West Virginia University junior right-handed pitcher Alek Manoah was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 11th overall pick Monday during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft.
Manoah is the Mountaineers’ second first-round pick in program history and the first since the Oakland Athletics took WVU pitcher Chris Enochs at No. 11 overall in 1997.
“I think this was a perfect fit for me,” Manoah said Monday evening. “When I met with the front office about two or three weeks ago, I left that meeting feeling extremely good about playing for them. I’m glad I was able to fall to No. 11. I think they’re a good fit for me.”
Manoah, a 6-foot-6 Miami, Florida native, went 9-4 this season with a 2.08 earned run average, 144 strikeouts — a single-season WVU record — and 27 walks issued in 108 1/3 innings pitched.
Opponents posted a .186 batting average against Manoah this season as he was named a first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and also was honored as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year.
“He’ll go down as perhaps the greatest pitcher that has ever pitched at West Virginia,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “He helped change the face of Mountaineer baseball forever.”
The Blue Jays have three short-season teams Manoah could end up playing for this summer, including one — the Appalachian League’s Bluefield Blue Jays — here in the Mountain State.
Manoah said he does not know where he will end up this summer, he’s just ready to get his professional baseball career started.
“I have no clue,” Manoah said. “All I know is, sometime this week or next week, I’ll be in Toronto for the jersey ceremony and things like that. Whatever they have planned for me after that, I’m just eager to get going.”
Whenever that is, it will be Manoah’s first trip to Canada. As far as international travel is concerned, however, the Blue Jays’ newest rookie has made a rookie mistake.
“I don’t even have a passport,” Manoah said. “That’s something we’re figuring out right now — how to get me into Canada by the end of the week.”