Scouting Twins Prospect #14: Jeff Manship

The Minnesota Twins drafted Jeffrey Manship in the 14th round of the 2006 draft, taking the young right-hander out of the University of Notre Dame. A finesse pitcher, Manship has overcome Tommy John surgery in 2003 to become one of the top righties in the Twins organization. After another sensational season, Manship has himself in prime position to be in the Major League within two years.

Name: Jeff Manship
Position: Starting Pitcher
D.O.B.: January 16, 1985
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 202
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

The Minnesota Twins drafted Jeffrey Manship in the 14th round of the 2006 draft, taking the young right-hander out of the University of Notre Dame. A finesse pitcher, Manship has overcome Tommy John surgery in 2003 to become one of the top righties in the Twins organization. After another sensational season, Manship has himself in prime position to be in the Major League within two years.

A two-time All-American in high school at Ronald Reagan (TX) High School, Manship was dominant as a junior and senior. He posted an earned run average under 1.00 during his final two years of high school, and he even pitched four no-hitters, including perfect game.

At the University of Notre Dame, Manship also had a storied career, being named Big East Pitcher of the Year during his final season with the Fighting Irish. During his final season at Notre Dame, Manship led the team in wins (9), and strikeouts (117), and was named Third Team All-American by Louisville Slugger.

Manship made his professional debut as a member of the Gulf Coast League Twins, appearing in only two games before being promoted to Fort Myers. For the Miracle, Manship was a starter, making three starts, and had a very nice 2.08 earned run average. In 8.2 innings, Manship struck out 12, and did not appear overwhelmed by such a high jump.

The righty would start the 2007 season with the Beloit Snappers, where he really began to make a name for himself within the organization. A mid and post-season all-star for the Midwest League, Manship was named the league's Pitcher of the Week on one occasion, and finished his time in the MWL with a 7-1 record to go along with a 1.51 earned run average.

The Twins would promote Manship to Fort Myers by the middle of the season, where he would go on to make 13 starts for the Miracle. Winning eight games, Manship gave the Miracle a big shot in the arm, and carried the team down the stretch. While he would open the 2008 season with Fort Myers, it was clear that he had succeeded at the High-A level.

In 2008, Manship would once again split his time between two levels, as his season would end in Double-A New Britain. He picked up right where he left off in Fort Myers, winning seven of his ten decisions, while posting and earned run average under 3.00 He would go on to be named a Florida State League mid-season All-Star by the time his work in Fort Myers was done, and would make his way to New Britain.

Manship struggled at time with the Rock Cats, but that is to be expected when you make the jump to AA from High-A. He had his highest earned run average of his career, though he did look spectacular on the bump from time to time. Overall, he won ten games between the two teams, and would go on to play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League, where he would garner Pitcher of the Week honors.

Manship sat down with TwinCitiesDugout.com this past December.

Jeff Manship TCD Interview

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball: The thing that makes Manship's fastball so good is the fact that he can throw it in any count, and he can locate it where he wants it. It is not an overpowering fastball, sitting in the high-80s to low-90s range, but it does have good sink to it, allowing him to induce plenty of groundballs. He has reached 93 on the gun on some occasions, but he tends to lose command of it when he reaches back for more velocity.

Other Pitches: Most scouts would agree that Manship's curveball is his best pitch, and I would have to agree with that assessment. It is a mid-70s curveball that really gets hitters off balance. Also, he has the confidence in it to throw it in any count, which keeps the hitters guessing all the time. He also has a changeup that is developing into a pretty good compliment to his other two pitches.

Projection: Manship is a very good starting pitcher, and I believe that is where he will stick with the organization. There are a plethora of right-handed starting pitching prospects in the organization, but Manship has emerged as one of the better ones. If he continues to take a step-by-step approach to his career, and really works at dominating each level, I think he could be a very good Major League starting pitcher.

ETA. 2010. Manship is slated to open the 2009 season back in New Britain, but as history has shown us with this guy, he should be in Rochester by mid-season. He does not have much to prove in AA, but he told us in December that he wants to dominate at the AA level before he gets to Rochester. That is very mature talk. He'll be in Rochester by the end of the season, and I expect him to make him Major League debut sometime in 2010.


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