2019 Level: AA/AAA
Tools (current/future value)
Game Power: 45/45
Raw Power: 50/50
Most Likely Future Role: Utility Infielder
Ceiling: 2nd division regular 3B or 2B
What we know: Bannon is an undersized gamer with a pull-centric approach. There aren’t any above average tools and he doesn’t fit the visual of the standard MLB athlete, but he can play. There is average raw power in the small frame and he’s cut down on his big leg kick, allowing him to better defend himself against quality offspeed stuff. Defensively, I like him better at 2B where his average arm fits better than at 3B where he has to rush throws since he doesn’t have that prototypical 3B arm. Bannon isn’t much of a basestealer but he won’t hurt you on the bases.
What we don’t know: Bannon is near ready, the main question is just how much he can polish up his approach to help his fringe average hit tool play up. Will he get work at shortstop or in an outfield corner to increase his versatility?
What we think: The likely ceiling is a 2nd division regular, but I will say that if the ball stays juiced, there is some sneaky 1st division regular ceiling. To get there, he needs to lift the ball like he did with the big leg kick swing, but make quality contact like he did this year. He doesn’t have the tools you’d generally expect from a good everyday player, but he knows how to get the most out of his abilities at the plate and in the field. He will be a useful at least as a depth piece and could see action by mid-to-late 2020.
Another Take: There are some things to like with Bannon, including some surprising pop from a player his size. The question is whether he can hit upper level velocity and whether he can get on top of high fastballs that he tends to pop up. Handles spin ok at times, but he’s a launch angle bat path guy and that opens up holes. Defensively most believe he’s better at 2B, but wants to throw more sidearm than overhand and his ball tends to tail. If he’s not an everyday 2B, not sure he brings enough other skills to provide value. (Tony Pente)