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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-man: Alek Manoah

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Alek Manoah was our number one pick, number eleven overall in the 2019 draft. He spent the end of the 2019 season in Vancouver, making six starts, with a 2.65 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 17 innings. Then, of course, the world changed, and he didn't get to play at all.

He was #4 on our prospect list in 2020, mainly on the strength of his potential and a fastball that could hit 97 MPH because we didn't get enough data to know what he could be. As Matt said:

Of course, this doesn’t tell us much about whether he’ll be able to turn over lineups facing better hitters multiple times, or whether his command will either (there were some times in Vancouver that finding the zone was an issue). If the change-up/a third pitch comes along and with reasonable command, Manoah profiles as a durable front of the rotation starter. If not, two plus-pitches could still leave him as a starter with varying outcomes start-to-start; think 2010-2012 Brandon Morrow results. Otherwise, he could profile as a shutdown reliever, especially if the command isn’t so good.

The Jays called him up at the end of May.

He went on to make 20 starts, had a 3.22 ERA in 111.2 innings with 40 walks and 127 strikeouts. He also led the league in hit batters at 16. Batters hit .192/.290/.314 against him. He did have more troubles with lefties (.710 OPS) than right-handers (.496).

FanGraphs tells us he averaged 93.5 MPH on his fastball. He also threw a sinker (averaged 92.8 MPH), a slider and an occasional change-up.

He was pretty consistent. He allowed 3 runs or less in 16 of his 20 starts.

Alek missed a little time with a 'right back contusion.' He slipped on wet steps at Sahlen Field but only missed 3 or 4 starts.

At the end of the season, I did a Baseball-Reference search to see where his season fit among Jays' rookie starters. There were only three with better bWARs: Jerry Garvin (he threw 244.2 innings), Juan Guzman and Gustavo Chacin. Mark Eichhorn had the best rookie season for any Jays pitcher.

PECOTA expects him to make 24 starts, going 133.1 innings with a 3.76 ERA. I want to think he'll get a few more innings than that, but I can understand them being a little cautious. Predicting a 24-year-old with 29 pro starts to make more than 24 starts in his second MLB season would be pushing it. But Manoah might be the guy who can do it. I hope he doesn't lead the league in hit batters again, but I won't mind that much if he has the same kind of success.

Poll

If the over/under on Alek’s innings is 133 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Over
    (325 votes)
  • 9%
    Under
    (33 votes)
358 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on Manoah’s ERA is 3.76 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Over
    (112 votes)
  • 68%
    Under
    (239 votes)
351 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which starter finishes with the highest bWAR?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Berrios
    (182 votes)
  • 33%
    Gausman
    (126 votes)
  • 0%
    Kikuchi
    (2 votes)
  • 11%
    Manoah
    (43 votes)
  • 7%
    Ryu
    (27 votes)
380 votes total Vote Now