Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston was named the 79th winner of college football’s Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in New York.
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given annually to the “outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” It’s sort of like Major League Baseball’s MVP. A 19-year-old redshirt freshman, he’s the youngest recipient ever.
What HBT readers might be interested to know about Winston is that he also plays baseball. The 6-foot-4 pitcher and outfielder posted a 3.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 27 innings this year for FSU — one of the top college baseball programs in the country. He also had a .377 OBP. To the highlights:
Winston says he spends just seven weeks a year on baseball. Imagine if he committed to it full time.
The native of Hueytown, Alabama was a 15th-round pick of the Rangers in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.