MAURICE BANKSTON
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: June 17, 1987
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 8th Round, 248th Overall, 2007
How Acquired: Draft
College: Texarkana College
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

After playing JC ball, Bankston signed a letter of intent with the University of Louisiana Monroe and the ULM coach stated rather wistfully in a newspaper article that Bankston might sign if drafted in the early rounds. Evidently, the 8th round was early enough, as Bankston signed. Ironically, ULM’s two big signees for 2008 were Bankston and Devin Copley, whom the Pirates earlier signed as part of their last crop of DFEs. (As an aside, the Pirates released Copley before the 2008 season, after he’d pitched in just two GCL games. That means he gave up his Division I eligibility to pitch four innings in rookie ball, which is pretty sad.) Prior to 2008, Bankston was at Texarkana. He doesn’t appear to have played for that school in 2006 and I can’t find any indication of where he was. His 2007 stats are not impressive, but that could be a product of the environment he was playing in, as his teammates ran up some high batting averages. Bankston throws a low-90s fastball and a slider. He keeps the ball down, but lacks an out pitch. He’s never had much of a platoon split.

2007-08: After pitching in only two GCL games in 2007, pitched in State College rotation in 2008 until going on DL with shoulder problem at beginning of August. Obviously struggled, although peripherals weren’t quite as bad as ERA.

2009: Opened in West Virginia rotation and didn’t pitch either especially well or especially badly. Went to State College after its season started and joined Spikes’ rotation, until going on DL in early August again. Pitched much better than previous year, mainly because he walked very few batters. K rate remained very low at both levels.

2010: Returned to West Virginia in and spent the year in bullpen, outside of two spot starts. Had decent year that was marred by dismal June in which he allowed 31 hits and 22 runs, all earned, in just 17.1 IP. That was followed by strong finish, as Bankston had ERA of 3.29 in July and 1.32 in August. Still too hittable and doesn’t miss enough bats, likely the product of not having a breaking ball that serves as a good out pitch.

Bankston will open 2011 at age 23 and hasn’t made very much progress. He’s been serviceable as a reliever, so the Pirates could give him a shot at the Bradenton bullpen.  He wasn’t, however, on any roster at the start of the season.

STATS
Baseball Reference
Fangraphs
MiLB.com 

NJCAA
W-L-Sv
G
IP
H
BB
K
BB/9
K/9
WHIP
ERA
2007
7-4-0
13
70.0
73
35
51
4.5
6.6
1.54
3.99
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2011: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $100,000
MiLB Debut: 2007
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2010
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3 (As of start of 2010 season)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 8, 2007: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 8th round, 248th overall pick.
June 26, 2007: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a minor league contract with a $100,000 bonus.