Oakland Athletics: Michael Ynoa Has Look of Big-Time Reliever

Michael Ynoa throws gas.

The right-hander, who the Oakland Athletics originally signed out the Dominican Republic for $4.25 million back in 2008, has spent the season pitching for the club’s Single-A affiliate the Stockton Ports where he’s been piling up strikeouts.

In his first 23 games, Ynoa has totaled 47 punch outs in 33.2 innings. On Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark, the 22-year-old worked a 1-2-3 ninth against the San Jose Giants. During the scoreless frame, the reliever threw between 94-97 mph and shattered a bat to record the second out.

This season, Ynoa has hit 99 mph on the radar gun. One scout who watched him pitch said that the righty doesn’t have the makeup to be a closer. Still, considering that he stands 6’7″, it’s easy to see Ynoa as a future power arm working out of Oakland’s bullpen.

There were a ton of scouts at the game between Stockton and San Jose on Saturday night.

That makes sense with the trade deadline looming, and  both the A’s and the Giants in the market for big-league additions. As for the Ports, the biggest trade chips of all are third baseman Renato Nunez and first baseman Matt Olson who have 21 and 25 home runs respectively. Catcher Bruce Maxwell is also a name to watch out for considering that the A’s already have three successful backstops on the MLB roster.