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Russell Martin suggests Manny Banuelos is “more polished” than Clayton Kershaw

Mar 5, 2011, 10:43 AM EDT

Manuel Banuelos AP

Those who stuck around long enough during last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game were given quite the treat.

In addition to watching the impressive glove work of Red Sox prospect shortstop Jose Iglesias (here’s an example of what you missed), Yankees prospect left-hander Manny Banuelos struck out three over two scoreless innings of work.

Banuelos, who turns 20 years old later this month, is widely considered the best pitching prospect in the Yankees’ farm system. The 5-foot-10 left-hander has a 2.59 ERA over his first 215 2/3 professional innings, averaging 9.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. Baseball America recently ranked him as baseball’s 41st best prospect.

I hadn’t seen Banuelos pitch prior to last night, but I was mostly struck by just how smooth his delivery is for a 19-year-old. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Russell Martin had even higher praise.

“He has as good stuff as I’ve seen,” said Russell Martin, who caught Banuelos’ two scoreless innings against the Red Sox on Friday. “I compare it to [Clayton] Kershaw or even more polished than Kershaw, which is pretty good.”

Oh boy. The New York hype machine has found its new best friend.

  1. beantownsports247 - Mar 5, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Kids gonna be a great pitcher in a few years . Iglesias will be a star if he can come around on his hitting. Looking forward to a great AL east season .

  2. bigtrav425 - Mar 5, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Andddddddddddddd here we go! lol…..thats all fine and dandy but lets wait n see how his stuff compares to the regular season with major league hitters til then ill take Kershaw anyday of the week

    • JBerardi - Mar 5, 2011 at 2:10 PM

      Remember, if you’re a team in the AL East, and you have a pitching prospect who’s one year away… he’s three years away. Buchholz, Hughes, rinse, repeat.

  3. JBerardi - Mar 5, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    First televised Sox game; unfortunately I missed Banuelos. From what I did see, I think I was most struck by the athleticism and defensive abilities of the Red Sox b-squad. Iglesias is pure infield porn, of course. Reddick turned in an outstanding diving catch, Yamico Navarro looks like he can pick it at third, and Tejeda looked pretty good at second for a guy who’s getting kinda big for the position. I didn’t see Kalish do much but we all know what he’s capable of (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPSN3hsDhQE). Just a fun unit to watch. I foresee attending quite a few PawSox games this summer.

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