Banuelos to have Tommy John surgery
Banuelos, 21, was rated as the Yankees’ preseason No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America, but has not pitched since May 18 with what was initially called a bone bruise in his left elbow. He was shut down in early August with the hope that he’d be ready to play winter ball. Instead, the young lefty faces a long road back to playing the game.
Banuelos was signed from the Mexican League for $450,000 in 2008. Three years later he enjoyed an outstanding Spring Training – Mariano Rivera referred to him as the best pitching prospect he’s seen -- and won the James P. Dawson Award, given annually to the best rookie in camp. However, Banuelos struggled early at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, allowing six runs on 14 hits and six walks in just 5.1 IP in his first two starts. In his final start of 2012, Banuelos allowed five earned runs in four innings against Toledo on May 18.
In 24 innings pitched over six starts at Triple-A, Banuelos finished 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 10 walks.
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