Not often do we lead Daily Dish with a pitcher who lasted just three innings and a batter who went 0-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts. But in this case we must make an exception, given how long we've waited to see these two prospects in action.
The pitcher is none other than Athletics righthander Michael Ynoa, the Dominican bonus baby who signed for a Latin American amateur record $4.25 million in July 2008. He missed all of the ’09 season with an elbow injury described by the A's as tendinitis. Ynoa then missed time in extended spring training this year after having surgery to remove his wisdom teeth. But seeing as he's still just 18, he remains on target as he pitches in the Rookie-level Arizona League. Ynoa struck out four batters in three scoreless innings yesterday, yielding only one hit while hitting another batter.
The batter is Padres center fielder Donavan Tate, who signed for a high school-record bonus of $6.25 million last August, before a series of injuries delayed the pro debut of the ’09 draft's third overall pick until this summer. From the May 12 edition of the Prospect Bulletin:
"(Tate) recovered from concussion-like symptoms to resume activities. He had been hit in the head by a pitch during extended spring training two weeks ago . . . Surgery for a sports hernia last summer precluded Tate from making his pro debut, and then in November he required surgery on his jaw following an ATV accident near his Georgia home. He got a late start this year when he tweaked his shoulder after diving for a ball during spring training."
As mentioned already, the 19-year-old Tate went 0-for-5 with two whiffs in his pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League. Stay tuned, as Ynoa and Tate could face off later this season when the AZL A's and Padres clash.
• The Mariners made prep catcher Steve Baron the first pick in last year's supplemental round of the draft knowing that his defensive tools were top notch. They also knew it might take awhile for his bat to catch up to his receiving and throwing skills. Baron has followed the script perfectly thus far. As a pro, the 19-year-old has thrown out 42 of 91 basestealers (46 percent) in 73 games behind the plate—but he has hit just .186/.236/.263 in 274 at-bats. That the Mariners pushed him aggressively to the Rookie-level Appalachian League last year and to low Class A Clinton this year did nothing to help his average.
But a demotion to short-season Everett seems to have helped. Baron has collected a hit in all three of his Northwest League games to date, and yesterday he went 2-for-4 with a home run, his first since April 21.
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