Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sickels On Banuelos

From John Sickels:
Banuelos is physically slight at 5-11, 155, but there's nothing slight about his fastball, which works at 91-94 MPH and can hit 95. He has a low-effort delivery which should help him stay healthy, although he still has to get through the classic injury nexus. His changeup is ahead of his curveball at this point, but both have the potential to be plus pitches, which would give him a complete arsenal. Scouts like his feel for pitching, and he showed superior command and control in the low minors.

His walk rate has crept up this year, with a BB/9 ratio approaching 5.00, which is too high. Eastern League sources indicate that he's recently had problems commanding his fastball, which wasn't a problem in the past. He's had few problems with left-handed hitters, holding them to a .229 average with zero homers this year, but right-handers have been more effective with a .277 average and a consistently higher walk rate.

At age 20, Banuelos still has plenty of time to iron out his command issues. His strikeout rate remains impressive, and he's still one of the best southpaw prospects in the game. He needs a good dose of Triple-A, but the Yankees refused to include him in rumored deadline deals. We should see him in the majors sometime in 2012.
Remember folks, Man-Ban will make his first Triple-A start tonight against Lehigh Valley.

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