Frankie Piliere is a former MLB scout and is currently a writer for AOL FanHouse. He had a chance to watch the Yankees top pitching prospect LHP Manny Banuelos this week and came away very impressed. Here is a link to his article and here is a quick recap of what he had to say:
- Banuelos has added bulk to what was once considered a smallish frame.
- He’s athletic which helps him repeat his delivery well.
- He is right where he needs to be physically.
- Banuelos has “well-above-average command” thanks to “very consistent delivery.”
- He works from a three-quarter arm angle.
- He “creates a nice downward angle despite his lack of height.”
- He has problems occasionally working underneath his pitches.
- His fastball is the biggest change from last year. It was 90-92 mph, it’s now 93-94 and occasionally works 95-96. He’s even hit up to 97 mph.
- That is considered “a true plus fastball.”
- He can “be a bit reckless with his location in the zone at times.”
- His curveball is another significant difference between this season and last.
- “His downer curveball was a consistent plus, 6 pitch on the 2-8 scouting scale.
- It clocks in at 75-79 mph.
- When he keeps it down in the zone, “it’s a true swing-and-miss, above-average pitch.”
- Banuelos’ best pitch, even after improvement with his other pitches.
- It clocks in at 78-82 mph with “big two-seam action and dead-fish drop.”
- He has enough confidence to go to it in hitter’s counts.
- “It’s a pitch that really sets him apart and will allow him to move quickly.”
- There is a very short list of left handed MLB pitchers who can throw 93 mph or better.
- His command will also further set him apart.
- His only negative may be his lack of size.
- If he can remain healthy and “keep his shorter frame in check” he is capable of being a front-of-the-rotation starter.