Jeff Manship feature story from Irish Eyes (Jan. 30, 2006)
Highest-rated pitching prospect ever to join Notre Dame baseball
program, now set to embark on his first fully healthy season after suffering
elbow injury in the summer of 2003 (prior to joining the Irish) ... poised to solidify his status as one of the top pitchers in the college game while combining with senior lefthander Tom Thornton and fellow junior righthander Jeff Samardzija in forming a strong weekend rotation ... coming off an impressive season in the nation's top summer league, logging a 2.88 ERA as one of the leading pitchers for the 2005 Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League ... reestablished his repertoire of pitches during the `05 summer season ... a polished righthander known for his devastating curveball that some experts have labeled the best breaking pitch to come out of high-school ranks in nearly 20 years ... his "Tommy John" reconstructive elbow surgery (Feb. 11, 2004) sidelined him for all of of his freshman season (he has two years of eligibility remaining after `06) ... was rated by Baseball America as nation's No. 3 freshman prospect heading into the 2004 season, behind UNC lefthander Andrew Miller and USC righthander Ian Kennedy ... has plenty of big-game experience versus top-level competition, including pitching with the U.S. Junior National Team ... arrived at Notre Dame in the
fall of 2004 with tender elbow and was unable to participate in fall practice ... tried - through rest and rehabilitation - to get arm ready for '04
season but experienced setback that ultimately led to the surgery ... worked tirelessly during his rehabilitation and was eased back into action during the 2005 season ... has made some key adjustments to the college game while learning under pitching coach Terry Rooney about the offensive side of pitching ... listed as 13th overall pick by Baseball America in 2003 mock amateur draft (including '03 college players) ... his strong commitment to play for the Irish caused him to slip to token 50th-round pick in the '03 draft (by the Arizona Diamondbacks) ... was the sixth high school player listed in that mock draft (the top five opted for pro ball) ... brother of current Stanford senior pitcher Matt Manship, the bullpen ace of the '03 NCAA runner-ups ... valuable commodity as pitcher who can throw offspeed pitch for a strike - with great feel for curveball due to over-the-top arm slot, tremendous "12-6" rotation and arm speed through back and front side ... boasts excellent fastball that he can locate on both sides of the plate ... effective at repeating his delivery ...first started developing his curveball at the age of 10 ... looking to continue finetuning his changeup ... a confident performer with bulldog mentality, to go along with infectious sprit off the diamond ... played for Cotuit Kettleers alongside classmate and Notre Dame catcher Sean Gaston ... his full stats with Cotuit included a 2.88 ERA, 3-3 record, 45 Ks, 15 walks and 44 hits allowed in 50 innings and nine starts (his clutch win in the final week sent Cotuit to the Cape Cod League playoffs) ... former summer teammate of current Notre Dame senior shortstop Greg Lopez (with Ohio Thunder) ... game-1 starter for Gold team
in annual Blue-Gold intrasquad series (fall '05) ... could face several former
teammates in '06, with three from Texas A&M - infielder Ryan Hill (Reagan HS), 3B Austin Boggs and RHP/IF Kyle Nicholson (both with Team Texas and state all-star games) - and three who played for Cotuit: USF ace Casey Hudspeth and Arizona middle infielders Brad Boyer and Jason Donald... his other former teammates from teams on Notre Dame's '06 schedule include: St. John's outfielder Chris Anninos (Reagan HS), UConn catcher Larry Day, Air Force's- Andrew Vasquez (Reagan HS) and Jake Petro (little league), Oklahoma's Ryan Mottern (Ohio Thunder; Team Texas) and Arizona's Eric
Berger (USA under-18 national team) ... one of eight Texas natives (including three other members of the `06 team) to play for the Irish baseball team in the Paul Mainieri era (14 Texans among all-time monogram winners) ... posted 3.18 GPA during the 2005 spring semester.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Made gradual return to action after 2004 elbow surgery but then saw `05 season interrupted by finger injury (after trying to field a sharp grounder) ... ranked 5th on staff in low opponent batting average (.270) and games started (7) ... allowed staff-best
.220 batting with runners on base, also 2nd-best on staff in opponent 2-out batting (.220) ... led staff in groundouts per 9.0 innings (11.91) and groundout-to-flyout ratio (2.00), also 2nd on staff in Ks per 9 IP (7.94) and 5th in fewest hits allowed per 9 IP (9.53) ... averaged 19.9 outs per 9 IP via
Ks or GOs ... held righthanded hitters to .226 batting (2nd-best on staff) ... made debut of his Notre Dame career in his home state, versus Texas State in Round Rock (IP, 3 H, 4 R/3 ER, BB, K, loss; 5-10) ... his first six appearances all were short, predetermined starts ... tossed 2.0 shutout
innings versus Georgetown (2 H, 2 BB, K; 8-9) ... started 3-0 win over Boston College (in Brockton, Mass.) while combining with classmate Jeff Samardzija for the key shutout (3 H, K) ... suffered finger injury after fielding comebacker versus Connecticut in mid-April (sidelined for 13 days) ... ultimately had 4-inning start at St. John's (3 H, R, BB, 3 Ks; 1-3) before pitching out of the bullpen in final month of the season (4 GP) ... saved 5-1 win over West Virginia on final weekend of regular season (3 IP, 2 BB, 4 Ks; 5-1) ... lost lead in BIG EAST Tournament opener versus Boston
College but bounced back for 6-5 win (3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 3 WP) ... won NCAA elimination game versus Stetson (1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, BB, K, WP; 7-4).
AS A FRESHMAN: Missed entire 2004 season after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery on Feb. 11, 2004.
PREP & PERSONAL: Named All-America in final two seasons at Reagan High School, with combined stats from '02 and '03 including 0.65 ERA, 22-2 record and four no-hitters (one a perfect game), plus a 7.9 K-to-walk ratio and 9-inning averages of 17.4 Ks, 2.2 walks and 3.1 hits allowed ... his dominating '03 season included 0.64 ERA (13-1, 133 Ks, 18 BB, 33 H, 77 IP) ... allowed just one home run in '03 while posting a 7.4 K-to-BB ratio, 15.6 Ks per 9 IP and 6.0 "WHIP" ratio (2.1 BB and 3.9 H per 9 IP) ...
a first team All-American in '03 (per Baseball America and Student Sports) ... '03 team captain and two-time MVP, helping '02 and '03 teams win conference titles and earn national rankings (both were regional runnerup)
... pitched in 2003 All-America game ... named Student Sports second team All-America, first team all-district and first team academic all-state in '02
(0.66, 9-1, 159 Ks, 19 BB, 19 H, 74 IP) - with 9-inning averages of 19.4
Ks, 2.3 BB, 2.3 H (8.4 K-to-BB) ... tossed three no-hitters (one a perfect game) in '02, the last in 1-0 loss to state runner-up Austin Bowie (unearned run) ... struck out 19 in perfect game versus South San Antonio ... named second team all-district in '01, earning first of three all-conference honors
... Reagan did not sponsor varsity baseball in 2000 (school's first year of existence) ... his two starts with Team USA at '03 Junior Pan Am Cup included 0.84 ERA and 20 Ks (1-0, 10.2 IP, 5 BB, 6 H), highlighted by outing vs. host Curacao (15 Ks, 7 IP; 9-inn. game, 10-1) ... short reliever
with '01 U.S. Youth National Team that won gold medal at World Championship (Vera Cruz, Mexico) ... starred with Ohio Thunder in summer of '02 ... threw 1-hitter versus potent East Cobb (Ga.) Yankees at '02 Atlanta Wooden Bat Tournament (7 IP, 11 Ks, BB, UER) ... his stats with Thunder included 1.65 ERA and 92 Ks (4-3, 16 BB, 24 H, 51 IP)... played for San Antonio Xpress in summers of '98-'01 ... member of National Honor Society ... made official visit during weekend of '02 ND-Michigan football game (hosted by players Chris Niesel and Matt Macri), which featured ring ceremony for '02 College World Series team ... his brother Matt Manship is a senior pitcher at Stanford while father John Manship pitched at Arizona ... son of John and Sue Manship ... full name is Jeff Michael Manship ... born Jan, 16, 1985, in San Antonio, Texas ... an economics major, in the College of Arts and Letters.
Manship's Career Stats(dnp in 2004 due to injury)