Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top Eastern League Prospect

By Corey R. Cunningham

Manny Banuelos is today’s Eastern league top prospect. Born in New Mexico and signed by the New York Yankees, Manny is one of today’s up and coming starting pitchers in the game. His pitch package includes, a fastball, change up and an improved curveball.

Manny does not have the body structure of your typical Ace starting pitching, standing in at 5’ 11” and weighing in at 155 lbs. However, he does have the arm angle, to generate the velocity of a top pitcher.

His fastball averages 95 mps, yes averages, and tops out at times at 98 mph. Him being only 20 years young, he has the opportunity to generate another click or two on the radar gun. The fastball is unlike any normal 4-seam pitch. He not only can paint the corners like non-other, he can also put serious movement on as well.

Most young guns who have the number one pitch as their fastball; Banueloss’ main pitch is his A+ changeup. This pitch dips like a 2-seam fastball, however, comes in at an 80 mph mind blowing pitch. The changeup is Manny’s strike 3 pitch of choice. His curveball, which has improved over the past 3 seasons, is still inconsistent, but is very valuable when it is working. His 12-6 drop is incredible to opposing hitters, however, I was and will continue not to be a fan of curveballs being thrown to right handed hitters at a high ratio or pitch of choice.

Manny has not had the great year of 2011 that he anticipated, and his number show it. Although, not so great numbers he did manage to work his way through 20 games at Trenton to earn his first promotion to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Manny average one hit given up an inning, although doubling more K’s (94) than BB (52). The three important numbers in his statistics are his era at Trenton of 3.59, his WHIP 1.53, and his K/9 of 8.9.

Manny’s numbers did not get much better in AAA, having an era total of 4.19 in 7 games. He accumulated a WHIP of 1.60 a career worst for his minor league stint. His K/9 ratio dipped a little bit from AA to 8.1. Still he managed to give up a hit per inning, giving up 36 hits in just 34 innings worked.

The numbers do not show his potential at the high level he is anticipated on being on, however, I believe the Yankees keep him at AAA this year, based on the recent acquisitions of young right hander Michael Pineda and veteran starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Keep your eye on Manny Banuelos throughout spring training to see what his destiny is for the 2012 season; please keep in mind he is only 20 years young, and has a high ceiling of his caliber. My Predication: September Call UP in 12’

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