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Yankees Top Prospect Countdown: #2 Manny Banuelos


#2 – Manny Banuelos

Bats: L               Throws: L
Height: 5’11”              Weight: 155
D.O.B.: 3/13/91              Highest MiLB Level: AAA

2008 (Rookie): 42.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 14 R, 12 ER, 13 BB, 37 K, 1.071 WHIP, 6.9 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 2.8 BB/9, 7.9 K/9
2009 (A, A+): 109.0 IP, 2.64 ERA, 40 R, 32 ER, 28 BB, 106 K, 1.064 WHIP, 7.3 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 8.8 K/9
2010 (Rookie, A+, AA): 64.2 IP, 2.51 ERA, 25 R, 18 ER, 25 BB, 85 K, 1.222 WHIP, 7.5 H/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.5 BB/9, 11.8 K/9
2011 (AA, AAA): 129.2 IP, 3.75 ERA, 63 R, 54 ER, 71 BB, 125 K, 1.550 WHIP, 9.0 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 4.9 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

Physically, Manny Banuelos is pretty much the exact opposite of our #3 prospect Dellin Betances. Unlike the 6’8”, 206 pound Betances, Banuelos is a compact 5’11” and just 155 pounds. He has three solid pitches – a sinker, a sinking change-up, and a curve – that he uses with great success. As you can see from his stat lines above, Banuelos turned in good performances at Double-A and Triple-A this past season. His home run per nine numbers remain low, which is great anywhere but are even better when you consider that Banuelos would be making half of his MLB starts at Yankee Stadium with its short right field porch.

The one issue that Banuelos needs to work on, much like Betances, is lowering his walk rate. If he can do this with any consistency, he could become a major cog in the Yankees rotation in the very near future. Frankly, I think Baseball America was spot-on in ranking Banuelos above Betances. While Banuelos doesn’t have the raw power that Betances has due to his smaller frame, I think his compact size and pitching motion will allow him to work out control issues and consistently hit the strike zone with much more ease than Betances.

For more on Manny Banuelos, be sure to check out his Seedlings to Stars profile here.

To see our prospect countdown so far, check out:
#10 – Slade Heathcott here,
#9 – J.R. Murphy here,
#8 – Austin Romine here,
#7 – Ravel Santana here,
#6 – Dante Bichette Jr here,
#5 – Mason Williams here,
#4 – Gary Sanchez here, and
#3 – Dellin Betances here.

You can follow Robbie (@clarkbar213) and Yanks Go Yard (@YanksGoYardFS) on Twitter and “like” YGY on Facebook.