- Date of Birth: August 10, 1993 (Age 24)
- 2017 Line: 8 G, 4 GS, 25.2 IP, 5.96 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 25:10 K:BB
- 2017 Value: 0.5 fWAR, 0.1 bWAR
- 2017 Salary: MLB minimum, Arb Eligible in 2021
- SnakePit Rating: 4.49
There wasn’t a lot to see from Banda at the Major League level this year. Banda served as a spot starter, making his MLB debut on July 22nd and making 3 more starts in August when Robbie Ray went on the DL after taking a liner to the head. Banda then came back up as a September call-up and made 4 relief outings. Banda’s brief MLB results weren’t great (5.96) ERA, but he flashed the upside that we’ve been looking for as a prospect, as he posted an above-average 8.77 K/9 and a not-terrible walk rate. In the minors, we saw a similar trend in his first full season at AAA: 5.39 ERA, 8.56 K/9, 3.76 BB/9. The PCL skews numbers, but his strikeout rate was 9th-highest among PCL starters with at least 100 IP.
Here is where Anthony Banda stands on the latest MLB prospect rankings for AZ:
- Baseball America: 1st (mid-season)
- MLB.com: 4th (mid-season)
- ESPN: 1st (preseason)
- FanGraphs: 1st (preseason)
Banda did nothing to hurt his prospect status, though a strong draft has added a few players that might compete with Banda for #1 in the system, but don’t view that as a knock to Banda - he had a solid 2017, especially for only being 23/24.
With regards to Anthony Banda, it’s all about the future. And so far, it looks to be pretty good. This year, we saw the standard three pitch mix from Banda: four-seam fastball, curveball, and a changeup. Banda’s best pitch is his curveball and he has a lot of velocity on his fastball (especially for a lefty), sitting 92-95 and topping out at 98 MPH. In fact, Banda showed the 7th-highest velocity among LHP starters in 2017 at 93.98 MPH (for reference, Robbie Ray was 4th at 94.49 MPH). The changeup is considered a work-in-progress according to most scouts and seems to project as an average pitch for him, though in a VERY brief sample, he recorded a very solid 15.79% SwStr% on it at the MLB level, so there might be some hope to his development on the pitch.
Going forward, Banda is still in development and at a young 24-years-old, he has plenty of time to keep growing. He’s already showing flashes of being a #2/#3-type starter in the MLB and still has plenty of upside from there if his curveball and/or changeup develop into elite pitches. He likely won’t get much action at the MLB level in 2018, barring significant injuries, as the Dbacks should still have a rotation of Greinke, Ray, Walker, Corbin, and Godley under team control and Shelby Miller coming back from injury (at some point). Banda will continue to be developed as a starter, so it’s unlikely that we’re going to see much from Banda until 2019 and beyond.