Jonathan Mayo gave a glowing scouting report for Manny Banuelos yesterday, listing him as the 10th best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball (my emphasis).
When Banuelos was forced out of action with appendicitis, he took the time and opportunity to focus on conditioning. The effects were noticeable when he returned, with more ticks on the fastball, for one thing. He commands it well, even though he's throwing it harder than he had previously. His other pitches -- a curve and changeup -- are also very good. All he really needs is experience and time to work on being able to throw all three consistently. He's only 20, and even if he's 5-foot-10, 155 pounds, he's got the stuff to be a front-line starter in the not-too-distant future.
Unfortunately Mayo didn’t include any expectations for him this season. Last year he climbed from low-A to Double-A, but his numbers got worse.
I don’t think there’s a great chance he makes it to the show in 2011, but he looks on track to get some Triple-A experience.
Again, he’s only 20.