Former West Virginia pitcher Alek Manoah has had an incredible first half to his sophomore campaign.

The right-handed pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays made his MLB debut on May 27, 2021, and since then he has been one of the best pitchers in the American League. After finishing 8th in American League Rookie of the Year voting a year ago, Manoah has posted a strong first half, sending him to Los Angeles to participate in the 2022 MLB All-Star Game.

So far this season, the Toronto Blue Jays have won 50 games. Out of those 50 wins, 10 of those wins have come with the help of the former Mountaineer. Manoah holds a 10-4 record, being tied for the second-most wins in the American League. Manoah also ranks fourth in the AL with a 2.28 ERA.

To go along with his strong numbers, is his high usage rate. Manoah has pitched the third-most innings in the American League — tossing 114.2 innings, and surrendering 29 earned runs, while striking out 103 hitters.

Manoah has relied on the use of his fastball this season. According to FanGraphs, Manoah throws his fastball 61% of the time, with his fastball averaging just under 94 MPH. That fastball is one of the most used pitches in all of baseball. Manoah ranks third among all pitchers in Major League Baseball with his fastball usage, and he backs up that fastball with a slider that sits at just above 81 MPH, which he throws 28.5% of the time.

Manoah’s most recent start came on Friday against the Kansas City Royals. Manoah did not strike out the plethora of hitters he is capable of. Instead, he was efficient and the steady force the Blue Jays have become accustomed to.

Manoah got through seven innings on just 86 pitches, allowing only one run. Manoah allowed only four hits, striking out six, in a 8-1 win.

“I took what happened last year and I’m trying to build off of it,” Manoah said after his start. “I’m not buying into any of the expectations or listening to any of the loud noises on the outside. I just continue to stay within myself and trust myself. I put in some good work this offseason, and I’ve been super blessed just to be able to come out here and attack every day.”

Manoah will represent the Blue Jays in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 19.