The Banuelos Watch


(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

If you’re a new reader, let me explain what all this about. Every season we select one prospect to follow as the season progresses, tracking their stats in the sidebar for all to see and celebrate. Last year we watched Jesus Montero, but it’s time to get back to our starting pitcher roots.

Pint-sized (5-foot-10) lefty Manny Banuelos is the best pitching prospect in the Yankees system, owner of a 2.59 ERA in 215.2 career innings. He’s struck out 228 (9.5 K/9) in that time and walked just 66 (2.8 BB/9), surrendering just ten homers (0.4 HR/9). Banuelos reached Double-A at age 19 last season, just months after having an emergency appendectomy. He’ll return there this year, but there’s a good chance he won’t stay there for long.

Past watches have highlighted guys like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, so Banuelos has a tough act to follow. Once the actual watch goes up on the sidebar (later tonight or tomorrow, it’ll be below the Opening Day Countdown), you’ll see two rows of stats. The top one will be Banuelos’ most recent start, and the bottom will be his season performance. It’s pretty simple, but it’s always worth explaining.

The minor league season doesn’t begin until the first full week of April, but I plan on keeping track of everything this year, including the appearances Banuelos makes in the Grapefruit League. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy following along this year.


  1. Jerkface says:

    Good choice!

  2. Steve H says:

    If Manny ended up in the majors around June/July (very doubtful and I hope not) will you have a backup plan in place?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Nope, just keep following Banuelos.

    • radnom says:

      very doubtful and I hope not

      I agree that its doubtful, but if Manny is up in June/July its far more likely that he pitched his way on to the roster than there is that things completely fell apart at the MLB level and they hit the panic button.

      I actually don’t think that would even be a possibility. Too many guys ahead of him in experience and if he isn’t ready he wouldn’t be much help anyway. If he is up in July something very very good happened.

      • Nuke LaDoosh says:

        He’d have to have a Dwight Gooden start to Double A for that to happen…

      • MikeD says:

        While I wouldn’t be shocked to see Banuelos pitch on the Yankees this year, I would be surprised. They are going to control his innings and pitch counts this year, building them up so he is a viable candidate for 2012. Right now he’s coming off of a 64-inning season, which means he’ll have in-game limits as well as season-long limits that will make him difficult to use on the MLB roster. If all goes well, they’ll want to get him up in the 140+ inning range similar to Brackman last year so he can be in position to win a spot in the rotation next year.

  3. squishy jello person says:

    Over/under till a prospect curse reference in a DotF?

  4. Yank the Frank says:

    An Hispanic Gator.

  5. Manimal says:

    Why cant you do both the B-Brothers? (Banuelos and Betences)

  6. Dr. O says:

    Its to the point where I cringe every time Joba’s name appears.

    Good choice too.

  7. Reggie C. says:

    banuelos is a great choice though if Betances avoids the DL, he could put up gaudy numbers rivaling Banuelos.

  8. Anthony Murillo says:

    Excellent choice. Love Man-Ban.

  9. Nuke LaDoosh says:

    OK Mike, I understand you are a Capitalist, but Justin Bieber ProActiv ads on the Side Bar ??

  10. Teh Comp Pick says:

    Lets hope this works out better than Brack did when he was up!

  11. All Praise Be To Mo says:

    Not to look this great horse in the mouth, but why not a killer B watch? I’m sure most of us would love seeing our top 3 pitching prospects tracked all year.

  12. Good pick. Manuelos will prove himself to be “Guidry Dos Boogaloo Eléctrica”.

    (It works better in English.)

  13. MattG says:

    Yesterday, Keith Law wrote in his chat that he felt Banuelos could handle fifth starter duties this season. I found that very surprising.

  14. CS Yankee says:

    What’s his innings limit for 2011…160?

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      Last year he threw 64. In 2009, 109.

      So according to the Verducci formula, he could go about 145?

      • CS Yankee says:

        We for sure won’t see him in 2011 then which is more than fine…heck, he is really young.

        Maybe battle for the fifth spot in ST, 2012.

  15. Brad says:

    Mike – Manny B will have a bad first game and some people will complain about the famous and legendary curse of the prospect watch!!

  16. SamVa says:

    Surprised that no one has brought this up…
    In the event that he gets traded…(not saying it is going to happen)

    Will the prospect watch change or just no longer exist for the duration of the season?

  17. Mike says:

    Joba is a tough act to follow? I have higher hopes for Banuelos than that.

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