MLB Draft Profile: Kyle Manzardo

MLB Draft Profile: Kyle Manzardo

by June 26, 2021 0 comments

The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021. We take a look at Kyle Manzardo, a promising first base prospect with an intriguing blend of power, pitch recognition, and solid fielding.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Kyle Manzardo, First Baseman, Washington State

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 205 lbs.
Age: 20
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
2019: 52G, .272/.335/.364, 50 H, 31 RBI, 2 HR, 16 BB, 26 K
2020: 16G, .435/.500/.694, 27 H, 14 RBI, 3 HR, 6 BB, 12 K
2021: 47G, .365/.437/.640, 72 H, 60 RBI, 11 HR, 25 BB, 29 K

Scouting Grades

Hit: 55
Power: 55
Run: 40
Field: 50
Throw: 45

Manzardo has demonstrated an ability to both hit and hit for power, and he truly came on strong during his final season at Washington State. He has also improved as a fielder, proving that he can be a reliable first baseman long-term.

Strengths

Hitting is likely Manzardo’s top strength. Not only can he hit the ball and produce a good batting average, but he also has a very advanced approach at the plate that allows him to succeed in pitch recognition, power output, and solid contact. After striking out 1.72 times as much as he walked over his first two collegiate seasons, Manzardo was able to find much more success in limiting his swings and misses in 2021. His 1.16 K/BB rate was very impressive for someone so focused on power, and it provides promise that he might be able to carry this over into the pros.

Manzardo also possesses the potential to hit for power. He launched just five homers over his first two seasons at Washington State but then bounced back for 11 dingers in 2021. He also hit went yard seven times through 33 games while playing in the Northwoods League in 2020. The 20-year-old has clearly developed his power, and it has come at the right time.

Manzardo is also a solid fielder. He has spent time refining his skills at first base and focusing on his defense, and this was obvious in 2021. This is just icing on the cake beyond his strengths at the plate.

Weaknesses

The only glaring weakness with Manzardo is his speed (or, rather, lack thereof). The first baseman is not a great runner and stole just three bases over three collegiate seasons. He also has limited range in the field, which hinders his ability at first base. (With that said, this isn’t the end of the world; there’s a reason he’s playing first base and not shortstop.) In addition to his restrictions when running, Manzardo has a slightly below-average arm.

Pro Comparison: Eric Hosmer

As mentioned, it’s rare to find a power-hitting first baseman who walks almost as much as they strike out. As such, I had to be a bit generous when finding a comparison here. Hosmer isn’t a perfect by any means, but he is a left-handed hitter with a fairly similar physical profile. He’s a talented performer at the plate who limits his strikeouts, though he doesn’t walk nearly as much as Manzardo does. He also has good pop in his bat, posting at least 14 homers in eight of the nine full seasons he’s appeared in (excluding the shortened 2020 season and the incomplete 2021 campaign).

Draft Projection: Second-Round Pick

There’s a possibility that Manzardo falls to the third round, but at the end of the day, I would imagine teams are aggressive in pursuing the first baseman. Usually, you only get power or good walk-to-strikeout rate. Manzardo has the potential to provide both, and that’s why some teams might be more than willing to spend their second selection on him.


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Main Image Credit: Washington State University Athletics

Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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