Banda, a southpaw who’ll soon turn 24, currently ranks as the game’s 68th-best overall prospect, in the eyes of the Baseball America prospect team. He is already on the 40-man, earning a spot last fall in order to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. The D-Backs picked up Banda (as well as Mitch Haniger) in the 2014 deadline deal that sent Gerardo Parra to the Brewers.
It’s not yet clear whether the D-Backs have any inclination to lean on Banda much at all down the stretch, but that could depend in some part upon how he looks in his MLB debut. Banda has managed only a 5.08 ERA in his 101 Triple-A innings this year, with 8.3 K/9 against 3.8 B/9, and didn’t exactly dominate in his 13 starts there last year.
Banda is viewed more as a steady potential MLB starter than a high-risk, high-upside play with electric stuff. But it’s also possible he could contribute from the bullpen in some capacity over the next few months. His readiness may have at least some impact on the club’s deadline plans, though Arizona’s approach over the next ten days surely won’t be driven to any great extent by Banda’s form in this spot start.