Mets fan surprised Ynoa given away to Orioles

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A self described Mets fan with the handle LTKeys gave a great break down of the Gabriel Ynoa acquisition by the Orioles from the Mets.

Gabriel Ynoa has been on the major league radar for a while.  Some prospect writers (lesser known ones, not the big names) would post on NYM Message boards.  One guy in particular, Chris Blessing I think it was, spotted Ynoa early and said  this guy could see majors.   Very skinny at the time, but some velocity, good control, smooth arm movement.   Didn’t say he was a stud, but that he could be a major leaguer.   BA ranked him in the Mets top 20 as early as 2013 I think.   As an international signee, he had to be protected early or left exposed, so the Mets protected him in 2015 and used options 2015 and 2016.

Mostly fans like the “sexy” prospects, like 2nd round pick Peter Alonso who hit well in Brooklyn, but Alonso’s a big unknown.   Professional writers/ranks will often rank the less exciting but higher floor guys just as high as the high upside/big chance of bust guys.

To most Mets casual fans, ranking Ynoa ahead of Alonso or Wuilmer Becerra is nuts, but that’s what BA and a few others did – and they’re better at this than the casual fan.   That said, I thought Mayo’s sleeper/top 100 was bonkers/crazy.   Most Mets fans didn’t see him as that good when Mayo wrote that.

All that said I still liked him.   Everybody liked him.   He has some velocity some movement and above average control and he’s still small enough that he could add some muscle and maybe add a pitch and become a major league starter.    Back end starter probably but still, those guys are useful.   I think the smart play with him is let him be a starter in AAA, not a bullpen guy in the majors and use him as a 6th/7th/8th starter this year, see if he can break into the 5 man rotation next year or try him out of the pen next year when he’s out of options.    As a pitcher who just saw AAA for the first time last year, it would be great if he had another option year but international signees often have that problem of getting protected early and running out of options.

The reason Mets fans were in shock over this is cause nobody saw Ynoa as the #40 guy who’d get cut/sold.   We figured it would be Gillmartin or Goeddel or Montero or Edgin.   Some thought Matt Reynolds.    Nobody thought Ynoa would be the one sold to make room for Salas.   It’s very strange seeing a guy sold when there are easily 4 less interesting guys on the 40.   All I can figure is that the Mets felt that Gilmartin & Goeddel had more major league experience.  Edgin is a lefty and Montero, well, honestly, past top 100 ranking aside, Ynoa just looks better to me than Montero so, I don’t get that at all.     So, there’s some debate about why Ynoa on mets boards, some think it was for the money (but honestly, how much money could it have been?).   Team’s top 15-20 prospects are rarely traded for just cash.     So this has raised some debate for us and a little bit of shock.

The Mets, for better or worse –  probably worse, have a quite a few guys on their 40 this year who they probably want to protect from majors.  [ Marcos Molina (gifted but very raw), Nido (A+ last year), Becerra (also A+), Flexen (young pitcher, needs more time), Rosario, top prospect but very young and maybe a super-two issue. Dom Smith (similar to Rosario but not quite as highly regarded.)]

So, 6 guys on the 40 who they would prefer not see the majors are quite a few and they have some starting pitcher depth. Ynoa might have been the odd man out because of how the roster was set up and bigger questions with the pen than starters.

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Tony Pente
Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.