Seven current big league starters: Colon, Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Niese, Gee, and Montero.
Two uber-prospects who on many other teams could be in the starting rotation in April 2015: Thor and Matz
Three dudes who have made quite the case as to being major league ready, or nearly so: Logan Verrett, Matt Bowman, and Tyler Pill.
Then the next rung of 3: Erik Goeddel, Greg Peavey, and Gabe Ynoa. This #13 - #15 category of starters comprises borderline guys, or ones showing great promise but who are a little further back from the majors in terms of youth and lower development level. Gabriel Ynoa falls into the latter promising youth category, and Ynoa is the topic for today.
Gabe turned just 21 in 2014, yet has a Kershaw-like career mark of 38-16, with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in nearly 500 innings. Strong results, and a lot of pro innings for a 21 year old.
He then put up a superlative 2013 in the land of the Gnats, going 17-4, including 2 strong playoff wins alongside Steve Matz. Wonder which team won the playoffs that year? Hint: the team is named after an annoying small bug mentioned earlier in this paragraph.
In that 2013 campaign, including the playoffs, Gabe put up a stellar 2.57 ERA and only walked a mere 18 guys in 150 innings, while striking out 125.
So onward to 2014, where Gabe followed along with Steve Matz (with slightly less success) on up to St Lucie and AA Binghamton. But still successful: 11-4, 4.07, 148 innings, just 25 walks, and 106 Ks and a 1.31 WHIP. But the 169 hits (a .285 BAA) constitute a yellow flag. That has to come down. And one rough playoff start.
Higher levels expose flaws. Did Ynoa's lower success signal that he is more Mark Cohoon than Steve Matz? Not so. He is a very young guy being pushed forward to help him develop quickly. And reports I’ve seen indicate that his high 80s velocity in 2012 moved to low 90s in 2014. So if I were picking a comparative individual, I'd pick Rafael Montero. Hopefully Ynoa will be as good, or close to as good, as Montero when all is said and done.
Which I hope means both Rafael and Gabriel will be at worst 3rd or 4th rotation pieces. Maybe a #5, but that’s OK.
It will be cool to see what Gabriel Ynoa brings to the fore in 2015. I hope for a strong first half of 2015 in Bingo, followed by a promotion to Vegas later in 2015. Maybe he ticks up to 93-94. Maybe he's a Met by mid-2016, or perhaps more likely another attractive trade piece, unless the Mets are planning to go with a 12 man starting rotation.
So, of the 3 in my #13-#15 starter power ranking, he appears to have the most upside potential, although Mr. Goeddel may beg to differ. So I put Ynoa at #13 in my Call to Arms list, Goeddel at #14 and Peavey at #15. But then I thought some more, and let Peavey split that spot with Darin Gorski, as both are getting up there in years, both have struggled at AAA, and both have had their share of failures as well as successes in the minors. My take is between the two, perhaps one major league fringe starter will emerge. I'll deal with Peavey and Gorski in my next report (Volume 6), to follow in a few days.
So, just a thought for you to think about: below that level of 15 guys (actually 16), are there more possible starter arms?
In the "Disappointing So Far, or Due to Injuries, Who the Heck Knows?" Category, there are Michael Fulmer, Matt Koch, Domingo Tapia, Rainy Lara, and the Luis boys: Mateo and Cessa. Brings us up to 22.
In the "Further Down the Development Road" category, we have a boatload: Robert Gsellman; John Gant; Miller Diaz; Chris Flexen; Rob Whelan; #1 NY Penn League prospect Marcos Molina; Corey Oswalt; Casey Meisner; Andrew Church; Martirez Arias; and the Taylor boys, Logan Taylor and Blake Taylor. Brings us up to 34. And I’m probably forgetting somebody.
Will all 34 start on the big league level? Never works that way.
Unreal. Simply unreal.