2018 Level: A+/AA
Current/Future/Ceiling Grades: 35/45/50
What we know:
Bannon is an 2B/3B who came over from the Dodgers as a piece in the Machado deal. He hit .275/.389/.507 with 23 HRs between A+ and AA but struggled in Bowie. The HR numbers are likely inflated by a friendly California League hitting environment before being traded. He’s an undersized guy with a big swing. It’s a new age swing, with low hands and a positive angle of attack in order to put the ball in the air. Some old school scouts will hate it, but those types of swings have undeniably led to success for some MLB hitters (Alex Bregman, Matt Carpenter, etc). Bannon doesn’t have above average raw power to really take full advantage of it though. Bannon is a patient hitter and while there is some swing and miss in his game, he’ll take plenty of walks. Bannon isn’t fast, but he is a good defender at 2B or 3B. He has soft hands, a good first step, and is comfortable around the bag.
What we don’t know:
How will the power play? He has average raw power, but what we saw in Bowie was Bannon having trouble squaring the ball up against more advanced arms. So, while his swing will lead to plenty of pulled flyballs and he has the power to hit it out pull-side, does he have the bat to ball skills to consistently find the barrel? He doesn’t have the power to hit it out if he doesn’t get all of it. He’s not going to be a high average guy, so power production is going to be important.
What we think:
Bannon looks like an above average utility player with some pop and quality defense who’ll take a walk. There is some starting 2B/3B upside if he can improve the bat to ball and find the barrel more consistently. 2018 was his first full season of pro ball and he dominated A+ ball before struggling in AA, so there is definitely a chance that part of his game will improve.
Written By: Luke Siler