To put a twist on Batman, the AquaSox’s David Banuelos is the catcher that Everett needs and deserves. Drafted this year by the Seattle Mariners, in the fifth round of the 2017 baseball amateur draft, the former Long Beach State “dirtbag” has had quite the impact in the Pacific Northwest in just 2 years.
In college, David made a name for himself playing with blue collar toughness earning the “dirtbag moniker” that Long Beach St is known for. In a series versus Texas, he bashed his knee running down a pop-up and fending off runners at plays at home, he was asked by the LA Times when he is going to sit out to heal. His response?
“I’m not going to stop,” Banuelos said, “until I’m broken.”
Banuelos terrified the NCAA with his true grit and strong arm. He threw out runners at a stunning 38% rate, with just 12-31 runners stealing on him.
Throughout his college career, he was known for his resilience behind the plate. Opposing baserunners feared being thrown out stealing because when they did he usually threw them out. David’s bat wasn’t bad either. David models his game after future hall of famer, catcher Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals. He currently is a finalist for the “Johnny Bench Award” for the best catcher in college baseball for the 2017 season–a prestigious award when you consider the likes of Kurt Suzuki, Mike Zunino and Buster Posey have won this. One of his former coaches called him “the ultimate grinder” because of his durability and work ethic.
We got to see David in Bellingham in 2016, where he racked up 30 hits and 17 RBIs in 32 games for the Bells. But now, we get to see his career take off with our own Everett AquaSox. After a slow start, he has hit the lights out of the ball and was recently named player of the week. At the halfway mark in 2017, he is hitting .299 with 3 home runs and 24 RBIs. His on base plus slugging percentage is a combined .920, phenomenal stats for only 19 games with the ballclub. David’s defense isn’t bad either. Fans are asking, “Who is this guy?” “Where has he been?” Well Frog fans take notice because we will be seeing a lot more of him on a constant basis.
There are still questions to be answered like “What is the inspiration behind your walk-up song Enter Sandman by Metallica?” “Do you like Metallica?” Hopefully, we will get the chance to get some of those answered because we already know what he can do on the field. The fans want to know more about the catcher who has a toughness that longtime residents of Everett have always been known for. On behalf on AquaSox fans everywhere, here’s hoping we are fortunate to have the pleasure of watching you play out the 2017 season with the Frogs because you are an amazing athlete and human being and are already a fan favorite.
Go David Banuelos and Go Frogs!!