Late last season, the White Sox traded Gordon Beckham to the Angels for a player to be named later. That PTBNL turns out to be right-hander Yency Almonte. From a deal perspective, the Sox saved a few bucks setting Beckham loose, allowed players like Carlos Sanchez and since-traded Marcus Semien deeper auditions, and got a marginal prospect out of the deal.
Almonte was drafted in the 17th round by the Angels in 2012, but he received an overslot $250,000 signing bonus more in line with a 6th round value. Baseball America ranked the Miami prep pick the 16th best prospect in the LAA organization after the 2012 season. He was seen on the back end of some top 20 and 30 team-specific prospect lists as recently as after 2013, but hasn’t been spotted on such lists in the past year.
Carrying the flashy nickname “Showtime”, Almonte is said to have a consistent delivery and approach with good extension. He also has more advanced control and fastball command than most pitching prospects his age. The pitch arsenal includes a low 90’s fastball that he commands well, a low 80’s slider with good late break, and a work-in-progress change-up. The delivery appears to be low effort, coming from a 3/4 slot or maybe a little higher.
As a 19/20 year old last season in his third year of pro ball, Almonte started 11 games across rookie and short season A-ball, but the two AZL starts were on a rehab assignment after missing about a month to minor injuries. In his Midwest League stint, in 9 starts he posted a 4.93 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 8.6 H/9, 3.0 BB/9, 6.9 K/9. Look for Almonte to likely open 2015 with Class A Kannapolis as a 20 year old. He may continue starting, especially at first, but his limited pitch mix suggests a more probable relief role in the future.
For some deeper source material, see this Scout.com write-up and his Baseball America profile (some of the deeper content there is subscription-only). If you want to see him work, here is a video from Midwest League Prospects.
Want to know right away when we publish a new article? Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.