athletic himself and a quality basketball player who is signed to play the hardwood at Loyola Marymount. Manning's future is brighter in baseball, however; if he gets to college he'll play both sports, but right now it seems unlikely he'll get past MLB clubs.
Manning features a 94-96 MPH fastball with reports of peak velocity at 98-99. There's additional projectability in his 195 pound frame, which may not increase his peak readings but may help sustain him at the upper tier of his velocity band. His curveball and change-up need further development but both project well, particularly the curve which has improved a great deal this spring. In the long run he could have at least two plus pitches and perhaps all three.
Tall pitchers often struggle with their mechanics and command and Manning isn't perfect in those departments, though he's improved enough for expert observers to be optimistic. One trusted source who is generally skeptical about high school pitchers loves Manning's combination of physical talent and present ability. He is generally seen as a first-round talent, landing anywhere from the ninth or 10th overall to the early 20s depending on your source.
Video from Jheremy Brown
Video from Prospect Pipeline