Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Miguelez debuted with the GCL Tigers last summer after being selected in the eighth round of the draft out of the University of Miami. In 45 innings for the GCL Tigers, Manny posted a 4.20 ERA and 2-4 record. The Tigers promoted him to Oneonta for two starts to close out the season; two starts where he gave up five runs and five walks in 7-1/3 innings of work, while striking out seven.
While at Miami, Miguelez was solid if unspectacular for the ‘Canes, posting a career 4.62 ERA in 47 games. Manny led his team in strikeouts as a sophomore in 2006, and was expected to be a weekend anchor during his junior year. Things never clicked in his third season on campus, as he entered the draft with a 1-2 mark and 5.60 ERA.
As a prep star in the Greater Miami area, Miguelez was highly recruited, largely because of his pitching prowess during his final two years of high school. As a junior, Manny was named 2nd Team All-Dade County, and was named to the third team as a senior at Coral Gable High. During those final two seasons, Miguelez set the school single season record for wins, with ten in each season. He also left Coral Gables with school career records in strikeouts (213) and complete games (13).
Miguelez is an intriguing talent that has a ton of raw potential. His arm is fresh due to a lack of experience, the same reason he enters pro ball as such a raw pitcher, despite three years of big time college ball. His family has a history of athletes, as his grandfather was an accomplished Judo competitor, winning ten Cuban national championships. His grandfather and father also competed on the Cuban National Judo Team.
Miguelez has a power arm from the left side, with the ability to fire fastballs from 90-94 mph with regularity, and the potential for more as he refines and polishes his mechanics. He generates good natural sink on his fastball, allowing him to induce ground balls with ease. His curveball is a solid 12-6 offering, and his circle change-up has good arm-side run. Both pitches lack consistent command, but they have shown flashes of being average pitches. Manny lacks command over his arsenal, stemming from an inability to repeat his mechanics. In addition, he has a propensity for getting his arm up at too high of an angle in his delivery, which can cause him further problems.
He is a very cerebral pitcher, with uncanny poise and calm on the mound, even in tense situations. He understands pitching theory, and can set up hitters throughout at-bats, and throughout games.
Manny has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter, but he will need to refine his strike-throwing ability to reach that projection. He has enough stuff to be a quality big leaguer in some capacity, but it may require a slower progression to provide adequate development time.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG A
Manny's been healthy to date, and his mechanics are generally clean. If he can begin repeating them with more regularity, he will reduce unnecessary stress on his arm and potentially lengthen his career.
Miguelez made his full season debut last month with West Michigan, working as their Opening Day starter. It is fair to expect a very up-and-down season from Manny in 2008, turning in a dominating performance one night, and getting run in the third inning the next. His command is shaky enough, that he will have a difficult time succeeding for long stretches this season.
Over the long run, Miguelez is likely to progress one level at a time through the system; hitting Lakeland in 2009, and Erie in 2010. There is a number of quality starting pitchers ahead of him in the system, so there will be little need to rush him along. Expect to see enough positives in his performance this year that he creeps into the back end of the Top 50 next year.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.