Thomas Samuel Manzella, Jr. is a professional baseball player from the United States of America and plays as a shortstop. Tommy, as he is more popularly known, went to the Archbishop Hannan High School where he was a starting shortstop for the final three years of his school career.
In those three years, Manzella was named to the All-District 8-4A, the All St. Bernard Parish as well as to the Academic All-State teams in all three of those years. In his senior year, Manzella was batting at .360 with 24 RBI and 3 homers to get named to the LHSAA All-Star Game. He also went on to win the St. Bernard Parish Most Outstanding Player award in his senior year.
Before college, Manzella first played in the Valley League for the 2002 season, with the Waynesboro Generals while in 2003, he went on to lay for the Brewster White Caps in the Cape Cod League. In the 2002 season, Manzella ended by being named to the All-Valley League first team as the shortstop, while also being named to the All-Star Game roster. His .313 batting average was second for the club while his 9 stolen bases was the highest.
In the 2003 season, Tommy had 6 RBIs and 4 stolen bases in addition to leading the team in assists. Manzella, at that point, went to the Tulane University where he played 55 games in his freshman year at a batting average of .294. He was named to the Conference USA All-Tournament team after hitting at an incredible .615 during the tournament as the Green Wave’s shortstop.
In the sophomore season, Tommy was thrust into second base where he was tied as the team leader in doubles with 20 to his name as well as ranked 2nd with his 44 RBIs. Tommy received an honourable mention in the All-Louisiana team.
The following season, in 2004, Tommy started all 62 games for his team and became the only player to do so that year. He was named to the All-Louisiana Second Team and led the Green Waves in assists, with 185 and bunts, with a school record of 12. Tommy was also named to the NCAA Oxford Regional All-tournament Team. His senior year was not much different as Tommy made First Team All-Conference USA again, leading the Green Waves with his batting average (.356), hits (98) and stolen bases (21). He also had a team-leading 171 assists to his name along with a lead-tying 24 doubles.
In the 2005 MLB Draft, Manzella was picked by the Houston Astros in the third round and was placed into the New York – Penn League with the Tri-City ValleyCats in the Short-A league. His 53 games saw him score at .232 with 18 RBIs and gained him a promotion to the Lexington Legends in the A-League for the 2006 season. In 99 games, Manzella was extremely productive with a .275 batting average that saw him hit 7 home runs and 43 RBI including 15 stolen bases.
In 2007, the Salem Avalanche and Corpus Christi Hooks got Manzella’s service as he played 121 games, for both teams together, and had a .264 batting average with a single home run but with 39 RBI. The following season, he was placed into the Round Rock Express where he spent 54 games, mostly in a struggle to gain footing in the AAA-League. A .219 batting average wasn’t good enough to get anyone’s notice but while his batting struggled, his fielding percentage was at its best ever, with a .989 fielding average.
In the 2009 season, the Astros decided to buy his contract for a single season with a $400,000 contract for the majors. In February of 2009, the Astros decided to add Manzella to their 40-man roster and keep him away from the Rule 5 draft. Despite this, Manzella will, in all likelihood, start the season at the Round Rock Express.