Apologies for the lack of DotF the last two nights, somehow the Desert Dogs got sucked into two night games this early in the Arizona Fall League season. So late games plus different time zones, yadda yadda yadda, you get the point, the games ended very late. Let’s get you caught up…
Phoenix Desert Dogs (6-3 win over Mesa on Wednesday)
Manny Banuelos: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2-2 GB/FB – 29 of 49 pitches were strikes (59.2%) … these starts are short by design, so don’t worry about … starters are limited to five innings max, and something like 75 pitches … they do that just to make sure there’s enough innings to go around
Keith Law was on hand for Banuelos’ start, and posted his take on the lefty yesterday. It’s Insider only, but here’s the good stuff …
… showed a good combination of above-average stuff and command and an easy delivery. He worked at 90-93 mph, locating the pitch to both sides of the plate, with a straight change at 79-81 with very good arm speed. His curveball has an 11/5 break and good depth, and he commanded the pitch about as well as he did the fastball, throwing it for quality strikes and putting it below the zone as needed. He throws from a three-quarters slot and the ball comes out of his hand very easily and deceptively quickly. He’s 5-foot-11 but well-built, certainly strong enough to be a starter; the only concern I’d have off this look was that hitters did square up his fastball when he came toward the middle of the zone, as the pitch has some downhill plane but not much lateral movement.
Banuelos is the Yankees’ best pitching prospect in my opinion, but really we’re just splitting hairs between him, Andrew Brackman, and Dellin Betances. I give Manny the edge because he’s the only one without a major arm injury in his recent past. As for yesterday’s game…
Phoenix Desert Dogs (5-1 win over Scottsdale on Thursday)
Austin Romine, C: 3 for 5, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 SB – he even stole a base, look at that
Brandon Laird, LF: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K – I’d love to know how the outfield experiment is going, but it’s still too early to say much of anything … he might not have even had a ball hit his way yet
Jose Pirela, 2B: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Ryan Pope: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1-1 GB/FB, 1 WP – 13 of his 20 pitches were strikes … he’s got a lot on the line in the AzFL, basically a 40-man roster spot and a shot at a big league job next spring, whether it’s with the Yankees or not
Some (all?) of the AzFL parks are equipped with the PitchFX cameras and what not, so now it’s just a matter of pulling the data. Brooks had it last year, but he’s away getting married and might not have it for a while, if it all. I could pull it myself, but I’d rather do it all in one shot at the end of the season. We’ll see.