If you have never gotten the chance to visit a Class A game in Rancho, it’s quite the treat. The scoreboard is incredibly small and hard to read, the beer is usually sort of flat, and the in-game entertainment is sort of depressing. The real upside comes with the talent you get to see. And boy is the Dodgers farm stocked with talent. One guy, in particular, is catching everyone’s attention.
#Angels RHP Garrett Richards bottom third at Rancho for @66ersBaseball: 16 pitches, 12 strikes, 1K but gives up game-tying solo homer to Quakes' Rylan Bannon opposite field to right. Bannon leads Cal League with 18 HRs.
— Steve Wendt (@steve_wendt) June 30, 2018
It’s fairly common for Major League pitchers to make their rehab starts at Class A ball. What’s not common is to have a minor leaguer take you deep. Bannon did just that against the Angels’ Garret Richards. Don’t look down on Richards too much though, as Bannon has made it a habit this year to take everyone deep. He currently is the Cal League home run leader with 19 on the season.
Bannon is also hitting 296 with a slugging percentage of 568. That slugging percentage would rank him in the top ten in the majors right now. Obviously, Class A is a far-cry from the likes of Major League caliber talent. But it’s hard to ignore what Bannon has accomplished in just 80 games.
It’s even more impressive when you realize that this is his first year at Class A. The Dodgers took Bannon in the eighth round of the 2017 draft out of Xavier. Bannon, a standout third baseman, slashed 325/439/618 with 14 home runs in his final year at Xavier. Even more impressive than that? His defense. His college years were filled with highlight reel footage with the glove. The Dodgers have given him time at second base as well, despite profiling as a long-term third baseman.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 3, 2017
There is no way to know for sure which direction a prospect will go. Sometimes even the best prospects scouts have ever seen hit a wall and never rebound. Bannon does look to have quite a bit of promise though. The Dodgers 28th ranked prospect is just 22 years old, and we could be seeing him very soon.
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