Josh Banks recently realized he had no chance of pitching in the Class A Florida State League All-Star Game, despite starting the season 7-1 with a 1.78 ERA at Dunedin. Those numbers were the main reason Banks, an All-Met at Severna Park in 2000, was called up to Class AA New Hampshire earlier this month.
Banks, a 21-year-old right-hander, is expected to start a game when New Hampshire visits Bowie in a four-game series starting Monday at Prince George's County Stadium. It has been a quick rise for Banks, who was drafted 50th overall by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003.
He said the promotion to New Hampshire came so suddenly that many of his friends still don't know.
"I'm hoping to have a lot of family and some friends there," Banks said of the Bowie series. "But a lot of my friends have been working, so they don't know I got called up yet."
The call-up came as somewhat of a surprise. There were several players in Dunedin who had made Toronto's 40-man roster, and Banks believed one of them would be called up before he was.
He has made three starts for New Hampshire, and learned painful lessons in his first two. He did not make it out of the second inning in his first start and left his second start after being hit in the right forearm by a line drive.
In his third start, however, Banks pitched six shutout innings and struck out seven.
"The hitters up here are a little older, and they're smarter," he said. "They know when you are trying to set them up for something."