Under-the-Radar Dynasty Baseball Prospect: Kyle Manzardo

by Alex Welch

There is one player who made an enormous jump in rankings in 2022 and still seems to be an under-the-radar dynasty baseball prospect: Kyle Manzardo.

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Kyle Manzardo moved up to Double-AA last season and did not see any drop off in his performance.

In 30 games with the Montgomery Biscuits, he hit .323/.402/.576 with five HRs, 26 RBIs and 148 wRC+.

Under-the-Radar Dynasty Baseball Prospect: Kyle Manzardo

2022 in Review

Take a look at his numbers over the past two seasons.

SeasonLevelGPAHRRRBISBBB%K%ISOAVGOBPSLGwRC+
2021CPX1350210808.0%12.0%.256.349.440.605173
2022A+63275175355016.4%16.7%.307.329.436.636184
2022AA3012251826111.5%15.6%.253.323.402.576148

His 184 wRC+ led all hitters at the A+ level (min. 200 PA). That mark beat out some of the hottest dynasty baseball prospects like Elly de la Cruz and Ceddanne Rafaela. That's an impressive start to his career.

Baseball America’s Matt Eddy noted Manzardo played so well in 2022 that he finished No. 6 among all minor league hitters in wins above average.

Bailey Srebnik put it perfectly earlier this year. "Kyle Manzardo is a dude, and he is in the perfect system to succeed." Manzardo ranked No. 268 in our end-of-year prospect rankings. He should surely climb much higher heading into next season.

Looking Ahead

Manzardo is the No. 4 prospect for the Ray in MLB Pipeline's rankings. While his MLB ETA is estimated for 2024, it's possible we see him sooner. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times recently looked at the Rays' options for replacing Ji-Man Choi. It's clear they have several in-house candidates. Manzardo could be a solid long-term option for the club.

Manzardo self-admittedly does not have a swing designed for a “ton of super high exit velos.” But it’s easily repeatable and consistently drives balls to the gaps. His ISO has yet to fall below .253 in any league, too, and his strikeout rate remains in check at 15.6% while his FB% continues to climb.

The Rays' 2021 second-round pick showed an advanced approach in college. He continues to display that trait as he moves through the minors. Manzardo is a patient hitter with a 16.4% BB% in his 275 plate appearances at A+. The mark fell in AA but remained a respectable 11.5%.

And this comparison to Vinnie Pasquantino should immediately grab your attention.

The 55/70 grade hit tool has to excite dynasty baseball owners after seeing how well he’s already played. Manzardo made huge strides in 2022. If he carries that success into 2023, another major jump up dynasty rankings is due.

Now is the time to buy.


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