Ask and ye shall receive:
14. Huascar Ynoa, rhp, Dominican Republic
Born: May 28, 1998. Height: 6-2. Weight: 190. B-T: R-R.
Michael Ynoa set an international amateur record as a 16-year-old in 2008 when he signed with Oakland for $4.25 million, which is still the bonus record for a pitcher. Younger brother Huascar, who also trains with Edgar Mercedes, entered the year with the industry expectation that he would be the No. 1 pitcher in the Dominican Republic and perhaps all of Latin America. After Ynoa looked sharp at the MLB showcase in San Pedro de Macoris in January with four strikeouts in two innings, scouts have been scratching their heads at his up-and-down performances, including a couple of International Prospect League outings in Arizona in March when his control and breaking ball weren’t as crisp as usual.
When Ynoa is at his best, he looks like the top pitcher on the market. He throws 88-92 mph, though he’s already relatively filled out for his age, so there are questions on how much his fastball will grow. At times, Ynoa has two out-pitches that can freeze hitters, including a mid-70s curveball with good depth and a low-80s changeup with good arm speed that can be a swing-and-miss pitch, already flashing as a 50-55 offering. He keeps hitters off balance by throwing any pitch in any count.
Ynoa has plenty of experience on the mound and pitched in the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Md., in 2011, but his inconsistent showings have given scouts reservations. He has some shoulder tilt in is delivery, which causes him to get uphill and gives him trouble keeping the ball down and in the strike zone. He does stay on line to the plate and he isn’t a max-effort thrower, but he will need to smooth out his delivery when he gets to pro ball.
No pitcher draws a wider split of opinions than Ynoa, and even scouts who have seen him a lot aren’t sure what to make of him. His biggest believers think he has the chance to be a frontline starter. Ynoa’s market will be one of the more fascinating ones to follow, since it’s not clear where he might end up.