The New York Yankees have had left-handed pitching prospect Manny Banuelos in development for some time, and there has been quite a bit of hype and excitement among fans.
Last month, Banuelos was placed on the disabled list due to a back injury, and as unfortunate as it may be, it may have been good timing.
He has had a difficult start to the 2012 season pitching for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees with what appeared to be a loss of control that led to walking batters. Although I hate to see him injured, it presented him with an opportunity to settle down and relax temporarily.
Banuelos has a great deal of pressure that has been placed on him as one of the top prospects in the Yankees' farm system.
So far this season, he has a win-loss record of 0-2, 10 strikeouts, a WHIP of 1.929 and an ERA of 4.50 in 14.0 innings pitched.
His poor performance so far is not indicative of the pitcher that he is capable of being. The physical injury is one thing, but the mental and emotional aspect of an injury and not pitching well can wreak havoc on any player, but especially a young, up-and-coming prospect like Banuelos.
Over his first four seasons moving through the minor leagues, Banuelos had a win-loss record of 19-17 and a 3.02 ERA.
In 345.1 innings pitched overall, he had 353 strikeouts.
Baseball America named him the fourth-best prospect in 2011, and he is expected to become a star pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Mariano Rivera said that he thought Banuelos was the best pitching prospect that he had ever seen when he was invited to participate in spring training.
Much has been said recently about Banuelos' lack of performance and control on the mound. He may have hit a few bumps, but don't hold that against this young and incredibly talented pitcher.
He will get himself back on track and prove that he is as good as everyone thought. All athletes hit rough patches and go through slumps.
There's no real reason to be concerned about Banuelos.