Michael Inoa, a 6-7, 205-pound right-hander from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, reportedly signed with the Oakland A's for a record-breaking bonus of $4.25 million. It is the highest bonus to an amateur player ever given out by Oakland and the highest ever alloted to a non-Cuban Latin American free agent.
Several teams were pursuing Inoa, who reportedly turned down offers from the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds to sign with Oakland. Inoa is expected to start his professional career in the Dominican Summer League.
"Michael has a chance to be a very special pitcher in the Major Leagues," A's Vice President and General Manager Billy Beane said.
"Even at this early age, he is a very polished pitcher with three above-average pitches and a fluid delivery. We are very excited about this young man's potential and look forward to watching his growth, both personally and professionally, in the years to come."
"He would be a top-10 pick any year in the MLB Draft as a 16-year-old," San
Diego Padres director of international scouting Randy Smith said.
Inoa was heavily recruited by Oakland, who sent top executives, including Beane and owner Lew Wolff, to view Inoa's workouts in the DR. Inoa's fastball has been clocked as high as 95 MPH as a 16-year-old and many scouts like his chances to throw in the triple digits as he fills out. He also features a curveball and a change-up.
"There is no question that Michael is an impact prospect," Raymond Abreu, the A's director of Latin America operations, said.
"In my opinion, he's the most impressive Latin America player since Felix Hernandez (2002). As a pitcher, he has effortless mechanics with loose arm action on all his pitches and a clean, easy delivery. He's an exceptional athlete and he throws a very heavy fastball."
Stay tuned to OaklandClubhouse.com for more on Inoa...
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A's Land Big Fish In Inoa
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