COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Lake City High School alum and former WSU baseball player Kyle Manzardo became the highest picked MLB draftee from Coeur d’Alene on Monday when the Tampa Bay Rays picked him in the second round with the 63rd pick.
John Schroeder was believed to be the highest drafted player ever from Coeur d'Alene. He was picked by the Minnesota Twins in the fifth round in 1994 with the 127th pick.
"That's awesome man," Manzardo said of his accomplishment. "There's been some really good players come out of here. It just means a lot of me to represent North Idaho."
He also becomes the highest drafted Cougar since Scott Hatteberg in 1991 (No. 43).
Many mock drafts had Manzardo going between the fourth and sixth rounds, which means Tampa Bay is very high on the former Cougar.
Manzardo watched the draft at home in Coeur d'Alene with loved ones and said it was surreal to hear his name called in the MLB Draft.
"When they announced my name I guess everybody just went crazy," he said. "I kind of set my phone down and heard it just going and going and going. I was kind of in a fog there just from the amount of messages coming in."
He's excited to join the Rays too.
"They're kid of known around the league for developing the players that they pick and really believing in the players they draft," Manzardo said.
Manzardo first gained traction in the baseball world in 2020 when he was named a third-team All-American by Baseball America after the shortened season due to COVID-19. He hit .435 with three home runs and 14 RBI and also led the Pac-12 with 27 hits in 16 games that season.
The first baseman continued his dominance in 2021, when he was named a first team All-American by nearly every major publication.
He became WSU's first first-team All-America selection since pitcher Aaron Sele in 1990 and was the first WSU position player to earn a first-team All-American selection since John Olerud in 1998. He became the second player in WSU history to be named a two-time All-American.
The Lake City High alum finished his season fourth in the Pac-12 in hitting (.365), third in slugging (.640), second in RBI (60), tied for third in doubles (19), tied for ninth in home runs (11), and fourth in total bases (126).