We all fall in love with certain prospects, and you all know that Gabriel Ynoa is that guy for me. I haven’t spoken about him in a little while, so I figured it was time, right?
The Mets honored him as this season’s Pitcher of the Year after he won 15 games to the tune of a 2.72 ERA. Although I would never discredit Steven Matz’s excellent work, Ynoa was certainly an integral part of Savannah’s run to the playoffs and subsequent championship win. He won two games in the playoffs, and allowed just two runs over 14.2 IP.
Now, I’m aware that Ynoa isn’t exactly billed as the best pitcher in the system, but it was nice to hear DePodesta talk him up a little. Here’s what he had to say:
“We think he’s the next Rafael Montero in our organization,” DePodesta said of the 20-year-old. “You hear the term ‘projectable lefty’ often. You don’t hear the ‘projectable right-hander’ often, but that’s what Ynoa is. When he first came over from the Dominican Summer League and pitched in the Gulf Coast League in 2011, [he had a] very clean delivery, good tempo and was mainly at 87-89 mph, but had a good year because he’s a good strike thrower. He was only 17, 18 at the time.
“He goes to Brooklyn [in 2012] and the velocity is more like 88-91 mph and occasionally touched 93 mph. He had a dominant year in Brooklyn. This year it was 90-94 mph and touching 95 mph. He’s still a very young guy — we’re very excited to see the continued development because of the great delivery and athleticism. He’s a guy who has a chance to move quickly if he keeps this up.”
Now that is some high praise right there! I can reference this the next time that I have a Ynoa love-fest. First off, projectable righty is an excellent way to describe him and perhaps why I feel so confident in him. His velocity has increased since he joined the Mets as a teenager and he has demonstrated excellent command. The next Montero? You can probably bet on it.