New York Mets: SP Brian Bannister, 24
We have to dip down into Double-A for this one, because the Mets have a lot of
young prospects already on their big-league roster: Jose Reyes, 21, David
Wright, 22, Victor Diaz, 23, and Aaron Heilman, 26 -- all of whom are really
Triple-A age right now. If Bannister's name sounds familiar, it should. He is
the son of former Royals two-time 16-game winner Floyd Bannister. Brian, an
advanced former Division I-A college pitcher, has outdone top prospect Yusmeiro
Petit thus far on the Double-A Binghamton staff. Bannister is 5-0 with a 1.60
ERA, a .196 batting average against, 36 strikeouts and just 11 walks 39 1/3
innings pitched. Petit (0-2, 3.29 with 29 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings) was far
more heralded coming into the year. Either Bannister or Petit could compete for
a rotation spot by 2006.
Who needs to go down?
The Mets' winning percentage. They are highly unlikely to trust any more
prospects this season at the big-league level -- unless, of course, they hit
rock bottom once again. Also, Jae Seo has pitched well as a spot starter, and
Steve Trachsel is on track (no pun intended) to return to the Mets in
Of course, no sooner is this written than Bannister loses his first game, and doesn't even get out of the fifth inning in a 7-3 loss to Norwich tonight. Errors hurt Binghamtom, but Bannister gave up 4 earned runs in 4 and 2/3 innings to balloon his ERA to 2.25. And thus, the curse of CBS Sportsline is born.