PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. -- Marlins catching prospect Will Banfield celebrated his 20th birthday on Monday. Two days later, the Brookwood, Ga., native was in South Florida to attend a community event to help feed those in need during Thanksgiving.
“Just being able to be part of an organization like the Miami Marlins that will let us come down here to do a community-service event like this, and be able to feed people who are in need, especially before the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, is really humbling for me,” Banfield said.
Banfield, along with a handful of Miami prospects, participated in the AT&T Believe Miami Volunteer Day at Feeding South Florida in Southeast Broward County.
Banfield was joined by fellow prospects Jose Devers, Nick Fortes, Lorenzo Hampton, Kameron Misner and Sean Reynolds. They each assisted in putting together meal packages that will be distributed to the needy before Thanksgiving.
The Miami Marlins Foundation was selected as one of seven South Florida organizations to receive funds from AT&T as part of the AT&T Believe Miami initiative. The foundation was awarded a $25,000 contribution to support the Miami Marlins Home Plate Meals program.
Banfield, ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami’s No. 19 prospect, is regarded as one of the Marlins’ catchers of the future.
A Competitive Balance Round B pick, Banfield was the No. 69 overall selection in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Banfield spent his first full season of pro ball at Class A Clinton in 2019, appearing in 101 games while batting .199/.252/.310 with nine home runs and 55 RBIs.
An advanced defensive catcher, Banfield possesses a strong throwing arm and a lightning-quick release. At the plate, he has power potential and above-average bat speed. Still, there are questions about how much he will hit. He struck out 27.9 percent of the time this year.
It’s likely that Banfield will be at Class A Advanced Jupiter in 2020.
As he rises through the ranks, the challenges for catchers increase because the responsibilities increase. Along with hitting and defense, Banfield has to work with the pitching staff.
Working in his favor, Banfield has the benefit of using former All-Star catcher Jorge Posada as a sounding board. Posada is a special advisor with the Marlins who spends considerable time with prospects.
“He kind of gave me pointers,” Banfield said. “Like, how to leave the bad stuff in the past. Once something happens, if it didn’t go the way I expected, then just flush it right away, because there’s too much going on. If you didn’t throw somebody out at second and you’re still worried about that the next pitch when the pitcher is throwing, then you’re not all there.
“That next ball could be in the dirt with a runner at third. In a crucial situation, if you’re not prepared for that, then you shouldn’t be on that stage."