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Brian Bannister

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Brian Patrick Bannister

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[edit] Biographical Information

The son of Floyd Bannister, pitcher Brian Bannister made his big league debut with the New York Mets in 2006. He has pitched well, but his debut year was interrupted with an injury.

Brian played for the University of Southern California in 2000, 2001, and 2003, redshirting in 2002 after surgery for inflammation of a joint in his right elbow. He was picked by the New York Mets in the 7th round of the draft in 2003. Bannister was signed by scout Steve Leavitt and made his pro debut that summer. With A Brooklyn in 2003, he went 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA.

In 2004, he was with St. Lucie of the Florida State League, where he went 5-7, and also with Binghamton of the Double A Eastern League, where he went 3-3.

He improved notably in 2005 with Binghamton, going 9-4 with an ERA of 2.56, and was moved up to Triple A Norfolk in the International League, where he went 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He was named the New York Mets Minor League Player of the Year. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, he was shelled, going 1-2 with a 9.69 ERA, getting lit up by both Nicaragua and Cuba after a good effort against Colombia.

In 2006, Bannister was up in April, and was pitching well before going on the 60-day disabled list with a hamstring problem. After recovering from the injury, he pitched 6 games in rehabilitation at Norfolk, and then came back to the Mets in late August.

He was the American League Rookie Pitcher of the Month for June 2007 while pitching for the Kansas City Royals and was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team at the end of the year. On September 8 of that year, Bannister allowed two homers to Alex Rodriguez to give Rodriguez the all-time major league record for third basemen, as they gave Alex 50 homers on the year, two more than Mike Schmidt had hit in 1980.

On June 23, 2010, he was the winning pitcher in a 1-0 Royals victory over the Washington Nationals that was the first career loss of highly hyped Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg.

Bannister signed with the Yomiuri Giants in 2011 but left the team before the season began due to concerns over the problems with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. In late April, he officially withdrew from the club, citing no plans to continue pitching in either the US or Japan.

Julio Franco played with both Brian and Floyd Bannister.

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