ANTHONY BANDA, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: August 10, 1993
Drafted: 10th Round, 335th overall pick, 2012 (Brewers)
How Acquired: Waiver claim (from Mets)
College: San Jacinto (TX JC)
Agent: ALIGND Sports Agency
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Milwaukee drafted Banda out of junior college. At the time, he threw in the mid-80s with a good curve and improving change. His velocity improved after he turned pro and eventually averaged about 94 mph. He know throws a lot of changeups, about as many as he does fastballs, and the former may be his best pitch. He throws a slider only occasionally. Command has been an issue at times. Banda had Tommy John surgery in 2018, and has started as much as he’s relieved since then. The Pirates claimed him off waivers from the Mets.
Despite being a junior college draftee, Banda didn’t turn 19 until near the end of the season. He went to the Arizona League and had trouble there, partly due to control problems.
The Brewers sent Banda to advanced rookie ball and he still got only middling results, although his control improved. Baseball America rated him 27th in Milwaukee’s farm system.
Banda spent most of the season in the rotation with the Brewers’ affiliate in low A. The results were very similar to the previous year, except his K rate improved. At the trade deadline, Milwaukee sent him to Arizona. Pitching in the same league, Banda suddenly started showing much better control. BA ranked him 17th in Arizona’s system.
As a starter in the extreme hitters environment in the California League, Banda had an impressive season. His walk and K rates were very good, and opponents slugged only .354 against him in a league where the norm was .407. BA ranked him 15th in the D’backs’ system after the season.
Banda split the season between AA and AAA, and continued making progress. Helped by improving velocity, he largely dominated in AA and pitched well in AAA. BA rated him Arizona’s top prospect after the season and the D’backs added him to their 40-man roster.
Banda returned to AAA to start the season and had more trouble there. Pitching at Reno in the Pacific Coast League, a hitters park in a hitters league, probably played a role. Arizona called him up in July to make his major league debut, and he was up and down several times after that. He got about the same results with Arizona that he did in AAA. BA still ranked him second in the Arizona system, but after the season the D’backs sent him to Tampa Bay in a three-way trade.
Banda started the season back in AAA, but got called up in mid-May. His third game with the Rays was outstanding, but he injured his arm and had Tommy John surgery.
In late June, Banda returned from the injury. He gradually made his way back to the majors for three relief appearances.
Banda spent most of the pandemic season at the Rays’ alternate site. He struggled through four relief appearances for them. At the end of August, the Rays sent him to the Giants for cash. San Francisco outrighted him to AAA after the season.
The Giants sent Banda to AAA, where he started five games and relieved in five. He had a rough time, including more walks and a home run allowed better than every six innings. At the beginning of July, the Giants sent him to the Mets in a minor trade. He pitched in relief in AAA for the Mets, then got called up and struggled through five relief appearances in the majors. The Mets designated him for assignment at the end of July and the Pirates claimed him off waivers.
It wasn’t clear whether the Pirates might try Banda as a starter, which is primarily what he’s been during his career. Due to deadline trades, they were running low on relief depth. Banda has no options after 2021.
|2021: Major League Minimum
|Signing Bonus: $125,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: 7/22/2017
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2026
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/18/2016
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2017, 2018, 2020)
MLB Service Time: 2.008
|June 8, 2011: Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 33rd round, 994th overall pick.
June 5, 2012: Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 10th round, 335th overall pick; signed on June 15.
July 31, 2014: Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers with Mitch Haniger to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Gerardo Parra.
November 18, 2016: Contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
February 20, 2018: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks with Sam McWilliams and Colin Poche to the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team trade; the Rays sent Steven Souza to the Diamondbacks, the Diamondbacks sent Brandon Drury to the New York Yankees, and the Yankees sent Taylor Widener to the Diamondbacks and Nick Solak to the Rays.
August 31, 2020: Traded by the Tampa Bay Rays to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations.
November 3, 2020: Outrighted to AAA by the San Francisco Giants.
July 2, 2021: Traded by the San Francisco Giants to the New York Mets for Will Toffey.
July 19, 2021: Called up by the New York Mets.
July 31, 2021: Designated for assignment by the New York Mets.
August 2, 2021: Claimed off waiver from the New York Mets by the Pittsburgh Pirates.