Remember Michel Inoa? Well, don't get used to that name.
The A's have announced they will hold a news conference this morning at the Hotel Jaragua in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. They will then introduce their prize amateur addition: 16-year-old Dominican right-hander Michel Inoa, who was not allowed to officially sign a contract until 9:01 p.m. (PDT) on Tuesday. Inoa's signing bonus is $4.3 million according to a source, breaking the A's record for an amateur signing as well as all records for non-Cuban Latin American amateurs.
The A's might introduce the 6-foot-7 pitcher as "Michael" Inoa, as there have been thoughts about anglicizing his name after he signed.
Right-hander Michael Inoa, considered the top prospect in Latin America when the A's signed him last summer, is scheduled to arrive in Phoenix on March 9 and will stay four or five days for an orientation. Inoa, 17, will return April 9 for extended spring training. And according to A's director of player development Keith Lieppman, Inoa will start going by the original spelling of his last name, "Ynoa." Somewhere along the line, there was a mixup on the spelling, and the pitcher's name made its way into the public forum with an "I."
And he's really 37 years old.
But seriously, all of baseball had his last name wrong? And he and his family didn't bother to correct them until now?
It's hard to get a PECOTA projection when you've yet to pitch a pro inning, and even more difficult when you've barely pitched a competitive inning at all. But Inoa is deserving of far more than just a comment at the tail end of the chapter. The talk of scouting circles all spring, the Dominican wunderkind signed for $4.25 million, more than doubling the previous high-water mark for a Latin American pitcher. Many who saw him called him the best 16-year-old arm they've ever seen; he already touches 94mph, has a very good breaking ball, and with a long, loose six-foot-seven frame, his potential is almost immeasurable. Obviously he's very young, and countless things could go wrong between where Inoa is now and potential stardom, but his talent is borderline historic and deserves mention.
Feel free to post your Jairo Garcia --> Santiago Casilla and Mychael Urban jokes below.