Saw a tweet by Ben Bradler today. Pointed out something interesting. Michael Ynoa (also misspelled Ynoa) of the Oakland Athletics will be rule 5 eligible after this season. For those who don't know anything about Ynoa or need a refresher course, he was bigger than Luis Heredia. Until last year, when the Rangers signed OF Nomar Mazara last year, Ynoa held the record for the largest bonus ever by a non-cuban Latin American teenager, signing for 4.25 million in 2008.
Unfortunately, 9 innings into his pro career in 2010, Ynoa had to undergo Tommy John surgery. I believe he also missed all of 2009 due to injury and did not pitch in live games in 2011. He's healthy enough to pitch live games now, and the results haven't been impressive. In addition, he will turn 21 in 2012, crazy to think about considering he was so hyped as a 16 year-old back in 2008*.
Still, he's 6'7, fairly new at pitching, and way back when he threw 93. I couldn't find any readily available reports on his velocity now, but I wouldn't be surprised if getting older and stronger, along with the TJ surgery means he throws harder now (I wouldn't be surprised if he sits in the mid 80's either - large spectrum of possibilities).
Obviously, Ynoa would be a lot more attractive to the 2009 Pirates than the 2013 Pirates (hopefully) since we should be competing again, but it would still be intriguing to pick Ynoa and throw him into the bullpen with the hopes of only putting him out there in low leverage situations. Can he be much worse than Chris Resop? If he makes it through, you've got a 22 year-old lottery ticket to throw back into the minor leagues. If he can start back in A+ or AA ball the following year, Ynoa would be age appropriate and would still potentially have a massive ceiling.
Just throwing it out there**
* Ynoa is the perfect example of why Heredia's results are nearly meaningless and scouting reports, while meaningful, still fall second compared to Heredia simply staying healthy. The fact that he's had no reported arm issues is the most encouraging thing to me.
** This all is of course contingent upon the A's not protecting Ynoa. I have no idea about their 40 man situation.