It isn’t much of a surprise that the Yankees top prospect Manny Banuelos hasn’t done much in the Bronx this season, but it would have been nice if he was at least making it a hard decision. Instead he has been on the disabled list for most of the year with a sore elbow.
Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com caught up with Brian Cashman last week and got an update on Banuelos – he has begun a throwing program and Cashman said that he will pitch this year along with another prospect Jose Campos.
This season is pretty much lost for Banuelos even if he does come back. After tossing 129.2 innings last season, a career high, he really needed a full year’s work to properly prepare him for the Major Leagues. He hasn’t gotten it and he has begun to fall on Top Prospect rankings recently as a result.
It’s a shame too because he was showing very good signs early on. He’s always been a great prospect with a lot of command, but after he added velocity to his fastball back in 2010 he lost a bit of that command. Early on this season he was able to maintain velocity in the 94-96 mph range and showed a big improvement to his command as well. He was on the verge of breaking out. Now he may need a full season in 2013, or at least most of a full season, before he is even considered as a call-up.
Banuelos, 21, pitched at the Triple-A level this season and has a 3.12 ERA, 9.1 K/9, and a 3.6 BB/9 over parts of five seasons in the minors. His velocity is already among the best in the game for left handed pitchers and his changeup is said to be exceptional. He’s still very young, but he’s going to have to show he’s physically capable of handling a 200-inning workload before the Yankees call him up.