Profile: Sean Manaea had positioned himself to be a top-five pick and perhaps even go first overall entering last spring. Sadly, his college season didn’t go as planned. Manaea had some performance issues and dealt with various injuries this year. He fell all the way in the draft to the second round, where the Royals happily stopped his freefall. Manaea ended up needing surgery for a tear in his hip labrum, but the prognosis for recovery is good. When healthy, Manaea works in the low 90’s and touches higher with a sneaky fastball from a deceptive delivery. His slider flashes well when he stays on top of the pitch but he often gets around the side of it from his low three-quarters delivery and the pitch flattens out into a slurve. His best offering is a diving split change that mystifies batters. Manaea is a big, strong kid with great makeup, strong stuff and the ability to miss bats. He has the potential to develop into a number two starter and his floor is probably a mid-rotation type with his present stuff. He would also fit quite well in the pen and could feature as a late inning option if injuries persist and his command falters. (Al Skorupa)
Quick Opinion: Regarded as one of the top talents in the draft entering the Spring, Manaea fell due to inconsistent performance and injuries. When healthy, Manaea has the stuff to be a mid to front of the rotation starter. If he shows up healthy in 2014 he’ll quickly return to top prospect status.
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