Feb
25

The Banuelos Watch

By

(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.

  • Jerkface

    Good choice!

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

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

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Nope, just keep following Banuelos.

    • radnom


      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.

      • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

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

        • CS Yankee

          So your saying there is a chance?

      • MikeD

        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.

  • squishy jello person

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

    • MikeD

      You just mentioned it, so…

  • Yank the Frank

    An Hispanic Gator.

    • nsalem

      A Hispanic Gator An Ispanic Gator

  • Manimal

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

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      Because the third ‘B-Brother’ would be upset that he wasn’t included…

      I had a suspicion that it would be Banuelos all along.

    • radnom

      Betences was part of the ill-fated TJS recovery watch, wasn’t he?

      • radnom

        Also I think Mike said he hated the multiple player watch. Too much work.

      • J.R.

        Don’t think so, it was Melancon, Cox and one other person.

        But i could be wrong.

        • radnom

          Nope, my bad. You are correct.

          • radnom

            Also, it was more ill-fated than I originally thought. Ouch.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        No. That was Melancon, Chris Garcia, Humberto Sanchez, and J.B. Cox.

        • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

          Melancon still in baseball?

          • Slugger27

            if u count the astros, then yes

          • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

            Sure, he’s with Houston. You probably mean Cox.

      • MikeD

        I’m pretty sure Betences never had TJ surgery. He had an augmentation surgery down (calm down) on the ligament.

  • Dr. O

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

    Good choice too.

  • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

    Woo hoo! Manuelito!

  • Reggie C.

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

  • Anthony Murillo

    Excellent choice. Love Man-Ban.

  • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

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

    • bakekrukow412

      +1

  • Teh Comp Pick

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

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    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.

    • coolerking

      Seconded…though I’m not the one who would have to update the watch 3 or 4x a week.

  • http://www.facebook.com%e:mt_mop=2:1284065564|4:1270508852 Andy In Sunny Daytona

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

    (It works better in English.)

  • MattG

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

  • CS Yankee

    What’s his innings limit for 2011…160?

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Last year he threw 64. In 2009, 109.

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

      • CS Yankee

        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.

  • Brad

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

  • SamVa

    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?

  • Mike

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