In a mostly empty clubhouse early Wednesday morning, Anthony Banda shifted a couple of lockers to his right, close enough to start a conversation with Jorge De La Rosa. It was a classic spring training moment: a prospect rubbing elbows with a veteran big-leaguer.
Banda, a bespectacled lefty who ranks as the Diamondbacks’ top pitching prospect, is trying to make the most of his experience in big-league camp. He’s also hoping to make things difficult for the front office at the end of March.
He got off to a solid start on Wednesday at Salt River Fields. Firing fastballs up to 96 mph, Banda worked around a one-out walk to toss a scoreless inning against Grand Canyon University in the Diamondbacks’ first exhibition game of the year.
Banda represents half of the club’s return in what ranks among the best deals former General Manager Kevin Towers made during his tenure. On July 31, 2014, the Diamondbacks sent outfielder Gerardo Parra to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Banda and outfielder Mitch Haniger.
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