Monday, March 23, 2009

30 A's in 30 Days – Michael Ynoa

Acquired: Signed as undrafted amateur free agent (July 2, 2008).
Contract: $4.25M signing bonus. No Major League experience.
Position: Pitcher. Also, my tipping point into middle age. Dude was born three months after I graduated from high school.

Projected ERA: N/A

Over/Under: Kevin Goldstein – Baseball Prospectus' amateur and minor league expert – listed Ynoa as the #1 prospect in the A's crazy deep system, calling him a "once in a generation" talent. Baseball America believes that he's the best Dominican pitching prospect in at least a decade (pfft…you call THAT hyperbole, BA?). Video from Ynoa's first workout in A's camp has been watched over 4,700 times! Christ, the A's can't even draw to YouTube? Anyways, as someone who lived through these guys (see "By the Numbers"), you'll forgive me if I don't get all gushy at the latest "Rated Rookie". Based solely on the hype, how can anyone not take the UNDER?

By the Numbers: 43 – Combined Major League wins for Oakland's so-called "Four Aces" class of the 1990 draft. Todd Van Poppel went 40-54 with a 5.58 ERA during a career that ended in 2004, while Kirk Dressendorfer notched the other three collective wins in 1991. Don Peters and Dave Zancanaro were just…I mean, yikes. As a wise publication once said, TINSTAAPP.

Surefire '09 Prediction: Even by the standards of bullpen specialists and pitch counts, Ynoa will be handled with kid gloves. He almost certainly won't leave the state of Arizona any time soon, first with extended spring training, then a possible debut in rookie ball this summer. The hype will continue unabated until 2010, at the earliest.

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