Haniger, Banda named D-backs' MLB Pipeline Prospects of the Year

Haniger, Banda named D-backs' MLB Pipeline Prospects of the Year

PHOENIX -- In the final hours before the Trade Deadline in 2014, the D-backs acquired left-hander Anthony Banda and outfielder Mitch Haniger from the Brewers in exchange for outfielder Gerardo Parra.

Banda and Haniger, ranked No. 2 and No. 23 on the D-backs' Top 30 Prospects list, were linked once again this year as they were named Arizona's pitching and hitting prospects of the year by MLB.com.

Haniger, 25, combined to hit .321 with 25 homers and 94 RBIs at Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno before getting his first taste of the big leagues in September.

In 123 plate appearances for the D-backs he hit .229 with a .713 on-base plus slugging mark, while showing outstanding range in center field.

"When he got called up what came to my head is this is probably the most prepared player we've sent to the big leagues from an emotional, mental and physical standpoint," D-backs farm director Mike Bell said. "It was just a phenomenal year offensively, defensively and running the bases. He's a winning-type player."

Haniger's performance has put him squarely in the mix for a spot on next season's Opening Day roster.

Banda, 23, opened some eyes with his performance this past spring, and he followed that up with an excellent regular season.

In 13 starts for Mobile Banda was 6-2 with a 2.12 ERA, and after being promoted to Reno he went 4-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 13 starts there.

Banda was rewarded for his efforts by being the lone D-backs' prospect selected to participate in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

"I thought he took a huge step forward this year," Bell said. "It was a lot of fun watching him. I think somewhere in the course of his time in Mobile and Reno, I think he finally recognized how talented he is. He's got a good fastball, breaking ball is good, gets a lot of swings and misses and he's durable. He's not done getting better either."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.