Right-hander Matt Manning has some good bloodlines for pro sports, as his father, the 7-foot Rich Manning, played briefly for the Grizzlies and Clippers in the late 1990s. While Matt -- who's only 6-foot-6 -- plays hoops as well, he's going to make his millions on the mound, and should be a top-10 pick in June.
Manning is an outstanding athlete with a clean, easy delivery that had him sitting 92-94 on Monday against the hapless Grant High School team, touching 97 and showing an above-average curveball in a 13-strikeout one-hitter where he walked one batter. (Grant may not have much of a baseball program, but it's a football powerhouse, sending at least 11 players to the NFL, including Shaq Thompson.) Manning was largely competing against himself, since his team had an early lead and he overpowered most of the Grant hitters, working up with his fastball to get swings and misses, throwing both of his pitches for strikes until he started to lose his command a little in the sixth inning.
Scouts who've seen Manning this spring have come back with different reports on the breaking ball, but what I saw was consistent and above-average, 77-80 mph with two-plane break and tight rotation, although I'm not sure where it gets better from here. He threw one changeup at 86 mph, which is typical for a prep pitcher but will probably be the first priority for his pro development. He's the best prep right-hander I've seen in this draft, and a top 3 high school arm for me, well worth a top 10 pick and someone who should be considered at least in the top 5 in this class.