The A's, in an uncharacteristic move, broke the bank by inking the 16 year old Inoa to a $4.25 million signing bonus. Inoa was the top international talent in 2008 and he projects to be an elite pitching talent as he develops. Inoa features a 91-94 MPH fastball that reaches 96 on occasion, though his athletic (no pun intended) 6-7 frame projects that he should add even more velocity, some believe he will hit triple digits, as his body matures. Mechanically, he has a clean and fluid delivery despite his lack of formal coaching. Inoa also features a curveball and splitter that has been described as being "nasty". Inoa shows good command of all of his pitches and he has been lauded for exceptionally high makeup and work ethic. There haven't been many detractors to Inoa's future abilities as he is widely being tabbed as a future superstar. Like any young prospect, especially pitchers, Michel will be challenged to match his skills against professional hitters. Players of Inoa's considerable talent and hype have an inevitable proclivity to not meet expectations. Though, with Inoa, it seems like there is enough there physically and mentally to indicate that he will be a special player A's GM guru Billy Beane has 4.25 million reasons to believe so as well.
2009 Projection: The A's will likely take their time with Inoa during his first couple of seasons. Expect him to pitch at extended spring training before joining one of the A's short season affiliates in the Arizona League or the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League. Either way, all eyes will be on Michel Inoa in '09 and his cards will be one of the hotter commodities.
Key Michel Inoa Baseball Cards:
- 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Auto #/1199
- 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Auto Redemption
Playoff Prime Cuts rookie Michael Inoa autograph Leaf
2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Auto Michael Inoa R/C BGS 9.5/10 Auto SWEET
2008 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT - AUTO - MICHAEL INOA