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Top prospect pitching for SWB Yanks, A-Rod coming

The Triple-A level is where players are constantly going out and trying to prove that they are worthy enough to don their big league club’s uniform and compete at that level. It’s an exciting level for players and for the fans as well.

You’ve been hearing about your team’s prospects for months and maybe even years and when they get to Triple-A, now you finally can get a taste of what they have to offer.

That being said, the Yankees just called up their best pitching prospect and I couldn’t be happier!

Manny Banuelos is a gem of a pitcher who has a great future ahead of him and he is finally pitching for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

He is easily my favorite Yankee prospect in their entire system and you can see why by just watching one start.

He is a left-handed pitcher, which any Major league team salivates over these days, so you know he is going to move through the system fast. He’s a superior left handed pitcher compared to most though.

He has three-plus pitches and for being only 20 years old that is really saying something. To be a great starter in Major League Baseball you need at least three good pitches to help get you past some of the lineups some teams are sporting these days.

Most starters in the MLB don’t even have three good pitches. It’s the elite pitchers that have that kind of arsenal. For example, Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, and Tim Lincecum. You get the idea. It’s a big deal to have three really good pitches.

Banuelos’ pitches are a fastball, changeup, and a curveball. The key for him to use those pitches in success is to mix them up well enough where the speeds are complimenting each other and the hitter sees the ball breaking from all different angles at different times. That will keep the hitter way off balance.

With young players like Banuelos, the first question everyone always asks is who does he remind you of?

To answer that question, Manny Banuelos reminds me of Johan Santana with a better curveball.

I should clarify though, he reminds me of Johan Santana but when he had an arm. It wasn’t too long ago that Santana was dominating the American League with the Twins. His mistake was going to the Mets. They seem to ruin everyone don’t they?

Now imagine that dominating Santana (who only had a good fastball and an amazing changeup) and add a great curveball to that. It’s a scary, but also gratifying for Yankees fans, thought isn’t it?

What Banuelos needs to work on while he’s with SWB is his command and location. For a 20-year-old, he has very good command and location but pretty soon he’s going to be counted on in New York so he needs to advance that command and location to the level of a 25 year-old. Once he masters that, he will be great.

Now the rosters are going to expand on September 1 and chances are Banuelos will get a look by the Yankees on or before that date. That gives you about two, maybe three weeks to get out to PNC field and take a look at this kid for yourself.

A-Rod on his way

News out of Tampa is that Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez is expected to play at PNC Field on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for the SWB Yankees on a rehab assignment after knee surgery landed him on the DL in mid July.

ESPN is reporting that A-Rod is expected to play two full nine-inning games with SWB which means local fans will get to see one of the most feared hitters in Major League history to bat 6-8 times at the minimum.

He is currently rehabbing at the Yankees Minor League facility in Florida, and should rejoin the Major League club on Thursday after his two games in Moosic.

Tommy Romanelli is a Wyoming Area grad and a sophomore at LCCC. He writes for pinstripesplus.com. His thoughts on the SWB Yankees will appear in The Dispatch throughout the season.

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