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Day: August 9, 2016

Volcanoes catcher not fazed by change

Dylan Manwaring was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco Giants in 2015 and moved from third base to catcher. (Submitted)
Dylan Manwaring was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco Giants in 2015 and moved from third base to catcher. (Submitted)

Of the Keizertimes

Dylan Manwaring has been through his fair share of moving around.

Originally born in Scottsdale, Ariz., Manwaring has lived in every part of the country. From Arizona, Manwaring moved to West Palm Beach, Fla.

After a short stint in Florida, the Manwaring household would settle up north in New York, where his Dylan’s father, former San Francisco Giant, Kirk Manwaring, was born. In New York, Dylan would develop into one of the best east coast high school players of his class.

Now in Oregon, Manwaring has solidified himself on the Volcanoes roster.

Out of high school, Manwaring was drafted in the 9th round by the Atlanta Braves in 2013. It was a day he would never forget.

“I was given a great opportunity,” Manwaring said. “The Braves agreed to pay for my college if I decided to go back. It was always my dream to play professional baseball, and I didn’t know if I was going to get that opportunity again.”

Unfortunately for Manwaring, his experience in the minors didn’t come as easy as he thought it would.

“When I was 18-years-old I had never truly failed, and it wore me down,” he said. “I came from upstate New York where I was facing 80-85 mph and then I got to rookie ball and I saw 90-95 on a consistent basis. It was definitely a big jump, and I struggled to start. It was and still remains a daily grind.”

Manwaring could not find success in his two and half seasons with the Braves. Fortunately, his story wasn’t over.

In the winter of 2015 the San Francisco Giants signed Manwaring as a free agent.

“I got through it, and I am thankful that the Giants have given me this opportunity and the fresh start,” he said.

More moving would soon come as Manwaring switched to an unfamiliar position. Manwaring, who began his career as a third baseman, would now be converted to play catcher in the Giants organization. Accustomed to change, Manwaring has no problem.

“It’s pretty crazy to get behind the dish,” he said. “I haven’t ever done it before, and these last two months have seen a lot of firsts for me. It’s cool to be back there. I get to see different guys and it is interesting to see what they do. It even helps in the batter’s box, too. I kind of have an idea of what pitchers are going to throw me. I am the quarterback on the baseball field, and I have to know what to do at each position. It is definitely a process, and I’ll keep learning every day for as long as I am back there.”

Entering his third full season, Manwaring has a lot of baseball experience to fall back on. His dad, his former teammates, and a ton of family support.

“I am still young and still progressing each day. This is the best organization in baseball, and it doesn’t get much better than this.”