The New York Mets have been riding a wave of young pitching for the past two seasons. Matt Harvey started the wave back in 2012, and he was followed to the big leagues by Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and Jacob deGrom. Noah Syndergaard is the next in line, but that is the end of the high level pitching depth for the starting rotation. The next wave may be a few years out, but one of the team's most promising young arms is developing nicely at High-A Port St. Lucie. That man is Gabriel Ynoa, and he is the focus of this week's edition of Minor League Mondays.
Ynoa, who signed with the Mets as a 16 year old back in 2009, burst out in a big way for the Single-A Savannah Sand Gnats last season. Ynoa served as an ace for the Sand Gnats' staff, going 15-4 with a 2.72 ERA. Ynoa helped pitch the Sand Gnats to the South Atlantic League Championship last season, and he was assigned to High-A Port St. Lucie to begin the 2014 season.
Ynoa's transition to St. Lucie was rough, as he got lit up in two of his first five outings and failed to last past six innings in any of them. Ynoa has managed to settle into a nice groove since and hasn't allowed more than two runs in each of his next five starts. Ynoa also managed to go seven innings in two of the outings, and is currently posting a 5-2 record and a 3.88 ERA to go along with it.
Ynoa is a different type of pitcher than the top arms the Mets are bringing up right now. Ynoa hasn't racked up the strikeouts at any level, and has only 39 strikeouts in 55.2 innings for the St. Lucie Mets. Ynoa thrives on his control, as he has only walked 13 batters in his 10 starts this season. This is an increase over his pace from 2013, when he walked only 16 men in 135.2 innings, but still a very acceptable ratio.
Ynoa will likely spend his entire 2013 season with the St. Lucie Mets, and if he continues to improve he will likely be added to the 40 man roster in the offseason. Ynoa likely won't be a factor at the major league level until late 2015 at the earliest, but his presence (along with that of lefty Steven Matz) could be very important for GM Sandy Alderson in the offseason. The Mets are in desperate need of a big time power bat, and they will likely need to part with some young pitching to acquire that bat. Alderson may feel comfortable dealing a pitcher or two from the current pool the Mets have knowing that he has reinforcements like Ynoa coming a year or two down the line.
- Minor League Mondays: Kevin Plawecki Heating up for AA Binghamton
- Minor League Mondays: Vic Black Making Case for Major League Bullpen
- Minor League Mondays: Noah Syndergaard Update
- Mets 101 Minor League Mondays: Rafael Montero Gets Off to a Good Start
- Minor League Mondays: Steven Matz Update
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