Cubs den contributor Kevin Gallo has another scouting report for us. This one is on potential top draft pick Sean Manaea.
Kevin is a former high school baseball coach and an aspiring scout who attends a ton of amateur ballgames. He writes for Big League Futures, a draft site for amateur baseball players that will be holding amateur showcases beginning in June. Kevin uses first hand information while also talking to professional scouts.
Here is his report on Manaea...
Pitcher name: Sean Manaea
Draft status: Indiana State Junior
Physical: Manaea is athletic with a long lanky body and limbs. He is still developing muscle mass and his lower half could still gain strength has he develops. He has a great pitcher's frame that looks to be able to handle a heavy inning load once he fills out.
Mechanics: He throws from a low ¾ arm slot and has a high leg kick. He has a very compact and explosive delivery, with good extension because of his long legs. Manaea’s delivery is very deceptive, which makes the pitches hard to pick up and makes the ball seems to be coming quicker than it actually is. He does have problems repeating his delivery from time to time, causing him to lose velocity and leave the ball up. These are all things that can be corrected easily because of his athleticism.
Fastball: Manaea’s fastball has the potential to be a plus pitch. It sits in the low 90s but has been clocked as high as 96. He has the potential to jump up in velocity as his lower half gains strength. His fastball also shows good tailing, sinking action and is what you would call a "heavy ball". This creates a lot of swing and misses and making it difficult to make solid contact.
Secondary Pitches: Manaea has a slider that sits in the low to mid 80s with a hard 11 to 4 bite. It does resemble a slurve from time to time and he needs to develop more consistency with it, but it shows flashes of being a plus plus pitch.
Manaea’s change up started coming into its own this summer, showing surprising potential. His change-up sits in around 84 to 86 with tailing action. When Manaea gets on top of it is also shows sinking action also. It has the making of an above average to plus pitch.
Command: Manaea has shown outstanding control with 44BB in 156.2 innings in 2012, but it is his command that he needs to improve on. While he is able to stay around the strike zone, he doesn’t always stay put it where he needs to. That being said his athleticism is a plus because that will help him gain command has he continue to develop.
Summary: Manaea has one of the highest ceilings in the draft this year. His natural ability and untapped potential give him the ability to become a true #1. He will take at least 2 to 3 years because of the refining that is needed to be done in his delivery and pitch development. The end result will be a front end starter in the Major Leagues.