Locals In MLB: Tanner Banks Fighting Through Early Season With Struggling White Sox

Apr 17, 2024, 12:25 PM

tanner banks...

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 14: Tanner Banks #57 of the Chicago White Sox throws a pitch during the seventh inning in the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 14, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois.

SALT LAKE CITY— It’s been a quiet week for Utahns in the big leagues, with only former Utes Tanner Banks and Oliver Dunn active at the Major League level.

Former BYU pitcher Michael Rucker is working his way back from a spring training injury that has pushed back the righthanders’ Philadelphia Phillies debut.

Utah Utes (2)

Tanner Banks | Pitcher | Salt Lake Bruins

MLB – (Chicago White Sox)

One of four pitchers in the White Sox organization that hail from Utah, Banks was the only one of the quartet to make the southsider’s Opening Day roster. The former Bruin and Ute has made five appearances, including one start as the ‘opener’ for Chicago.

Banks has a 3.68 ERA in 7.1 innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs while striking out 11. His only rough outing came on April 14, when he gave up four hits and walked two on his way to allowing two earned runs in two innings against the Cincinnati Reds.

The White Sox own the worst record in baseball at 2-14.

RELATED: Former Utah High Schoolers Show Personality In White Sox Video

The Riverton High School product played two seasons (2011-12) under D.G. Nelson at Salt Lake Community College before finishing his collegiate career across the valley with the Utes.

Banks was 4-12 in 29 appearances for the Utes, including 19 starts. He struck out 70 against 31 walks in 113 innings, ending his amateur career with a 5.18 ERA. The Chicago White Sox selected the 6’1 lefthander in the 18th round of the 2014 draft. Banks made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2022.

2024 Stats: 5 G | 7.1 IP | 0-1 | 3.68 ERA | 11 Ks | 3 BB | 1.36 WHIP

Career Stats: 2 Yrs | 67 Games | 3-4 | 3.79 ERA | 114 IP | 51 Ks | 34 BB | 1.23 WHIP

Oliver Dunn | 2B

MLB  – (Milwaukee Brewers)

After never playing above Double-A previously, Dunn hit .282 (11-39) with five extra-base hits, ten RBI, and five stolen bases during the spring to make the Brewers Opening Day roster.

Dunn has returned to earth a bit after a fast start to the season. Since going 2-4 with a triple against the Seattle Mariners on April 7, the former Ute is 5-20. During that time, Dunn has scored three runs and struck out eight times.

The Brewers lead the National League Central with a 10-6 record.

The 5’10 lefthanded hitter played 155 games for the University of Utah (2017-19), hitting .312 with seven home runs and 78 RBI. As a junior, Dunn hit .366 and reached base in nearly half of his plate appearances.

RELATED: Former Ute Oliver Dunn Has Memorable MLB Debut With Brewers

The New York Yankees selected Dunn in the 11th round of the 2019 MLB draft. Dunn spent 2023 with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He appeared in 119 games at Double-A Reading last season, slashing .271/.396/.506 while hitting 21 home runs.

Last 7 Games: .250 | 5 Hits | | 3 R |RBI | 8 Ks | SB

2024 Stats: .263 BA | 10 Hits | HR | 2B | 3B | 4 RBI | 2 SB | 14 Ks | 2 BB

2023 Stats: .271 BA | 113 Hits | 21 HR | 78 RBI | 16 SB | 139 Ks | 82 BB

BYU Cougars (1)

Michael Rucker | Pitcher

MLB – Philadelphia Phillies

Rucker has yet to debut for the Phillies after the 29-year-old righthander was placed in the 15-day IL with what the team has called ‘right-hand arterial vasospasms.’ On April 16, Michael Fisher with Fansided reported that Rucker had begun playing catch. Fisher reports that Rucker will likely start his season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley once he returns to the mound.

Philadelphia is 10-8 and second in the NL East without Rucker.

Rucker spent two seasons in Cougar blue, finishing with a 16-2 record in 29 appearances (22 starts). As a junior, he went 11-1 in 102.1 innings with a 2.73 ERA. The Chicago Cubs selected Rucker in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB draft.

RELATED: Former BYU Hurler Trading Cubs Pinstripes For Phillies Phanatics

2024 Stats: N/A

Career Stats: 3 Yrs | 96 appearances | 5-2 | 4.91 ERA | 123.1 IP | 120 Ks | 50 BB | 1.39 WHIP

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies, Locals in MLB, and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s Bees, Beehive baseball, and Aggie athletics coverage here.

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Locals In MLB: Tanner Banks Fighting Through Early Season With Struggling White Sox