Rockies Year in Review: Rafael Ynoa
Here at Rox Pile, we are starting a player review for each and every player that suited up in a Colorado Rockies uniform this season. This series will be going all the way up until Dec. 16 with player profiles posted every day.
Today, we are featuring Rockies utility man Rafael Ynoa.
Rafael Ynoa is a 28-year-old utility man from the Dominican Republic who brings a lot of positional versatility to the Rockies bench. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ynoa came into the Rockies system via free agency in 2013. Ynoa surpassed his rookie limits in 2015.
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Ynoa got his first big league experience in 2014. During a September call-up Ynoa hit .343 in 19 games. Not a highly touted prospect, that high AVG was unsustainable, and sure enough, Ynoa came back down to earth in 2015 as his playing time increased substantially. Ynoa played a total of 72 games for the Rockies in 2015. In that time, Ynoa hit a pedestrian .260 with eight doubles, one triple and no home runs. Keep in mind a lot of Ynoa’s AB came late in games, where pinch hitting is substaintially more difficult. One area of concern is that Ynoa only walked three times in 127 at-bats.
Clearly Ynoa isn’t going to be challenging anyone for a starting spot any time soon, but he does bring a lot to the table as a bench player. Ynoa is versatile enough to play almost anywhere, and is a capable pinch hitter or baserunner. A majority of Ynoa’s playing time came in left field, where the Rockies struggled a little due to injuries.
Ynoa is under team control until 2022, so I expect Ynoa to be one of the team’s main utility players for years to come especially now that Charlie Culberson has signed with the Dodgers. However, Ynoa must improve his approach to the plate in respect to drawing walks. Heading in the 2016 season I expect guys like Cristhian Adames to challenge Ynoa for a roster spot. Overall I don’t see Ynoa being apart of the Rockies rebuliding process, but I don’t see why he wouldn’t be either. As long as he keeps performing in his role as a bench ultility guy there will be a spot for him in this organization.
Overall Grade: C-