SAL Awards: Gabriel Ynoa Most Outstanding Pitcher and Frank Viola Coach of the Year

Ynoa Delivery (Devyatkin)Yesterday, in voting by the South Atlantic managers, front offices and media, Gabriel Ynoa was selected as the a-ball League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher and his Pitching Coach, Frank Viola earned Coach of the Year status.

Ynoa is third in the SAL in ERA (2.72) and first in wins (15). He has the lowest walk rate (3%) among qualified pitchers in the SAL and has fanned 19.6% of opposing batters.

Ynoa, who turned 20 on May 26th, is one of the Mets’ better pitching prospects in the low minors. He has a solid pitcher’s frame at 6’2″, with room to add strength as he matures. He has enough fastball to pitch in the big leagues, sitting recently 90-92 although he can touch higher. His secondary offerings include a changeup and a slider. He has feel for both. The changeup began the year as his best secondary offering although recently scouts have told me they think his breaking ball can get to Major Leauge average as well. Ynoa, if everything breaks right, could profile as a league average starter in the big leagues. He’s smart and has figured out to attack hitters in spacious Grayson Stadium.

Frank is just the best. The former Cy Young Award winner attacks coaching with an infectious enthusiasm and has made just about every pitcher he’s coached better. It’s a good record.