Our friends over at Seedlings to Stars are nearing the end of their top-100 prospect profiles and coming in at #26 is Yankees’ lefty Manny Banuelos. Like Jesus Montero, Banuelos has been so hyped for so long that it seems as if he should be a regular major league starter by now. With all that chatter it is easy to forget that Banuelos will turn just 21-years old in March.
Last season Banuelos split his time between Double-A Trenton Thunder and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he allowed 130 hits, 63 runs (54 earned), and 9 home runs in 129.2 innings. Batters hit .266 against Banuelos, and he still has some trouble consistently locating the strike zone, as evidenced by the 71 walks he allowed last season (a rate of about 5BB/9IP). He’ll have to bring that number down considerably to be successful at the big league level, but as Nathaniel at S2S points out, Banuelos is young and has plenty of time to develop. Though Yankees fans are dying to see him contribute in the Bronx, his age and the fact that he only pitched 129 innings last season make a strong case for being patient and allowing Banuelos to get adequately stretched out in Triple-A instead of rushing him into the major league rotation.
To see S2S’s full profile of Banuelos click here.