The MLB Futures Game has hosted prospects that have flourished into stars in the past. This includes Zack Greinke, Alfonso Soriano, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander, and Jose Reyes. Even in recent years, younger guys likes Carlos Correa, Kyle Schwarber, Xander Boaegarts, Kris Bryant, Noah Syndergaard, and Julio Urias have participated. The Diamondbacks have had good performances of their own at the Futures Game in recent years with Archie Bradley, Matt Davidson (now with the White Sox), and Braden Shipley. Will Anthony Banda be the next in 2016?
Anthony Banda was recently promoted to Triple-A Reno, where he had a rough first start. This doesn’t take away from the 70-plus innings he threw for the Double-A Bay Bears with a 2.12 ERA. He had 84 strikeouts with 28 walks in the 76.1 innings he pitched there. So he has had a great season leading up to the news of the Futures Game.
A smooth delivery and an above-average fastball with tons of movement has made him a top prospect. He also has a solid curveball with a developing change-up. However, his command has been problematic at times. He had 45 walks in 118.2 innings in 2014, and only 39 in the following year with 151.2 innings. So far this year, he already has walked 30 batters in 81.1 innings in Reno and Mobile. There was an improvement from 2014 to 2015, but he might have regressed to start the 2016 campaign. These walks shouldn’t take away from his 2.12 ERA and 1.28 WHIP for the Double-A Bay Bears though.
Anthony Banda was part of the trade that sent Gerardo Parra to the Brewers in 2014. He was a 33rd-round pick in 2011 by the D-Backs, but he elected to go to junior college instead. He was then drafted the next year in the 10th round by the Brewers.
In his first full year with the organization, he was sent to the California League which is own to be a very hitter-friendly league. He started 27 games with a 3.32 in Visalia, and this really showed the organization why they liked this young left hander.
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Fans can catch Banda in the Futures Game on July 10 at Petco Park.