Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Brian Bannister Report

Brian Bannister, RHP, New York Mets
Drafted 199th Overall (7th Rd), 2003 Draft, USC
Bats R/Throws R
23 YO, 6'1", 205 lbs

Bannister is another guy without great stuff, but who uses control, changing speeds, and an assortment of breaking stuff to keep hitters off balance. He's off to a blistering start with Binghamton, posting an ERA of 0.33 with more than a strikeout per inning over his first 27 frames.

2004 St Lucie: 4.32 ERA, 106 K, 27 BB, 111 H, 6 HR, 110 IP
2004 Binghamton: 4.06 ERA, 28 K, 17 BB, 45 H, 2 HR, 44 IP
pre-2005 mL Career: 3.77 ERA, 176 K, 62 BB, 183 H, 8 HR, 201 IP

He's climbed the ladder pretty quickly coming out of college, but this kind of pitcher sometimes takes a while to catch up to advanced hitters. Some of them just aren't effective. Without reading too much into a small sample, I have to say that if he keeps on dominating the Eastern League, then his 2004 stint in Binghamton may have been a simple adjustment period.

Bannister throws his fastball at about 90 MPH, has recently added a "cut" version to add movement, also has a slider, curve, and a change. The curve carries the most promise of being a feature attraction, but at this point, it's his most unreliable offering. If he can throw it for strikes, then his chances of being a quality major leaguer improves a lot. Even if it does become an out pitch, sometimes guys like this work out, sometimes they don't. The ceiling is pretty low as he'd be at best an innings sponge.

ETA: Early/Mid 2006
3 1/2 Stars



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