FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #22 - 2015 Preseason
- #27 - 2016 Midseason
- #54 Prospect in MLB, 2009 (Baseball America)
- Best Curveball in Oakland system, 2009 (Baseball America)
- 2013 Futures Game
- 2013 Midwest League Midseason All Star
When Michael Ynoa (sometimes called Inoa) signed with Oakland in 2008 for $4.25M (a club record for them at the time) from the Dominican Republic at age 16, he was one of the most highly considered prospects in the game. Possessing a big mid-90's fastball and showing the ability to spin breakers from a 6'7" frame as a teenager, Baseball America called him the 54th best prospect in baseball in 2009 despite not yet seeing pro action. But due to a combination of injuries, including one resulting in Tommy John surgery in 2010, he'd only thrown about 40 game innings by 2012 (4 years after signing). 2013 finally saw Ynoa seeing regular action, pitching 75.2 innings across both levels of A-ball in his age 21 season. In 2014 he was relegated purely to relief work, where he struck out an impressive 64 batters in 45.2 innings, though the core results weren't great. In 2015 in the White Sox system, Ynoa pitched out of the pen for A+ Winston-Salem, and though he missed a month to a minor injury he posted good overall results: 38 IP, 37 H, 11 ER, 16 BB, 40 K. Here in 2016, Ynoa opened briefly at AA Birmingham, went to AAA Charlotte, and now is in the big leagues.
There's still talent there, and his combination of a still-very good fastball and a curve that has dazzled at times means he still could become a very effective reliever. He's still just 24 years old, and the results in MLB have been a mixed bag. But if he can improve command, with his stuff, he can be an effective reliever.
Major League Outlook: Late inning reliever
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