Thursday, June 09, 2016

Manning Drafted 1st Round - Ninth Overall - By Tigers

Sheldon High School's multi-sport star Matt Manning has been selected in the first round by the Detroit Tigers, the ninth selection overall, of Major League Baseball's Draft.

Manning, a 6-6 right-handed pitcher who throws fastballs regularly at 92-95 mph, was 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA and struck out 77 batters in 40 1/3rds innings for the Huskies who finished second in the Delta League. He also batted .493 at the plate, leading the league in that category amongst regular starters.

Named this season as the Delta League's Most Valuable Player in basketball, Manning has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball and basketball at Loyola Marymount. But, with the potential of signing a pro baseball contract with a signing bonus that could be as high as a $3-$5 million, it's likely he'll pursue baseball professionally.

With that aside, Manning was being discussed thoroughly by baseball draft insiders as a real solid baseball prospect because of his ability to consistently throw a 92-95 mph fastball, plus his athleticism as shown this year not just on the mound, but at the plate. Tonight on MLB Network commentator Dan O'Dowd liked the choice.

"A well-above average fastball with a a ton of late life, secondary pitches are still developing," O'Dowd said. "He's one of these picks where you are going to have to slow his development time down a little. Taller guys take a little longer to get to the big leagues. That starts at there initial level and getting their foundation right."

If Manning does indeed sign, he will join his father, Rich, with a career in professional sports. The Atlanta Hawks of the NBA in 1993 drafted the elder Manning in the 2nd round, the 40th overall. He played eight seasons of professional basketball, including two years with the Vancouver Grizzlies and a year with the Clippers.

The younger Manning is the second Elk Grove resident drafted out of high school in the first round. In 2014 the Tigers took Derek Hill of Elk Grove H.S. 23rd overall. He's currently in High-A baseball in the Midwest League, playing centerfield. Laguna Creek's Casey Weathers was a first round draft choice of the Colorado Rockies in 2007, 8th overall, after his senior year at Vanderbilt University. He is now playing with Double-A Akron in the Cleveland organization.

The highest Sacramento-area player selected in the first round was Butch Edge of El Camino H.S., selected sixth overall in 1974. 

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