The Royals released right-hander Michael Ynoa from his minor league contract, per MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (Twitter link). He’d signed with Kansas City last November in hopes of rejuvenating his career after not pitching in 2018.
Now 27 years of age, Ynoa was at one time an uber-prospect out of the Dominican Republic who signed a then-record $4.25MM bonus with the Athletics. The 6’7″ righty landed on multiple top prospect rankings throughout his ascent to the upper minors but saw his numbers stall out as injuries mounted.
Ynoa eventually made it to the Majors with the 2016 White Sox and spent parts of the 2016-17 seasons pitching out of the bullpen there. He turned in an even 3.00 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 30 innings with the South Siders in ’16, but his 17 walks, five hit batters and four wild pitches spoke to his inability to control his arsenal. That was all the more true in ’17 when he walked 22 batters, hit five and tossed three more wild pitches in 29 innings before being cut loose.
This season, Ynoa has again demonstrated an ability to miss bats (26 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings) but a continued lack of control (14 walks, one HBP, five wild pitches). That’s the general book on him at this point, though perhaps another organization will be able to coax something we’ve yet to see out of the once highly touted right-hander.