MAJORING ON THE MINORS: TOP 30 PROSPECTS – #13 GABRIEL YNOA - VOL.18 – Tom Brennan
I’m doing my Top 30 Prospects articles a bit differently – in 2 lists:
· A top 10 list of lower minors guys who likely won’t show up until 2017 or later. Already completed. See list at end of this article.
· Followed by my top 20 list of guys who are closing in on the big leagues. Guys who could help in the near future or be trade bait.
Here is the list so far:
20. Daniel Muno
19. Michael Fulmer
18. Miller Diaz
17. Dario Alvarez
16. Jayce Boyd
15. Rob Whalen
14. Hansel Robles
Today, selection #13:
So far, Ynoa has been pitching in the mode of….well, Whitey Ford. Whitey, the former Yankee great, pitched well his last 3 years, but only went 20-22 in those years. Before that, he had a stunning .720 career win %. Ynoa so far is 38-16, a .704 win %. Comparable. Nice.
Before I focus on Ynoa, let me add that Whitey won 236 games, but after a 9-1 rookie season, had to spend 2 years in the early 50’s in the military. Amazing what a career he would have had, even beyond his Hall of Fame career, had he not lost those 2 prime years.
Back to Gabe. Ynoa is a slender (so far) 6'2" righty, whose velocity increased into the low 90s by last year. Some say he reminds them of Rafael Montero, but with lesser secondary stuff. I say, stop being picky with the kid, he was just 21 last year!
Gabe has exceptional control (63 walks in 489 innings, a miniscule 1.15 per 9 innings). And with 148 innings last year (not including playoffs), he should have virtually no innings limit this year.
OK, let me stop being a fan for a second....is it all coming up roses? Any areas of concern? Well, 4 of them, actually.
· He allowed 169 hits in 148 innings. Excellent control or not, he needs to reduce that rate...a lot.
· Secondly, he allowed 16 homers in 148 innings last year, also too many.
· Thirdly, just 106 Ks in 148 innings.
· Lastly, an uncharacteristically high 4.07 ERA in 2014.
The ability to pitch to contact is really good, but he needs to lessen the frequency and quality of contact in 2015...or he'll possibly get tattooed in AAA. And I am not a big fan of pitchers getting tattooed. The only tattoo I like is from the Fantasy Island show, actually.
On the bright side, he only turns 22 around Memorial Day 2015, so maybe he can add another tick or 2 of velocity. If he does that with his control…WOW!
But, lest we stray too far from the main path, HE WINS GAMES. It's not all ERA, K rate, WHIP, folks....it's winning, and he excels in that category. No reason to think he won't be ready by late 2015 to mid-2016. Winners move quickly.
Let me conclude by saying "Ynoa good thing when you see one." Bad puns aside, whaddya think?
MY TOP 10 LOWER MINORS LIST:
# 1 - Marcos Molina
#2 – Michael Conforto
#3 – Amed Rosario
#4 – Dominic Smith
#5 - Jhoan Urena
#6 – Vicente Lupo
#7 – Wuilmer Becerra
#8 – Luis Guillorme
#9 - Casey Meisner
#10 - Milton Ramos