Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 53 of 286. Stay tuned.
Will Banfield is a 6′, 200 lb. right-handed catcher who attended high school in Brookwood, in Snellville, Georgia. That’s the same alma mater as former major league pitcher Jason Bulger, and current major leaguers Lucas Sims and Cedric Mullins. Born on November 18th, 1999, Banfield was the second round pick, in the Competitive Balance Round, of the Miami Marlins in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft.
As a 69th overall choice, Banfield is in select company. 23-of-53 who were chosen with that pick have gone on to play at baseball’s top level, including Tim Salmon (1989, California Angels, 40.6 career WAR), Bronson Arroyo (1995, Pittsburgh Pirates, 23.7 WAR), and Mike Davis (1977, Oakland Athletics, 14.5 WAR). You can follow Banfield on Twitter @will_banfield.
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On June 27th, Banfield signed with the Miami Marlins for a $1,800,000 bonus, and reported to the GCL Marlins, in the rookie-level Florida-based Gulf Coast League. He went 21-for-82 in 24 contests, with seven walks, eight doubles, a triple, 14 RBI, and 28 strikeouts. He had five multi-hit games during his stay there, including a three-hit game with two RBI on July 13th in an 8-1 win over the GCL Nationals. On August 7th, Banfield was promoted to the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League.
Banfield is currently considered the Marlins number seven prospect, according to the MLB Pipeline:
"Banfield’s signature tool is his well-above-average arm strength, and he gets the most out of it with a quick transfer and fine accuracy on his throws. His receiving and framing skills are solid, and he’s agile behind the plate. He also exhibits the desired leadership skills for his position."
After joining Greensboro, Banfield appeared in 15 contests, and went 10-for-48 with three home runs (over a four game period) and four RBI. He struck out 15 times and drew four walks.
Defensively, Banfield has thrown out 23-of-60 baserunners, a 38.3 percent gun-down rate. He’s accrued a .992 fielding percentage in 279 innings behind the plate in total. The Miami Marlins currently have Banfield listed as part of the Clinton LumberKings roster, but he could move quickly up the system ladder if needed. We may see him in Spring Training this year, but more than likely he’ll be there in 2020, with a legitimate shot at making the club in 2021.
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