2) Alek Manoah
How acquired: Selected 11th overall in 2019 draft
Best pitches: Fastball & slider
Being picked 11th overall tells you everything about how highly Manoah was rated around the league. In fact he was the second pitcher selected in the 2019 draft, after Nick Lodolo.
Manoah was a unanimous choice for the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in 2019, while playing for West Virginia University. He finished the season with a 9-4 record in 16 starts, compiling a 2.80 ERA, 144 strikeouts and just 27 walks over 108.1 innings.
At the time of being drafted, the 22-year-old said he felt a bond with Blue Jays’ general manager Ross Atkins. As per Alex Hickey of Metro News, both grew up in the Miami area and this connection should not be underestimated in helping a young player fit in.
In this respect, Manoah made an instant impression during his first year in the organisation. Pitching for the Vancouver Canadians in the Northwest League, he recorded a 2.65 ERA, 27 strikeouts and just five walks in 17 innings.
You might be wondering why such a highly rated prospect only saw limited action during his first season? This was simply due to the Miami, Florida native’s study commitments at West Virginia University.
At 6 foot 6 and around 260 pounds, the main concern is arguably keeping Manoah’s weight under control. However, he has already learned the importance of eating well, with his dedication and discipline auguring well for his future in the Majors.
Projection: Second starter