ALEX MANASA, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: January 6, 1998
Height: 6′ 4″
Drafted: 11th Round, 328th Overall, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
College: Jackson Community College
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Manasa was a two-way player in his freshman year with Jackson, although the Pirates announced him as a right-handed pitcher. He hit for a .410/.459/.579 line with three homers in 183 at-bats at the plate, while also posting a 1.27 ERA in 21.1 innings in relief, with a 31:3 K/BB ratio. What makes the selection interesting is that Prep Baseball Report had him as the number one high school outfielder out of Michigan last year. He has hit 90 MPH, and showed some promise with his slider this year. He also throws a change. At Bristol after he signed, Manasa was throwing in the upper-80s initially, but later was up to 91-92. He also was working on a new change. Manasa is very athletic, having also played basketball in high school. He doesn’t have much experience as a pitcher yet and was only 19 when drafted, and he has the tall, lean build the Pirates like for RHP, so projection obviously was a big factor in the pick. He had plenty of eligibility remaining, but signed with the Pirates for $30,000 over the slot amount for post-round-ten picks.
Manasa pitched in relief at Bristol, except for one start, and had an encouraging debut. He got hit a little hard, with opponents batting .295 and slugging .468 against him, and he gave up a HR nearly every six innings. But he walked very few and had a solid K rate. He figured to be something of a project from the start and was facing slightly older, more experienced players on average.
Manasa spent the season in the Morgantown rotation. He more or less held his own, getting a lot of ground balls and keeping the ball in the park; he allowed four home runs. He didn’t miss many bats, though, and opponents batted .274 against him. He was much more effective against left-handed hitters, holding them to an OPS of .585. Right handers put up a .797 figure against him.
Manasa spent the season in the Greensboro rotation and pitched well without dominating. His control was very good and he improved his K rate. Opponents batted 252/301/388 against him in a league where the norm was 239/316/362. His HR-prone home park probably didn’t help, as he allowed ten HRs and .423 SLG in 11 starts there, compared to five HRs and .360 SLG in 14 starts on the road. He had a fairly large platoon split, giving up an OPS of .769 to left-handed hitters and .649 to right-handed hitters, with a much higher HR rate against the former providing most of the difference.
Manasa’s season probably wasn’t much fun. The Pirates moved him up to Greensboro and used him primarily as a guy to go in when the starter left early. His problem was gopher balls, as his other numbers weren’t bad at all. He gave up 11, better than one every four innings, and the problem was the Greensboro ballpark. All 11 of the home runs he allowed with the Grasshoppers came at home. He had a 2.63 ERA on the road and 8.39 at home. Manasa also made several appearances to fill in at higher levels and they didn’t go well.
Considering Manasa’s wild home/road split, he’s probably much better than his 2021 numbers suggest. He might do fine at Altoona, which has a park that supresses home runs significantly.
|2022: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $155,000
MiLB Debut: 2017
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2020
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 14, 2017: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 11th round, 328th overall pick; signed on June 21.|