Banuelos, Betances, Romine among top Eastern League prospects

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(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Baseball America’s look at the top 20 prospects in each minor league continued with the Double-A Eastern League today, and three Yankees farmhands made the cut. Manny Banuelos ranked sixth, Dellin Betances was three spots behind him at number nine, and Austin Romine was a little further down at number 17. Bryce Harper and (personal fave) Travis d’Arnaud topped the list.

In the subscriber-only scouting reports, John Manuel says Banuelos has “excellent velocity for a lefthander, with his fastball sitting at 90-94 mph and touching 95 with regularity.” His changeup has “sinking, screwball action when it’s on and was often his best secondary pitches.” He can also get whiffs with a power curve. Some managers in the league noted that Banuelos’ fastball command suffered because he overthrew, but others think it was a release point issue. “[Several] observers believed that his delivery will allow him to throw more strikes as he matures,” added Manuel.

Betances is referred to as a “physical beast who uses his size to sit at 91-95 mph and reach 97 with his fastball.” The report cites three secondary pitches: a power curve, a high-80’s cutter/slider, and a changeup that has “improved and is an above-average pitch at times.” The problem continues to be command, obviously. Romine is said to have a strong arm and “the hands, athletic ability and agility needed to be a sound receiver.” He’s a streaky hitter, and his batting practice power has yet to consistently show up in games.

The next and last top 20 list of interest to Yankees fans is the Triple-A International League, which will be posted Friday. Jesus Montero will certainly make an appearance somewhere high on the list, and a few of the arms (David Phelps and Adam Warren in particular) could get some love as well. Brandon Laird might even make an appearance.

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  • Jesse

    Even Ryan Lavahhhhhhnway made the list!

  • Nuke LaDoosh

    Re: Betances, my favorite line was “I think it’s fair to say when we saw him later in the year, he was a strike thrower with real good stuff.” Let’s see him pull it all together in AAA next year.

  • Pants Lendelton

    One again thank Garcia and Colon for being efficient enough over the course of the year to justify not rushing or prematurely promoting those kids.

    • Nuke LaDoosh

      or trading them for Ubaldo

      • Pants Lendelton

        I know the indians will eventually fix whatever problems that Ubaldo has , all in all for the package there asking for I’m glad the Yankees passed on it.

        He (Ubaldo) could easily have a great rebound year in 2012 and the bitching and complaining will begin again on why the Yankees passed on him.

        Between the high end and low end guys in the system hopefully some will rebound and/or progress like Nova did next season

        • Foghorn Leghorn

          agree…and let’s all just agree now that burnett finishes his last two years as the official #5 starter for the Yanks and leave it at that.

          CC #1, Burnet #5 and let’s fill in 2-3 with Nova, Hughes, and others…

          • Adam B

            I really hope Hughes can put it together next year… IMO it is a make or break year for him. Is it just me or was he really overrated coming out of the minors… not only his stuff which hasn’t even been close… but his command as well, he leaves way too many pitches over the middle of the plate to be effective.

            • Nuke LaDoosh

              Is it just me or was he really overrated coming out of the minors?
              He was #1 on this Eastern League list 5 years ago.

            • Foghorn Leghorn

              i just think so much has to go right even for the top prospects. the game is very mental and if a few things don’t go well right away then it can set a guy back as much or more than a physical injury.

              Hughes has shown signs of being a very good pitcher and he is still young. But you are right…this is a make or break year for him.

            • JU

              It’s just you. He wasn’t overrated “coming out of the minors”, he just has never been the same after blowing out his hamstring in Texas. He lost life on his ball. His mechanics suffered from trying to compensate for that. Thus his command sufferered also.

  • pat

    I think Banuelos was better when he was throwing 90-91 on the corners rather than trying to pump it to 94-95 on every pitch and missing his locations. Hopefully he can find a happy medium in AAA next year.

    • CP

      Hopefully he can find a happy medium in AAA next year.

      And a cameo in the Bronx…

  • Jesse

    Can’ wait until Manny is starting games every fifth day for the Yankees down the road.

  • Gonzo

    Actually surprised Brad Peacock is that high on the list. Nothing against him. I saw him pitch a couple of times and I didn’t leave thinking he could be a 1/2 SP.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Bryce Harper is going to be the #1 prospect in the International League as well.