The Killer B’s: Who is coming first?

A Game Three loss wouldn't change CC's schedule
Ride 'em while you've got 'em

Thankfully the Yankees have the Killer B's, not Killer Bees

Bobby (NY)

What is a realistic path for Banuelos to the majors? He is still young for AA right?

Yes, but I’ve talked to multiple scouts about him (and I think he’ll be here next week) and it sounds like he’s not very far off.

Picked up this question in Klaw’s chat at ESPN on Thursday and thought it was pretty interesting.  I look forward to seeing Law do an actual prospect profile on Banuelos next year.  He hasn’t seen him yet, but noted on twitter that several scouts told him Banuelos was the best pitcher they had seen all year. Considering Law says he’s not far off, could Banuelos be the first of the Killer B’s to make an impact in the Bronx?

Banuelos is by far the youngest of the three, as Betances has 3 years on him and Brackman has more than 5.  At the same time, both Brackman and Betances have struggled with injuries and neither have much more minor league experience than Banuelos does.  Brackman and Betances also are expected to take longer to develop due to their big frames.  While their length should give them an advantage down the road it can lead to struggles with repeating their deliveries and being consistent.  Banuelos on the other hand checks in at just 5’10”, which while concerning (not many sub 6 feet starters out there), also is helpful in his development as he has less to worry about in his delivery.  Without the extra length, it’s easier for him to be consistent.

Obviously Brackman has the biggest advantage in already being on the 40 man roster.  If he’s healthy and continues to progress, I would be very surprised if we didn’t see him in the bigs in 2011, even if he comes up in the pen (to be moved back the rotation, right?).  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Banuelos before Betances though.  Because the Yankees are always competing for the World Series, they often aren’t in a hurry to get young pitchers in the major leagues, and Banuelos will still be barely 20 on Opening Day next year.  If he dominates at AA (no sure thing) and Betances struggles or gets hurt, why wouldn’t Banuelos get the first crack at the majors, other than his age?  The biggest X factor in this is that they are all trade bait and there’s no guarantee any or all of them will ever throw a pitch for the Yankees, but I think it’s interesting that in the scouting community, Banuelos is closer than I would have expected.

A Game Three loss wouldn't change CC's schedule
Ride 'em while you've got 'em
  • vin

    “even if he comes up in the pen (to be moved back the rotation, right?).”

    Brackman to teh 8th! Joba to the rotation!

    Any clue what Law meant by “(and I think he’ll be here next week)”? Is he referring to him hanging/working out with the big league team? Or is Law down in Tampa?

    Manny has me the most excited of all the B Boys. Gotta love his youth and left-handedness.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      I think Law is at the AzFL.

      • vin

        Oh that makes sense. Thanks

      • Mike R. – Retire 21

        KLaw moved to Arizona permanently recently, so that is in fact what he was referring to.

  • All Star Carl

    The Bushwhackers > Killers B’s

    • Pat D

      The Bushwhackers > all other tag teams.*

      Duh, everyone knows this.

      (*This is a total and complete lie.)

  • Andrew Brotherton

    Law last year moved to Arizona. He most definitely will be at the AZFL. I’m sure we will hear much more about Banuelos. I’m really excited for what Manny will do in the next few years. I think you’ll see him in our rotation or fighting for a rotation spot two years from now.

  • Gonzo

    What do you guys think about dealing the Killer B’s and Montero for Greinke and Soria? Don’t think the Royals would and Greinke prolly wouldn’t. Just hypothetically.

    •!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      In a heartbeat.

    • pete

      no way

    • a plethora of pinatas

      Killer B’s and Montero for Hernandez and League

    • pete

      Greinke wouldn’t, the Royals absolutely would.

    • Dream of Electric Sheep/ still haven’t register /too lazy

      I don’t understand this fascination with Soria … just sign Soriano. He will only cost money.

      • pete

        Agreed. Get Soria when he hits FA. Never trade big prospects for relievers.

      • a plethora of pinatas

        Soria has a unibrow.

    • seimiya

      Greinke has already said he doesn’t want to pitch in New York, and has been on-off with mental issues. If that’s not a terrible warning sign, I don’t know what is.

  • Nick

    Anyone know are the young guys like Brackman, Betances, Montero still with the club in the playoffs??

  • Pharryn

    Brackman will be in the Bronx in 2011, but it WILL be out of the bullpen. Banuelos will take the longest, but will have the most distinguished career, as a starter for the NYY.

    • Stephen R.

      Well, I’m glad we got that sorted out. Question: answered.

    • vin

      I’m looking to diversify my portfolio… any tips?

    • Accent Shallow

      Thanks. While you’re in the future, wanna pass along any long shots that won the pennant, maybe some over/unders?

    • Zanath

      Can you tell us how the game turns out tonight?

  • jesse

    I’m starting to fantasize about a Sabathia, Hughes, + Killer Bs rotation iin 2012/13

    • a plethora of pinatas

      Are you including Burnett as 1 of the Killer B’s?

      •!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

        If all those three reach their ceilings Burnett should be the highest paid long man.

        • Accent Shallow

          I think Burnett is the poster child for why you can’t count on pitchers to reach their ceilings.

          • pete


        • ZZ

          If Burnett continues to pitch this poorly it doesn’t matter what those 3 do. He won’t be in the rotation.

          • Dream of Electric Sheep/ still haven’t register /too lazy

            ZZ, I personally think Moseley would be a better match up with his slop than Burnett will with his sitting duck fastball.

            look no further than how TX were gearing up dead heat on Price and Shields.

            If you are a scout, how can your report be any other than sit on Burnett fastball in the zone all day and night long. He has no other offering he can throw strike with…

          • MikeD

            If AJ throws up another clunker in 2011 similar to this year, it’ll be his last season in pinstripes. He’ll have completed three of the five years of his contract, and I can see the Yankees trading him away and paying 2/3rds of his remaining contract to whatever team takes him.

            That all said, I expect a bounce back from AJ. This was, by far, the worst year of his career. He still seems to have his velocity and breaking ball, so no need to believe he’s finished. Maybe this will actually force him to change his pitching approach.

  • dan l

    Banuelos likely makes it first. There is a good chance the Yankees will need a second lefty reliever sometime in the second half of next season and with his poise he should do well.

    • vin

      Both Marte and Logan are under team control for the next 2 years. Obviously Damo’s shoulder needs to be healthy for them to pick up his 2012 option.

      All relievers are volatile, but there’s a decent chance they’ll have the two guys ready to go next season.

  • tomaconda

    I saw Guidry pitch for the West Haven Yankees back in the day and everyone said he would never make it to the bigs because he was too small and too skinny. He had a heck of an arm but had trouble keeping it in the strikezone.

  • todd

    Theirs mo way KC Oz giving greinke and soriia unless we offered, Hughes,Cano, Montero, Man ban just for starters. k ix the tezm thzt turmed xosn Montero and proscets for jst Soria. I can’t imgine wjt wewpuld have to offer

    •!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      Oh Mo.

      • Jon in CUO

        Maybe todd is accessing RAB from his touchscreen smartphone? That’s the only explanation I can come up with.

    • Gonzo

      It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

      He has a point, but the B’s + Montero would make KC’s farm the best ever, possibly.

  • Poopy Pants

    Keep the Iron Sheik away from all Yankees minor league games!

  • Jose the Satirist

    Wait the nickname for those three Yankee pitchers is really the “Killer B’s”? The originality of nicknames these days is killing me. Especially considering how good the Houston Killer B’s were.

  • Jackie Treehorn

    Anyone want to speculate on the likelihood of us parting ways with Burnett before his contract expires. He always got by on plus stuff and I don’t see him reinventing himself if that stuff does not return.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Just for fun, imagine you are the GM of any of the other 29 MLB teams.

      What would you offer the Yankees for A.J. Burnett?

      Does that answer you question?

  • Jerome S.

    We’re definitely not going to use only five people in the rotation next year. Someone is going to hurt or something, and their going to have to miss a start or two. Will the Yankees have a set guy be the #6 man?

    By the way, Pedro Martinez was 5’11, so um… yeah.

    • Jon in CUO

      I’ve always been thankful for Pedro’s diminutive frame. The Yankees wouldn’t have gotten to the 2003 World Series without it.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        I don’t think it was Pedro’s diminutive frame nearly as much as it was Grady’s feeble mind.

  • Bill

    Brackman is likely the first called up to the majors. He’s going to start next year in AAA and you have to imagine both Betances and Banuelos will start in AA.

    I think Betances might be ahead of Baneulos for the Yankees. Betances will be added to the 40 man roster this offseason to protect him from Rule 5. Banuelos doesn’t need to be added anytime soon.

    Plus I think the Yankees might think a little bit higher of Betances. Cashman in a recent interview said that he thought Betances might be the best pitching prospect the team has ever had. Mark Newman also said that they were discussing whether Betances was ready for AAA next year and most felt like he could start there next year. I still think Betances starts in AA but its interesting to hear that they’re even discussing AAA so seriously.

    Here’s a link for the Cashman quote:…prospect-ever/

    Can’t find link the the Newman interview right now.

    Betances needs to build up his innings with a healthy season this year. Banuelos is young so barring injuries or ineffectiveness from other options (Brackman, Betances, etc.) I don’t think he’ll be rushed to the majors. Brackman is definitely the most ready of the three. He built up his innings this year with a full minor league season. He’s ready for AAA. Barring some sort of setback he’ll be one of the first pitchers called up from AAA this year.

  • Angelo

    I love ManBan. I can’t put into words the true emotions I feel for him, so I’ll stick to this lesser word called “love.”

    I haven’t made a comment in a while…

  • MikeD

    His height doesn’t concern me. Statistically taller is better (up to a certain height), but the pitcher has to be judged individually.

    Good, very good and great pitchers under 6 feet that I’ve seen pitch include Tim Lincecum, Pedro Martinez, Ron Guidry, Billy Wagner, Tom Gordon, Bartolo Colon, Mike Hampton, and that’s just the ones that come quickly to mind, so yes, it’s possible to be an effective MLB pitcher under six feet tall. We could go a bit further back and note that Juan Marichal was 5’11” and Whitey Ford was 5’10”, and both are in the HOF. Both were considered on the short side even during their time, especially Ford, who was passed over by a number of teams. Johan Santana is listed at exactly 6′, which means he’s almost assuredly under that height. (I’m also not sure that pitchers like Greg Maddux are as tall as they claim. He’s listed at 6’1″, although I did stand right near him once, and I’m 6′ even, and I think he was no taller than me, perhaps slightly shorter.)

    The problem teams have become infatuated with size, so a MLB scout who has a choice of a 6’3″ prospect who throws 90 and a 5’10” prospect who throws 90 will push harder for the tall guy. It becomes self-fulfilling after a while as more tall pitchers get drafted and moved ahead in development. Limited slots also means the shorter guy may never get a chance.

    I could be off by one or two here since I did a very quick count, but there are 71 pitchers in the Hall of Fame, with only 16 under six feet, and half of those played before 1900. People were not only shorter back then, but it was also a different type of game. Only two played after World War II, the aforementioned Ford and Marichal. Yet only 16 tall pitchers (those 6’3″ or more) have also made the HOF. The bulk fall between 6′ and 6’2″. This should change as more tall pitchers are drafted, and come up for HOF election, but it still strikes me that mid-range height is better than being shorter or taller, despite the belief that 6’5″ pitchers represent optimum height.

    I remember reading a few years ago that the A’s pretty much banned radar guns in their minors, afraid that they were losing some quality pitchers based only on radar gun readings. A pitcher like Dallas Braden, who seems to live in the upper 80s, might not have made it to the majors in another organization. Braden’s not short, but it’s similar to not selecting shorter pitchers because they don’t throw as hard.

    I got way off track. Banuelos will be fine if he’s got the stuff. So far so good.

  • cranky

    Many interesting posts on this thread.
    Thanks, all.

    As for ManBan, he’s the best pitching prospect the Yanks have had since Hughes. The kid “knows how to pitch,” as they say. Mixes in breaking stuff and a change-up with what is now 93 heat. I’ve seen him listed as 5’11”.
    Fernando Valenzuela was pretty good, too, a few years back. He was under 6′.
    And ManBan isn’t going to be traded. It’d be dumb to trade him for any pitcher who might be on the trade market this off-season, and the Yanks don’t need any starting position players.
    If the yankees trade one of their young pitchers this off-season, it’s going to be Joba. Just watch.