The Cleveland Guardians' decision to deal Aaron Civale ahead of the trade deadline drew plenty of criticism from fans and local sports talk radio personalities, the latter group having zero business discussing the game of baseball.
Anyway, Cleveland dealt Civale to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for first-base prospect Kyle Manzardo. The deal was far from popular due to the fact he was injured at the time and was struggling during his first season at Triple-A. The good news here is that final judgment on a deal such as this one will take some time to truly take shape, and anyone rushing to declare a winner or loser of the deal is, in fact, a member of the second group listed.
Someone who does not belong in that group and has plenty of experience evaluating prospects is The Athletic's senior baseball writer, Keith Law. Law put together a scouting report of some of the top prospects that he saw participating in the Arizona Fall League, a group that includes Manzardo. Cleveland's number two overall prospect received plenty of praise from Law.
"Kyle Manzardo is also on Peoria, and the former Rays farmhand — traded to Cleveland this July for Aaron Civale — hit the longest and loudest homer I saw all week, 460 feet (with a little help from the wind) at Salt River. Manzardo can hit, and it was a lot of hard contact when I saw him this week, including that homer (108.3 mph) and several doubles. He showed good pitch recognition as well, getting hits on all pitch types. He can hit velocity, and the homer came off a hanging changeup. It’s a pretty simple swing and if the added power he’s shown since he came off the injured list for Cleveland — six homers in 21 games in Triple-A Columbus, then three more in eight games in the hitter-friendly AFL — he’s going to be at least an above-average regular at first."- Keith Law on Kyle Manzardo
The details from Law regarding Manzardo are very encouraging. This is the type of hitter profile that Cleveland needs in their lineup on a daily basis. Having another bat who can make hard contact and hit every type of pitch makes the volume of light-hitting options in the Guardians' lineup a little more tolerable.
There is a little bit of time before Manzardo will get his chance to hopefully make an impact for the Guardians and potentially prove the Guardians' front office correct. Should that happen, there are going to be quite a few people who "grace" the local FM and AM airwaves who will be eating their words, and hopefully, eating words is where it stops for one person in particular.