Christopher Michael Manno, Jr.
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 170 lb.
Chris Manno had the best strikeout rate in the minors one year.
Manno hit .475 with 8 homers and 30 steals as a high school junior, while posting a 6-1, 0.54 record. As a senior, he hit .515 with 9 home runs and 34 swipes, and had a 5-1, 0.66 record with 95 whiffs. He made All-City in New York. Going on to Duke, he was 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA in limited action in 2007. In 2008, he improved to 6-2, 3.38. He dazzled with the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League, going 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA and .182 opponent average. In the Cape Cod championship game, he allowed one unearned run in 6 2/3 IP to pitch Harwich to the title. He finished 6th in the league in ERA and made the All-League team.
The left-hander fell to 5-6, 4.89 as a junior at Duke. The Washington Nationals took him in the 38th round of the 2009 amateur draft. Returning for his senior year, he reached 200 career strikeouts, the 11th player in Duke history to do so. Washington chose him again, this time in the 26th round of the 2010 amateur draft.
Manno made his pro debut with the 2010 GCL Nationals, going 1-1 with a save and a 2.50 ERA; in 18 innings, he struck out a whopping 29. He began 2011 with the Hagerstown Suns and did not allow an earned run in the first two months of the season. In 34 games, he was 1-3 with 12 saves, a 1.04 ERA, 69 strikeouts in 43 1/3 IP and a .135 opponent batting average. He was then traded with Bill Rhinehart to the Cincinnati Reds to the Jonny Gomes. He remained dominant after the deal, going 0-1 with two saves and a 0.53 ERA in 13 games for the Bakersfield Blaze, with 31 whiffs in 17 innings and a .107 average allowed. His .127 average allowed for the year was the lowest in the minors, .010 ahead of runner-up Shane Lindsay. He also had the best K rate (14.92 per 9 IP) of any minor leaguer, .57 better than #2 Jonathan Arias.
Chris was more human with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in 2012, going 1-1 with two saves and a 3.78 ERA in 50 games. He struck out 51 in 50 innings and allowed a .266 average.
Manno then joined the Spanish national team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers; he was one of four Duke alumni in that qualifier, with Nate Freiman, Jeremy Gould and Jake Lemmerman all playing for Israel. Chris was the only player on Spain's roster who did not appear on their route to victory in the qualifier and a spot in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.