The left-handed pitcher hails from Durango, Mexico and was signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted agent in 2008.
In April and May, Banuelos had an ERA of 4.08 and 2.75 respectively. In June his ERA was 0.89 and so far in July it's 3.00.
"He was scared to pitch to contact it seemed like earlier in the year and now he is figuring out how to go deeper in the game," said RiverDogs manager, Torre Tyson.
"He's being aggressive with his fastball and locating it, also he's trying to put guys away with is changeup and breaking ball. He's throwing his curveball for strikes, which is pretty advanced for this level, especially being 18."
Jeff Ware, pitching coach for the RiverDogs, believes that his secondary pitches have led him to his success so far.
"He's throwing his changeup and curveball for strikes," he said, "whereas earlier in the year, for each game, he only had one or the other [secondary pitch] and never had both. Now, he is starting to get both and that's why his numbers are getting better."
So far this season, Banuelos has a win/loss record of 7-4 and has posted a 2.40 ERA in 82.2 innings pitched. He has given up just 68 hits, walked only 18, and he has struck out 73 batters.
Banuelos has been working on his curveball with pitching coach, Jeff Ware. Banuelos believes that his curveball is getting to where it should be, but admits he still needs to improve it.
"I've worked on grabbing the ball on the seams and so far I have made that adjustment, and my curveball has been working well," Banuelos said through translator, Sherman Obando, the first base coach for the RiverDogs.
Ware would like to see Banuelos continue to make progress and tweak a few things in his mechanics.
"He needs to work on his delivery a little bit and getting a quick step down," said Ware. "He needs to be more consistent with his secondary pitches."
"He's got a good curveball. He spins the ball very well. I think he's going to have a plus-plus curveball in a year or two," said Tyson.
As Banuelos continues to make the right adjustments and stay aggressive, and gain more confidence, one can only hope for more success for the youngster.
Banuelos Getting More Aggressive
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