Biographical

Portrait of Brian Bannister

Brian Bannister PRoyals

Royals Player Cards | Royals Team Audit | Royals Depth Chart

Career Summary
Years IP W L SV SO ERA WARP
5 667.3 37 50 0 384 5.08 3.3
Birth Date2-28-1981
Height6' 2"
Weight202 lbs
BatsR
ThrowsR
WARP Summary

Standard

YEAR TEAM AGE G GS IP IP-SP IP-RP W L SV BS QS BQS PA H R ER HR TB BB UBB HBP SO ERA FIP FRA VORP WARP
2006 NYN 25 8 6 38.0 34.0 4.0 2 1 0 0 2 0 171 34 18 18 4 56 22 20 2 19 4.26 5.37 5.96 -0.7 -0.1
2007 KCA 26 27 27 165.0 165.0 0.0 12 9 0 0 15 0 683 156 76 71 15 256 44 43 6 77 3.87 4.47 5.06 14.4 1.5
2008 KCA 27 32 32 182.7 182.7 0.0 9 16 0 0 11 1 811 215 127 117 29 351 58 57 7 113 5.76 5.06 6.12 -1.0 0.3
2009 KCA 28 26 26 154.0 154.0 0.0 7 12 0 0 11 2 668 161 94 81 15 234 50 46 4 98 4.73 4.19 5.08 14.4 1.6
2010 KCA 29 24 23 127.7 126.7 1.0 7 12 0 0 9 0 581 158 92 90 23 263 50 50 3 77 6.34 5.43 5.98 -0.0 0.1
Career117114667.3662.35.03750004832914724407377861160224216223845.084.805.5927.23.3

Advanced

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G GS IP FRA FRA+ TAv oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG oppTAv BABIP PPF PVORP PWARP VORP WARP
2006 NYN MLB 8 6 38.0 5.96 54 .283 .261 .326 .412 .262 .242 84 -3.6 -0.4 -0.7 -0.1
2007 KCA MLB 27 27 165.0 5.06 98 .242 .271 .337 .429 .265 .261 102 14.8 1.5 14.4 1.5
2008 KCA MLB 32 32 182.7 6.12 73 .284 .266 .336 .425 .263 .308 102 -2.0 -0.2 -1.0 0.3
2009 KCA MLB 26 26 154.0 5.08 98 .253 .265 .335 .424 .263 .291 104 13.8 1.4 14.4 1.6
2010 KCA MLB 24 23 127.7 5.98 78 .291 .263 .331 .413 .261 .316 110 0.4 0.0 -0.0 0.1

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR GB% BABIP H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 WHIP ERA VORP WARP
2006 NYN MLB 2 1 0 8 6 38.0 34 22 19 4 43% .242 8.1 5.2 0.9 4.5 1.47 4.26 -0.7 -0.1
2007 KCA MLB 12 9 0 27 27 165.0 156 44 77 15 43% .261 8.5 2.4 0.8 4.2 1.21 3.87 14.4 1.5
2008 KCA MLB 9 16 0 32 32 182.7 215 58 113 29 38% .308 10.6 2.9 1.4 5.6 1.49 5.76 -1.0 0.3
2009 KCA MLB 7 12 0 26 26 154.0 161 50 98 15 52% .291 9.4 2.9 0.9 5.7 1.37 4.73 14.4 1.6
2010 KCA MLB 7 12 0 24 23 127.7 158 50 77 23 44% .316 11.1 3.5 1.6 5.4 1.63 6.34 -0.0 0.1

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT
2008 3089 0.5170 0.4504 0.8576 0.6299 0.2574 0.9105 0.7188 0.1417
2009 2496 0.5056 0.4496 0.8491 0.6078 0.2861 0.9179 0.6997 0.1500
2010 2163 0.4817 0.4271 0.8353 0.6180 0.2489 0.8960 0.6953 0.1636
Career77480.50350.44360.84860.61950.26430.90880.70610.1505

Injury History

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2010-08-08 2010-09-03 15-DL 26 23 Right Shoulder Inflammation Rotator Cuff Tendinitis -
2009-09-03 2009-10-04 DTD 31 28 Right Shoulder Fatigue Loss of Motion -
2009-05-13 2009-05-13 DTD 0 0 Right Shoulder Stiffness -
2008-02-15 2008-02-18 Camp 3 0 General Medical Respiratory Flu -
2007-03-07 2007-03-16 Camp 9 0 Right Knee Contusion Batted Ball -
2006-04-27 2006-08-24 60-DL 119 104 Right Thigh Strain Hamstring -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2013 $
2012 KCA $
2011 KCA $
2010 KCA $2,300,000
2009 KCA $1,737,500
2008 KCA $421,000
2006 NYN $327,000
YearsDescriptionSalary
4 yrPrevious$4,785,500
4 yrTotal$4,785,500

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
3 y 158 dGregg Clifton1 year/$2.3M (2010)

Details
  • 1 year/$1.8M (2011), plus 2012 option. Signed by Tokyo Giants of Japan's Central League as a free agent 1/11. Left club, returned to U.S. 4/11.
  • 1 year/$2.3M (2010). Re-signed by Kansas City 12/12/09 (avoided arbitration). Refused assignment by Kansas City 11/10/10.
  • 1 year/$1,737,500 (2009). Re-signed by Kansas City 2/4/09 (avoided arbitration, $2.025M-$1.45M). Performance bonus: $12,500 for 200 IP. Award bonus: $25,000 for All Star selection.
  • 1 year/$0.421M (2008). Re-signed by Kansas City 3/2/08 (split contract).
  • 1 year (2007). Acquired by Kansas City in trade from NY Mets 12/6/06. Signed by Kansas City 3/07.
  • 1 year/$0.327M (2006). Contract purchased by NY Mets 11/05. Re-signed by NY Mets 3/06.
  • Drafted by NY Mets 2003 (7-199) (USC). $95,000 signing bonus.

2014 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 3/11/2014 05:35 ET

PCT W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR BABIP WHIP ERA FRA VORP WARP
Weighted Mean?????0.0????.0000.000.00?0.00.0

Diagnostics

Breakout Rate Improve Rate Collapse Rate Attrition Rate MLB %
0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Upside By Year

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 PEAK 5
out of baseballout of baseballout of baseballout of baseballout of baseballout of baseballout of baseball

Comparable Players (Similarity Index )

Rank Score Name Year Run Average Trend

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2011 Bannister is a favorite of the stathead crowd since he understands advanced statistical concepts and applies them in order to maximize his success on the mound, but that knowledge didn't help in 2010. He again proved susceptible to the long ball, which ruined his overall performance. Bannister's struggles occur when he allows baserunners—with men on from 2008 through 2010, opposing batters have hit .314/.357/.520, against .267/.334/.407 with the bases empty. That second line is a little worse than the league average, but the first is one reason why Bannister has failed to strand a league-average percentage of baserunners since 2007. The team's weak defense has damaged Bannister because of his dependence on getting outs on balls in play. A free agent at press time, Bannister could have some use as an inexpensive fifth starter, but wherever he goes, he'll need help.
2010 Bannister was optioned to Omaha at the end of spring training in favor of Sidney Ponson and Horacio Ramirez before getting his recall in late April. Always thinking, Bannister changed his approach in 2009, eschewing rising four-seam fastballs in favor of a cutter designed to induce more grounders. This worked quite well for a while, as Bannister's ground-ball rate shot up and he generated a 3.59 ERA through his start of August 7, a seven-inning shutout of Tampa Bay. That was when disaster struck, as Bannister was slammed for a 9.29 ERA in six starts before being shut down with shoulder fatigue. Bannister's intelligent approach to the game makes him an easy guy to root for, but at 29 he still hasn't put together a successful 30-start season in the majors. If a pitcher can think his way to effectiveness, Bannister is that guy. Perhaps this will be the year.
2009 Voros McCracken had his revenge. After holding hitters to a .262 average on balls in play two years ago despite middling stuff, it was thought that Bannister's intelligence, pitching savvy, and fly-ball tendencies might allow him to defy the immutable balance between fielder and batted ball, but it was not to be. Bannister won his first three starts while allowing just 10 hits and three runs in 21 innings, increasing the perception that he had found a way to cheat the house, but the boom swung back hard: from that point forward he was ripped for 11.4 H/9 and 6.90 RA, and his BABIP finished at .310. Having Crisp and DeJesus in the outfield on a regular basis should help him improve this year, but baseball's fundamental laws have proven that they aren't as willing to oblige.
2008 Bannister is a cum laude graduate of USC. His post-game quotes are delivered with an eloquence that would make Curt Schilling jealous. While on the DL with the Mets in 2006, he made several appearances on the Mets' post-game show as an analyst, even though he had made all of eight career major league appearances. He owns a photography studio and his work has appeared in the New York Times. In Gil Meche's words, "I have never met a guy as smart as him in baseball." Intelligence may have split the atom and put a man on the moon, but it can't sustain a .264 BABIP. What it can do is sustain a pitcher's ability to pitch above his God-given talent. Bannister showed the ability to adjust last year, dropping his cutter in favor of a revamped curveball in spring training. He's likely to go through some tough times in 2008, but if he can stay one step ahead of the hitters, he'll avoid being a one-year wonder
2007 Bannister beat out Aaron Heilman for the fifth rotation spot in spring training and moved up when Victor Zambrano was called back to Mars. Then, only five starts in, Bannister blew a hammy. Supposedly the strain was mild, and he was schedule to start a rehab assignment forthwith, but, on the verge of returning, he re-aggravated the injury and disappeared onto the 60-day DL until August. Even with the rotation shredded into teeny little pieces by that point, the team didn`t seem particularly eager to give him back his spot. Bannister`s stuff isn`t great, and he really wasn`t fooling anyone; he was extremely lucky on balls in play. He might need to give hitters a new look; he experimented with different changeups in spring training. Traded to the Royals for Ambiorix Burgos, it`s doubtful that Bannister will get the kind of support from his new organization that he needs to succeed.
2006 At Bannister`s age, there need to be definite signs that good things are happening. Happily, there are, as he excelled at both Double- and Triple-A. Not everything`s perfect: Bannister is neither overpowering, nor does he have a consistent breaking pitch. A good spring this year could get him noticed by a team without quite so much free-agent density at its highest level.
2005 Floyd's son is a command guy who throws a four-pitch assortment for strikes and has the usual adjectives—savvy, gutsy, etc.—floating around him. It's all air until he proves he can get older hitters out, and his stint at Double-A wasn't encouraging. He could eventually be a back-end starter, but the development path is going to be long. Bannister is one of two scions who played at St. Lucie last year; first baseman Brett Harper hits a bit like his dad, the Twins' catcher, did.

BP Articles

Brian Bannister is referenced in the following articles.

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Prospectus Hit List: Preseason EditionJay Jaffe2006-04-03
This article requires BP Premium accessProspectus Today: NL PreviewJoe Sheehan2006-04-02
Future Shock: Spring Prospect Report, National LeagueKevin Goldstein2006-03-29
This article requires BP Fantasy or Premium accessFantasy Focus: NL Spring Job BattlesPeter Schoenke2006-03-27
This article requires BP Premium accessFuture Shock: State of the Systems: NL EastKevin Goldstein2006-03-09
This article requires BP Premium accessTransaction Analysis: November 18-22Christina Kahrl2005-11-23


BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2010-06-23 19:00:00 (link to chat)Would someone with Strasburg's stuff be A) Better, B) Worse, or C) the same if equipped with the brain of Brian Bannister?
(Ben L from NYC)
It's a real question - how much does thinking about what you're doing help a ballplayer? Moneyball spent a lot of time examining the question, and didn't really come to a good answer. I think it's rather scary to think of Strasburg getting better, though. (Colin Wyers)
2010-02-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is it just me, or are you getting tired of the "OMG, Joe Baseball Player doesn't understand advanced stats!!" meme. I mean, when did this become a mockable offense?
(marmour from Corvallis OR)
Joe Baseball Player doesn't have a whole to gain by understanding most advanced stats. All knowledge is good, but on the field? Not so much. Does Brian Bannister gain from some of what he's studied? Sure, but is something like his fly-ball-ground-ball rates "advanced ststs"? In today's day and age, they really aren't. (David Laurila)
2008-07-03 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for the chat. I'm in a keeper league where the only pitching stats that count are innings pitched and runs (both earned and unearned) allowed. I'm thinking of trading Brian Bannister and Leo Nunez for Mike Mussina. Are my frustrations with Bannister leading to a bad move? Another wrinkle: whoever has Bannister would have control over him for the next few years, whoever has Mussina would be stuck with him next year as well, but I want to win this year. Thanks!
(Dennis from LA)
I think I'd do that. As much as I love Bannister's cerebral approach to the game and want to root for him, I don't want to touch him on any of my leagues. The blowup potential is just too high. Don't mistake that with an endorsement of Mussina - he's getting by now, but I think that dissipating strikeout rate is really scary. But ... he will get you those innings, and he's safer than Banny right now. (Jeff Erickson)
2008-05-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Brian Bannister said after being pounded in Texas last night (paraphrasing): I'm a fly ball pitcher who pitches to contact in with the wind blowing out, I'm the last pitching in baseball we wanted on the mound tonight. His intelligence is well-known by now, but isn't it still refreshing for a major leaguer, in one quote, to reference park factors and accurately assess his own abilities and shortcomings?
(BL from Bozeman, MT)
That's a fantastic comment. It'll never catch on, but I love hearing baseball players talk about baseball, instead of interpersonal relations, or spouting cliches, or what have you. Maybe they don't all have much to say, but wouldn't you love to talk about hitting mechanics with Barry Bonds or Manny Ramirez, or pitch selection with Pedro Martinez, or footwork with Jeff Kent? There's a lot of baseball out there to be covered in the gaps between this controversy and the next one. We're working on it. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-04-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Brian Bannister... I dont get it. Do you?
(Harold from Ithica)
I don't. And it bothers the hell out of me. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-02-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Dear Mr. Fox, Before my question, I must tell you that I have been a Cubs fan since my high school days in Niles, and I must say I really appreciate your blog piece on Goose Gossage. Now, about utilizing pitching f/x data: Your late piece on gyroball and Matsuzaka seems to bring light to the "deceit" of a pitch's movement. A surprising success of reliever Okajima last season had puzzled me. I tracked his pitching f/x data, and his pFx is weird. His pitches around upper 80mph moved WILDLY horizontally, ranging from a 10 to 15-inch apart from any trajectory line. I read mlbtraderumor's interview with Royal minor pitcher Brian Bannister. He talked about the sidespin of Jake Peavy's fastball that allows the pitch to move randomly and confuses batters. Is there any study on the effect of sidespin affecting batters' visualization of it? And had Okajima's pitches carry a similar, if not the same, effect of such pitches such as Peavy's or gyroball's?
(Dorasaga from Taipei, Taiwan)
Wow good question.

After I saw your question I went and pulled down Hideki Okajima's PITCHf/x data. I have 573 pitches for him which go into the post season.

In perusing his cannonical pfx chart he throws his three primary pitches (fastball, changeup, and curve) probably 90% of the time with his fastball ranging from 85 to 90, his changeup high 70s to 85, and his curveball from the low to mid 70s.

But in looking at the chart his fastball doesn't seem to move too much horizontally as compared to other pitchers. It sits in the 0 to 5 inch range whereas many pitchers see a tail of 5 to 8 inches on their fastballs. His changeup does tail 5 to 9 inches or so and drop about 5 inches more than his fastball.

What you may have seen is that his vertical component for the fastball registers in the 10 to 15 inch range but you have to remember that those values represent the difference from a pitch thrown with no spin. So in other words his fastball has a "rise" of 10 to 15 inches as compared to a theoretical reference pitch. In reality most pitchers see a range of 8 to 13 inchdes in this component and so his fastball may ride a little more than some others (which would be attributed to more backspin, not side spin) but it certainly doesn't tail any more.

Since you mentioned Jake Peavy I should mention that John Walsh at THT has done some great work on calculating the run value of individual pitches which you'll probably want to check out. But to directly answer your question I haven't seen anything specific on side spin or visualization of that. (Dan Fox)
2008-02-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for your great work. Your interview with Brian Bannister was one of the best things I read all year last year. Just wanted to ask you your opinion on two players: James Shields and Nick Swisher. What do you see in their futures and who do you think is the more valuable player?
(Dennis from LA)
Thanks, Dennis. Bannister makes any interviewer look good.

I recently had someone opine to me concern about Shields' mechanics, specifically that they haven't been consistent over the course of his career. Granted, that's not my opinion -- I'm only passing along what I heard -- but if true it poses a question.

Swisher can hit. Given a choice of the two, I'd take Swisher. (David Laurila)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-04-05 09:30:00Season Opener Roundtable"redsoxin2004 (Columbia): Do you know of any teams, or individual players, that are using Pitch F/x or similar data in scouting and game preparation?"

Brian Bannister is probably the most prominent player using Pitch F/X and other sorts of data. There are several teams using Pitch F/X at least to some extent - most teams had reps in San Francisco for Sportvision's Pitch F/X Summit. (Colin Wyers)
2008-10-02 11:00:00Thursday Playoff GamesRandom fact #3: Dewayne Wise's home run today was his 16th in the big leagues. They have come off 15 different pitchers who have a combined record of 736-713; the winningest of the bunch being Jeff Weaver with 93. Wise homered off Brian Bannister twice this season. (David Laurila)
2008-09-29 10:30:00Tigers/White Sox Play-In GameGreg Pizzo (China, Maine) asks: "Does the terrific September by the Royals mean anything? Before the season started, we probably would have thought 75 wins was pretty good, but did they find out anything about their 2009 Royals using this September?"

I'm not so sure all that much progress was made. Guys like Billy Butler and Alex Gordon didn't take steps forward, they got a harsh reminder that Brian Bannister doesn't have a lot of upside, and even things that were good for them to have sorted out--like Tony Pena Jr. and Mark Teahen aren't regulars--didn't necessarily turn out perfectly well. It seems that guys like David DeJesus and Mike Aviles need to move from center and short, respectively. Their defense is a bit of a mess, there are questions over who plays where, and there's a mistake like the Jose Guillen contract to live down. On the plus side, Hillman seemed to get his bullpen sorted out well enough, Greinke's settling in, and Hochevar and Davies don't seem too far behind. They're still a few Gloads shy of having all the bricks to build a lasting foundation, but they're getting there. (Christina Kahrl)
 

PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile

A Collaboration between BrooksBaseball.net and Baseball Prospectus - Pitch classifications provided by Pitch Info LLC


Although he has not thrown an MLB pitch in 2014, Brian Bannister threw 9,021 pitches that were tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2007 and 2010, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2010, he relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (90mph) and Cutter (88mph), also mixing in a Change (84mph) and Curve (77mph). He also rarely threw a Slow Curve (71mph) and Sinker (90mph).