The Tigers delayed the start of the 2017 season for 19-year-old righthander Matt Manning. They likely will continue to preach patience with Manning after selecting the hard-thrower ninth overall last year despite the fact he spent more time on the hardwood than on the mound.
Manning was a touted high school basketball player who had a scholarship waiting for him at Loyola Marymount. He didn't make the conversion from outfielder to pitcher until his sophomore year at Sacramento’s Sheldon High.
“Obviously, the physical attributes jump out at you initially," vice president of player development Dave Littlefield said. “He's 6-foot-6 or so. He's got a really good arm. Good athlete. He can really spin a breaking ball. He's got some feel for a change . . . He's certainly got the makings of a high-end starter that is so hard to find."