Alek Manoah, the star pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, stands at an impressive height. But exactly how tall is this dominant right-hander? Let’s explore Alek Manoah’s height and what it means for his success on the mound.
Just How Tall is Alek Manoah?
Alek Manoah is a big man, even by MLB pitcher standards. At 6’6″ tall, he towers over most hitters that step into the batter’s box against him.
Manoah’s height gives him a significant advantage when pitching. His long limbs allow him to generate extra velocity and movement on his pitches. He also delivers the ball on a steep downhill plane, making it very difficult for batters to square up.
So in case you were wondering, Alek Manoah is 6’6″ tall. That makes him one of the tallest starting pitchers in Major League Baseball today.
But how does Manoah’s height compare to other star MLB pitchers? And what are the benefits of being so tall on the mound? Let’s take a closer look.
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Putting Manoah’s Height in Perspective
At 6’6″, Alek Manoah is in rare air when it comes to height among MLB starting pitchers. The average height for a pitcher in the majors is around 6’2″. So at 6’6″, Manoah has a full four inches on the typical MLB hurler.
Some of the tallest starting pitchers alongside Manoah include:
- Chris Young – 6’10”
- Randy Johnson – 6’10”
- Jon Rauch – 6’11”
- CC Sabathia – 6’7″
- Dellin Betances – 6’8″
As you can see, 6’6″ puts Manoah in very elite company in terms of height. There have been few MLB pitchers as tall as Alek Manoah over the years.
The only active starting pitcher in Manoah’s height range is Aaron Sanchez of the Washington Nationals, who is also listed at 6’6″. So in today’s game, Manoah stands out with his towering presence on the mound.
The Advantages of Manoah’s Height While Pitching
Alek Manoah’s 6’6″ frame gives him distinct advantages over shorter pitchers when on the mound. Let’s look at some of the key benefits:
1. Downward Plane on Pitches
One of the biggest assets of Manoah’s height is the steep downward angle it allows him to create on his pitches, particularly his fastball.
As a 6’6″ pitcher, Manoah releases the ball approximately 6 inches closer to home plate than the average 6’2″ MLB hurler. This allows gravity to accelerate his pitches more rapidly.
Hitters have precious little time to react when a mid-90s fastball is biting downward toward the zone. Manoah’s height makes his rising fastball and sinking changeup especially deceptive and challenging to hit.
2. Increased Velocity
The long levers in Manoah’s 6’6″ frame allow him to generate elite velocity on his fastball.
Taller pitchers like Manoah create additional whip in their throwing motion. Manoah uses his long limbs to sling the ball forward powerfully, regularly hitting 97-98 mph on the radar gun.
Shorter pitchers with more compact deliveries often cannot match the raw velocity of a pitcher as tall as Manoah. His size gives him natural advantages in terms of pure speed.
3. Larger Wingspan
With Manoah’s extra height comes an expanded wingspan. His arms measure an incredible 6’11” across.
This huge wingspan allows Manoah to release the ball closer to the plate. It also creates extra extension in his delivery, making his pitches appear even faster than they already are to hitters.
Manoah’s wide wingspan also allows him to throw more biting curveballs and sliders that break late due to his extra-long release point. His height enables sharper breaking pitches with more tilt.
4. Intimidation Factor
Make no mistake, when a 6’6″ flamethrower like Alek Manoah steps on the rubber, it catches a hitter’s attention.
Seeing a giant pitcher unfurl mid-90s heat from such a high arm slot can be an intimidating sight for hitters. Manoah uses his size and velocity to attack batters mentally.
His stature on the mound makes Manoah an especially imposing presence. Few hitters cherish the thought of stepping into the box against such a tall, hard-throwing righty.
So while Alek Manoah’s height provides mechanical advantages, it also offers mental edges over hitters too.
How Alek Manoah Uses His Height to Attack Hitters
Now that we’ve examined the advantages of Alek Manoah’s 6’6″ frame, let’s take a look at how he utilizes his height strategically when pitching:
Pounding the Lower Half of the Zone
Manoah leverages the downward angle he creates extremely well, hammering the bottom half of the strike zone relentlessly.
With his rising fastball, Manoah will start pitches low in the zone so they end up as elevated strikes above the barrel. His sinking changeup dives down even further as it reaches the plate.
By targeting the lower zone, Manoah induces a lot of weak groundball contact. Hitters struggle to square him up when he is pitching downhill.
Changing Hitters’ Eye Levels
Manoah mixes his pitches brilliantly to keep hitters off balance. He’ll follow a low heater with a looping 12-6 curveball, completely changing the eye level of the hitter.
The variance from low to high in the strike zone prevents batters from locking in on a specific zone. Manoah uses his full height advantage strategically in this manner.
Exploiting Mismatch Against Shorter Hitters
Manoah has a pronounced advantage against shorter hitters with his extreme downhill angle.
Against batters 5’10” and under, Manoah can maximize his height difference. He attacks low and just off the outside edge against smaller hitters.
Shorter hitters struggle to reach Manoah’s low pitches or generate any lift. He relentlessly exploits this size mismatch.
Generating Whiffs Above the Zone
While Manoah pounds the bottom of the zone frequently, he’ll also use his height to his advantage working upstairs.
He’ll purposefully run elevated 4-seamers and rising cutters above the zone to generate whiffs. Right before a pitch arrives, his height causes the ball to appear even higher than it is.
This effect induces more swings-and-misses than against shorter pitchers. Manoah plays into this strength often.
So in many ways, Alek Manoah leverages his imposing 6’6″ frame strategically to attack and deceive hitters. His height is a true difference-maker when he is on the mound.
How Manoah’s Delivery Uses His Size
Alek Manoah incorporates his strong 6’6″ build into his pitching delivery and mechanics as well. Let’s examine how his size influences his motion on the mound:
Creating Downhill Plane from High Release
At 6’6″, Manoah releases the ball at an extreme downward trajectory, creating his pronounced downhill angle.
From his elevated release at the top of his towering motion, gravity accelerates his pitches rapidly giving hitters less reaction time.
Maintaining Consistent Release Point
Taller pitchers must work hard to repeat their release point and arm slot on every pitch. But at 6’6″, Manoah maintains exceptional consistency.
Even with his height, Manoah repeats his delivery and arm angle flawlessly. This allows him to spot pitches precisely and avoids telegraphing his arsenal.
Increased Stride Length
Manoah’s height gives him an exceptionally long stride toward the plate during his delivery. His stride measures over 7 feet.
This expanded stride shortens the distance his pitches have to travel to reach the plate. It also enhances his fastball velocity and downhill angle.
Minimizing Delivery Effort
Manoah generates easy velocity without much exertion in his delivery. He minimizes effort thanks to his height and strong lower body.
Manoah relies more on his natural size and strength to throw hard rather than overexerting mechanics. This results in less strain on his right arm.
So Manoah’s delivery fully utilizes his towering physical gifts while maintaining surprising consistency through his motion. His height offers clear advantages in every phase of his pitching mechanics.
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How Height Impacts Durability for Pitchers
Alek Manoah’s imposing 6’6″ frame provides unquestionable benefits while pitching. But does a pitcher’s height also influence their injury risk and durability?
There is some evidence that taller pitchers may be slightly more injury prone. A study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that MLB pitchers 6’2″ and over had a higher rate of elbow injuries.
The long limbs required to control their deliveries can lead to extra stress on joints and connective tissue. Taller pitchers take more time to master repetition in their motions as well.
However, this effect seems more pronounced for relievers who have higher-effort deliveries. For starting pitchers with controlled motions like Manoah, height alone hasn’t proven to predict arm troubles specifically.
No real conclusions can be drawn that a pitcher’s height inherently makes them less durable. It depends more on individual mechanics and workloads. Manoah has held up extremely well so far in his young MLB career.
As long as Alek Manoah maintains his flawless repeatable delivery, his size shouldn’t impact his health or longevity. He uses his height to his benefit much more than detriment as an MLB starter.
The Outlook for Manoah’s Continued Success
Alek Manoah enters his second MLB season in 2023 ready to establish himself as one of the American League’s best starting pitchers. His imposing 6’6″ frame provides a towering presence atop the Blue Jays rotation.
Manoah already possesses one of baseball’s most electric arms. He looks to build off his stellar rookie campaign where he went 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 20 starts.
If Manoah can stay healthy, his height is a differentiator that hitters will continue struggling to solve. He already mixes his quality four-pitch mix masterfully to keep batters guessing.
At just 24 years old, Alek Manoah’s ceiling remains sky-high, much like his 6’6″ stature on the mound. Don’t be surprised if this giant right-hander develops into a Cy Young Award candidate soon.
So in summary, Alek Manoah’s height gives him a major advantage against hitters. At 6’6″, Manoah uses his imposing frame and overpowering stuff to dominate on the mound. His success should only continue thanks to his physical gifts.
Alek Manoah stands tall as one of baseball’s most intimidating young pitchers. And at 6’6″, he has the potential to stand out as one of the American League’s premier aces for years to come.