If you still have never heard of Manny Banuelos, you need to add him to your list of must-know Yankees prospects. Why? His spring training numbers tell the story, but the Yankees have also raved of the little lefty constantly — and I’m not just talking about the GM, who always tries to boost all of his prospects’ value.
Mariano Rivera, someone who rarely says anything quoteworthy, called ManBan the best pitching prospect he’s ever seen.
Just how little is he? He’s listed at 5-foot-11 and 155 pounds. For perspective, Pedro Martinez is 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds. They both share a nice fastball, curveball, changeup repertoire, but ManBan is a lefty and Pedro is a righty.
Last night against the Red Sox, Banuelos ended his night by making Kevin Youkilis look silly on a perfectly placed pitch for a strikeout (yes, he got to face Youk because he started in place of an injured Sergio Mitre). Read what Youk said of facing Banuelos.
“He didn't really throw me many strikes; I should have walked twice, but I swung at a pitch out of the zone,” Youkilis said. “He's got good stuff for a young kid, but he's got to learn how to pitch now. It looks like he's got the stuff to make it.”
Banuelos got himself into a bit of trouble early with a few walks, but he worked his way out of jams and left without allowing a run. He still hasn’t allowed a run this spring training in 7-2/3 innings.
He’s got all the right stuff to be a top-of-the-line major league pitcher and, at just 20 years old, he has the poise too.
Brian Cashman recently said his organization does have some “untouchables” and though he only mentioned Phil Hughes by name, it was pretty clear another untouchable was Banuelos.