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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 92: Tanner Banks

At each step, this southpaw just keeps getting results

Sneaky effective: Banks doesn’t overwhelm with any one pitch — he’s just gotten results at every level.
Kim Contreras (@Cu_As)/South Side Sox

Tanner Banks
195 pounds
Throws: Left
Age: 27
SSS rank among all left-handed starters in the system: 7

After Banks spent his first two years with Salt Lake C.C. (where one of his teammates was former White Sox farmhand Eddy Alvarez), he transferred to Utah for his junior and senior seasons. After a decent junior season with the Utes, Banks struggled badly in his senior season with a 5.71 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 52 innings, allowing 65 hits and 19 walks while striking out 39 batters. The White Sox, however, drafted Banks in the 18th round in 2014. Later that year, Banks posted a combined 1.48 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 24 1⁄3 innings, allowing 16 hits (.188 OBA) and six walks (6.5%) compared to 33 strikeouts (35.9%).

The 2015 season saw Banks split his time with Great Falls and Kannapolis, as he combined to post a 2.71 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 86 1⁄3 innings, relinquishing 85 hits (.256 OBA) and nine walks (2.6%) compared to 43 strikeouts (12.3%). Banks split his time in 2016 with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem over a career-high 159 1⁄3 innings, posting a respectable 3.50 ERA and 1.22 WHIP while allowing 164 hits (.265 OBA) and 31 walks (4.7%) compared to 116 strikeouts (17.6%). In 2017, Banks split time with Winston-Salem and Birmingham and combined to post a 4.28 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over 141 innings, as he relinquished 151 hits (.271 OBA) and 37 walks (6.1%) compared to 113 whiffs (18.7%).

Banks again pitched for both Winston-Salem and Birmingham in 2018, and posted far better numbers in his second go-around. In 146 innings, Banks combined to post a 2.59 ERA and 1.18 WHIP and ceded just 140 hits (.255 OBA) and 32 walks (5.4%) while striking out 100 (16.8%). Banks pitched in the Arizona Fall League and acquitted himself fairly well with a 4.43 ERA — which would’ve been much better if not for one disastrous appearance.

Banks is a near-clone of former White Sox hurler David Holmberg. Per 2080 Baseball, Banks’s repertoire includes a fastball that peaks at 90 mph, an above-average curveball with nice separation at 80-81 mph, a cutter and an 86-87 mph change. He maximizes his results by keeping the ball down and throwing strikes. Although he doesn’t have elite stuff, he’s done enough to at least warrant a look at Charlotte to begin the season. He’ll have to keep producing results, however, to ward off the likes of fellow southpaws Kodi Medeiros, Bernardo Flores, and others going forward.

Take a look!

Videos courtesy of 2080 Baseball.

2019 South Side Sox Top 100 Prospects

92. Tanner Banks, LHSP
93. Jake Elliott, RHRP
94. Kevin Escorcia, LHRP
95. Luis Rodriguez, RHSP
96. Ian Dawkins, LF
97. Victor Diaz, RHRP
98. Travis Moniot, LF
99. Will Kincanon, RHRP
100. Brian Clark, LHRP