Top pitching prospect Ynoa optioned to Class A

Top pitching prospect Ynoa optioned to Class A

PHOENIX -- As expected, the A's optioned top pitching prospect Michael Ynoa to Class A Advanced Stockton on Monday, marking an end to the 22-year-old right-hander's spring in the Major League camp.

Ynoa made two Cactus League appearances and although he allowed three runs on five hits and three walks over three innings, manager Bob Melvin came away impressed with the youngster's raw talent.

"The stuff is electric, I told him that," Melvin said. "It's all about him being healthy, getting a full season in and throwing strikes. If he can do that, there's no reason this guy shouldn't pitch in the big leagues at some point. That's how good his stuff is."

Ynoa, signed to a then-record $4.25 million bonus by the A's at the age of 16, has faced many challenges in his first few seasons of professional baseball. Elbow issues leading to Tommy John surgery limited him to just 39 2/3 innings from 2010-2012 and last year after being promoted midseason to Stockton, he struggled with his command as he walked 17 batters in 21 innings of work.

Still, Ynoa's explosive fastball combined with a big curveball and sharp changeup gives him the potential to become a frontline starter down the road.

The A's also optioned outfielder Shane Peterson to Triple-A Sacramento and right-handed pitcher Raul Alcantara to Double-A Midland on Monday, leaving 47 players in camp with the club.

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.