- Full name Michael Jose Ynoa
- Born 09/24/1991 in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'7" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Liceo Jose Dubeau
- Debut 06/14/2016
Organization Prospect Rankings
Ynoa was the most sought-after prospect on the 2008 international market and landed a $4.25 million bonus from the Athletics. Tommy John surgery and other ailments cost him the better part of three full years. The A's shifted him to the bullpen in 2014, then sent him to the White Sox as part of the deal headlined by Jeff Samardzija. Ynoa cuts loose his plus fastball in shorter stints, showing mid- to upper- 90s velocity from an easy delivery. He shifted his breaking ball from a curve to a slider and found some success with it. His changeup is useful as well, showing depth to go with good arm speed. Ynoa remains unrefined. He tends to become predictable with his fastball, allowing hitters to sit on it, and his command is below-average, thanks to a delivery he struggles to repeat. The White Sox hope their pitching-development program can unlock Ynoa's talent as he embarks on his third minor league option year in 2015.
Injuries knocked Ynoa's career off the rails for the better part of three years, but he's finally regained most of his prospect luster. The star of the 2008 international class, he signed with the Athletics for a then-Latin American amateur record $4.25 million, but he lost all of the 2009 and 2011 seasons to injury, most notably Tommy John surgery. He didn't make his full-season debut until 2013 at low Class A Beloit. The A's monitored Ynoa's workload closely, limiting him to 55 pitches early in the season and maxing him out at 90 late, yet he managed to more than double his single-season total for innings. Scouts worry about some uprightness to his delivery, but he gets good downhill plane from his 6-foot-7 frame, throwing fastballs at 93-95 mph and peaking at 97. His changeup and inconsistent curveball both rate as solid-average and show the makings of being plus in the future. Ynoa's curve drops straight down with hard velocity in the low 80s when it's on, while the changeup shows some sink to the arm side. After losing so much development time, he still must enhance his feel and mound presence. With a healthy season and a trip to the Futures Game, Ynoa's stock rebounded in 2013, but his injury history is long. The A's will try to add another 30-40 innings to his workload 2014, which he'll open back at high Class A Stockton.
Ynoa stood 6-foot-4 when he 13 years old, and some international scouts labeled him a once-in-a-generation talent leading up to his signing in 2008. At the time, his $4.25 million bonus was the largest ever given to a Latin American amateur. Injuries have stymied his pro career, knocking him out for all of 2009 (elbow tendinitis) and 2011 (recovering from Tommy John surgery). Ynoa pitched meaningful innings for the first time in 2012, and the fact that he stayed healthy mattered more to the A's than his unimpressive statistics. By the end of instructional league, he finally felt comfortable enough to completely let loose on the mound. Ynoa's talent is still apparent. He has a smooth delivery and his fastball jumps out of his hand at 93-95 mph. He has a sharp 12-to-6 curveball with good rotation. He needs to hone his fastball command and refine a changeup that features promising depth. Oakland still believes in his potential and protected him on its 40-man roster in November. He'll head to full-season ball for the first time in 2013, with a goal of working 120 innings at Beloit.
The A's ponied up $4.25 million to sign Ynoa in 2008, a bonus that remains the largest in franchise history and was the largest ever for a Latin American amateur at the time. Arm injuries have limited him to all of nine innings in the three full years since. He missed the 2011 regular season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but he did get back on the mound in the fall at the team's Dominican complex. Ynoa's talent is apparent whenever he does pitch, but those times have been too few and far between. In the fall, he pitched at 92-94 mph with downhill angle on his fastball. He wasn't going all out when he threw his curveball, but it did show tight rotation. In the past, he had a curve that dropped off the table with late break. He also has a changeup with good arm speed and late sink. His mechanics are smooth and balanced. If healthy, Ynoa will pitch in the Arizona League or at Vermont in 2012. He still has frontline potential, but it's time he gets on the mound and shows it.
Ynoa was the top prospect on the 2008 international free agent market, and the A's paid a club-record $4.25 million bonus to sign him, the largest ever given to a Latin American amateur free agent. The club has seen no return on its investment so far. Elbow tendinitis prevented Ynoa from making his pro debut in 2009. He finally got on the mound last year in the Rookie-level Arizona League but pitched just nine innings before getting shut down again. He went through several rest and rehab cycles before eventually having Tommy John surgery in August. During his brief time on the mound, Ynoa had shown what all the excitement was about. His fastball had life and sat at 92-95 mph, and he complemented it with a sharp, late-breaking curveball and a changeup with depth. He has a smooth, effortless delivery that wouldn't seem to create arm problems. Because his surgery was performed so late in the year, Ynoa isn't expected to pitch at all during the 2011 regular season, though he could be back in the fall. He's nearly fluent in English now, so that should help lessen his learning curve once he does get back to pitching in games in 2012.
Ynoa was the crown jewel of the 2008 international free agent class, and the A's landed him for $4.25 million, the largest bonus in franchise history and the biggest any team has given a Latin American amateur. He still has yet to make his pro debut, however, because elbow tendinitis derailed his first year in pro ball. The A's didn't want to take any chances and kept him on the shelf all season. He was back throwing on flat ground during instructional league and returned to the mound at the A's Dominican camp in November. Ynoa looked like he hadn't missed a beat, effortlessly unleashing lively fastballs in the low 90s. He also showed a hammer curveball with late break that came in as hard as 79 mph, as well as an average changeup. Ynoa is plenty athletic with a fluid arm action and cohesive delivery that he repeats well for someone his size and age. He still has to tighten up other aspects of his craft, such as holding runners and fielding his position, but Ynoa's potential remains considerable. Losing a year of development time didn't help him but he's still just 18. His health will bear watching in 2010, when he should make his pro debut with Vancouver or the Rookie-level Arizona League club.
Inoa demolished international amateur bonus records when he signed with the A's on July 2 for $4.25 million. His potential was evident at age 13, when he was already 6-foot- 4 and reaching 83-84 mph with his fastball. Several scouts have called Inoa one of the best 16-year-old pitchers they've ever seen. He already has a lively low-90s fastball that has touched 94 mph, and with his size and mechanics he projects to throw even harder. He has remarkable athleticism and coordination for his size, allowing him to repeat an effortless delivery and have good command. He has the potential for a plus curveball and also throws a changeup that already grades as fringe average. He also has flashed a splitter, though he didn't use it much leading up to his signing. All the glowing scouting reports are nice, but Inoa has yet to be tested by anything close to professional competition. Though his secondary pitches project as possible plus offerings, they have a ways to go. He needs work on the finer points of the game, such as holding runners. Inoa's ceiling is as high as it gets. Oakland hasn't determined his first assignment yet. He'll likely begin 2009 in extended spring training before reporting to the Rookie-level Arizona League or short-season Vancouver in June.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Fastball in the Oakland Athletics in 2014
- Rated Best Curveball in the Oakland Athletics in 2010