Legends On Deck

Prospects On The Move: Manny Banuelos

Last time we profiled Max Fried, who went from the Padres to the Diamondbacks in the Justin Upton deal.

Manny Banuelos

Team: Atlanta Bravesbanuelos

Acquired: From the Yankees in the deal that sent relievers David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve to New York.

Position: LHP

D.O.B: 3/13/91 (23)

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 205

The breakdown of the Braves continues, as they add two talented arms to the Yankees rebuilt bullpen. In exchange Atlanta receives former top prospect Manny Banuelos, a talented pitcher who has lost multiple seasons to elbow troubles.

The former 13th best prospect in baseball (as ranked by MLB.com) came into 2014 looking to prove both his health and regain his status as a blue chip pitcher. While he did both–to a degree–it’s still a work in progress on each front. The Yankees handled Banuelos with kid gloves, allowing him to take the mound every fifth day but strictly limiting his innings and pitch count. In 26 appearances (25 starts), the Mexic0-native pitched just 76.2 innings across three levels (A+,AA,AAA). He posted a 4.11 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 31 walks.

The 2014 version of Banuelos featured a fastball that usually sat in the 90-92 range. His best pitch is his changeup, a plus offering with good arm speed deception. He also throws a curveball that is currently below average. Despite his small-ish stature for a pitcher, Banuelos has a fluid delivery with sound mechanics supported by an athletic frame.

Outlook: If Banuelos can return to his pre-injury form he has a chance to be a top of the rotation pitcher with two plus pitches and a solid curveball. At just 23, time is on his side, but it will all depend on his body. If he doesn’t return to form he likely settles at the back end of a major league rotation.

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