David Banuelos is a star catcher for the Everett AquaSox who was recently drafted back in June by his new employer, the Seattle Mariners Baseball Club. He currently is hitting .245 with 3 home runs on the season but David isn’t known for just his bat. He’s more known for being a leader on the field and in the clubhouse and his defense is top notch. Seattle Sports Union recently had the opportunity to sit down with the young star after a ballgame and got to ask some questions that we, the fans, wanted to find out.
SSU: Who was your favorite team when you were growing up?
DB: Growing up I was a fan of the Angels. I grew up in Southern California and my dad used to take us to see the Los Angeles Angels. We also saw some Dodger games as well but the Angels were my team.
SSU: Is there one person you emulate your game after?
DB: Yes, there are a couple of players. Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals and Wilson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs. They are both great players, players who are leaders and they excel in defense and at the plate. Every day I play they inspire me on the field.
SSU: How about when you were growing up?
DB: The Molina brothers were my favorite. Benji and Jose Molina, both catchers and brothers, were my favorites. Being a fan of the Angels I had first-hand look at these guys. They were great to watch and learn from. Later, their brother Yadier Molina came along and he became my favorite.
SSU: What part of your game do you think you need to work on?
DB: Every day you come out to the ballpark there is something to work on but I just play my game and not try to do too much. I know I can play the game but when I step outside my box I try to do too much and get myself into trouble. I try to keep things simple and consistent inside my little circle is what I try and work on every day.
SSU: All the articles we read about you online, they call you a grinder. Is that a correct assumption of David Banuelos?
DB: I would say yes. Coming from the school I attended, we all “grinded for what we wanted”. You earned everything you were given. I consider myself a grinder because I put in the work and it certainly shows on the field. It shows what kind of person I am.
SSU: Do you have a nickname, and if so would you mind sharing that with us?
DB: Absolutely. When I was in school, everyone called me “Banny” and that’s what I got used to. The name has carried over into pro ball. Everyone asked me and I told them it was Banny. If someone called me by anything else, I wouldn’t know if they were talking to me. We have 3 David’s on this team and if someone addressed me as David, I would not know if they were talking to me or someone else.
SSU: What is the inspiration behind your walk-up music “Enter Sandman” by Metallica?
DB: Ha-ha!! That’s a funny story. I never picked a walk-up song, my host dad picked my walk-up song. I go up to my first at bad and hear it and all right I say “cool, I like Metallica”. I grew up liking Metallica. I kind of had a good game and decided to stick with it. I continued to play well with it and ever since that first week or so of it playing, it just “clicked”. It’s a little weird walking up to that song when it was made famous for Pitcher Mariano Rivera but why not for hitting as well so I stuck with it.
SSU: What do you like to do in the off-season David?
DB: To be honest with you, I’ve never had an off-season or enjoyed an off-season for I have always played summer ball. I plan to take advantage of the time off by getting some rest. I plan to go home and hang out with family and friends and enjoy the relaxation. Baseball takes a toll and it can be a yearlong sport so when given the opportunity, use it wisely. Whatever time I get, I will be resting and staying in shape.
SSU: What is your favorite sports movie?
DB: I have a lot of favorite ones but one that stands out to me is “Friday Night Lights”, a story where everything is going good and suddenly it can be taken away from you. The message you can take is to live this game to the end and try to come out every day and play hard because you never know when it might end. A good message that I try to follow every day I play this game I love.
SSU: When did you decide when you wanted to be a catcher?
DB: I was five or six years old. One day after little league practice I told my dad I wanted to catch so they had me put on the catcher’s gear, his dad then told the coach to throw some balls to him. Ever since that day I have loved playing this position. It’s fun to me. Your body takes a beating but you are always a part of the game. You never get bored out there. You are playing a leadership role out on the field. I love to lead and see everything and be a part of every moment of the game. It’s who I am.
Thank you, David Banuelos, you have answered many questions that we the fans wanted to know. The Seattle Mariners have definitely found someone special. The Everett AquaSox have been spoiled by your presence on and off the field. We truly look forward to watching you the rest of the season and for years to come.
Go Banny and Go Frogs!!!!!