Manny Banuelos was an acquisition that may have gone unnoticed for most Halo fans. Mostly this is due to the fact that he was sent straight to the Angels AAA team in Salt Lake, AND he is currently on the DL. Why would Eppler grab a pitcher off the injury wire that is on the DL?
A couple of years ago, Banuelos was one of the top left handed prospects in the game (back when he was with the - surprise - Yankees organization). He's had some arm issues and TJ surgery took up most of his 2012-2013 seasons and he later land with the Braves. At the height of his potential, Banuelos was hitting 97-98 MPH on his fastball, but has yet to regain all that speed and is more in the low 90s at this point in his career.
The scouting report on Banuelos is that he has an above average fastball (that used to be plus) and changeup, with an average curve and cutter. The Braves have a great prospect pipeline (with the likes of Sean Newcomb and others) so they didn't really need him. The Angels could certainly use some more arms in this system and he's already ranked the #19 prospect in the Angels pipeline, above guys like Kyle McGowin and Kenyan Middleton.
Banuelos debuted in the minors at the tender age of 17 and he turned 25 this past March. In 86 innings in AAA for Atlanta in 2015, he had a 2.23 ERA with 69 Ks and a 1.23 WHIP. He threw 26.1 big league innings last year but struggled with a 5.81 ERA.
Banuelos is currently on the DL because of bone spurs in his elbow which immediately brings to mind a Mr. CJ Wilson who has been plagued with injures as of late.
The hope here is that Banuelos can get through his health issues and regain some of the form that made him one of the best southpaw prospects in the game just a few years ago. At the very least, Eppler just added a top 20 prospect to our pipeline at almost no cost, so I say - kudos to Eppler. He's already placed a head of last year's 4th round pick and ahead of much of this year's top 10 picks.