Alek Manoah, Blue Jays’ top pitching prospect, set for MLB debut vs. Yankees


The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to promote right-hander Alek Manoah to the majors on Wednesday. Manoah will then make his big-league debut by starting Toronto’s game against the New York Yankees.

Manoah, 23, was the 11th overall pick in the 2019 draft by way of West Virginia University. He’s the second player from that round and class to reach the majors, joining Chicago White Sox outfielder Andrew Vaughn. The pandemic altered Manoah’s development arc, limiting him to just nine professional starts. In those outings, he’s compiled a 1.54 ERA and a 6.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

Most recently, the 6-foot-6 Manoah made three appearances for Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate, striking out 27 of the 66 batters he faced in 18 innings. He also allowed one run on seven hits and three walks.

CBS Sports ranked Manoah as the third-best prospect in the Blue Jays farm system last fall. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Manoah is a large right-hander who looks the part of an innings eater. He has a good fastball-slider combination, and his changeup has shown some promise as well. Manoah doesn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing delivery, which threatens to leave him with subpar command. There’s some relief risk here — Manoah spent most of his freshman and sophomore years in the bullpen at WVU — but he’s made enough strides since the start of 2018 that, for now anyway, it feels all right to project him as a starting pitcher.

The Blue Jays could use the rotation help. Coming into Wednesday, Toronto’s starting five ranked 16th in the majors in ERA. 

The Blue Jays will enter play on Wednesday with a 24-23 record on the season, good for fourth place in the American League East. Toronto trails the Tampa Bay Rays by 4 1/2 games, and is 3 1/2 games behind the Yankees for third place.

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