Prospect #34: OF, Wadye Ynfante
Previously Ranked 24th
State College Spikes
International Signing in 2014
The Stats As Of 7/17/2018
THE QUICK WRITE UP
At first glance it might seem Wadye's stock has fallen since this preseason when he was ranked among the top 25 prospects in the organization. However, that isn't exactly the case. His skid down the list is a result of uncertainty for me. His 2017 season was ended early because of injury to his lower body. Then, this season, the Cardinals have been cautious with the toolsy outfielder. He was jumped in the organization by Chase Pinder and Jonathan Machado for an advanced promotion to start the season. Then when Machado faltered and was sent to extended spring training from Peoria a month into the season, Scott Hurst was given the Peoria assignment while Wadye stayed at EST.
So, instead of looking at it as if his stock has fallen, look at it as if his stock stayed the same while the stock of others around him rose. By and large this is a good sign for the organization. However, with a little regrouping I'm sure he'll be fine.
Ynfante got off to a hot start for State College but has since cooled down. He's become the victim of advanced breaking pitches and his K rate is climbing and climbing. His aggressive nature displayed so far this season is really working against him. It just seems like a bit of a timing and guessing issue to me because Ynfante has a very quick bat.
Ynfante's best tool right now is probably his speed. he flies around the base paths. He flies around the outfield. He's a good and smart base runner and I could easily see him being a 15 stolen base guy with a good success rate if he ever makes the majors. Ynfante is an athletic outfielder with great range that gets an average read off of the bat in the outfield.
WHY TO GET EXCITED
Wadye is as rangy and as athletic as you'd want out of an outfielder.
He's all projection, but he's displayed power, contact, and plate discipline at various points of his career.
His speed is a "plus" tool.
Has a chance to be a very good base stealer and has tremendous instincts on the base paths.
He can really turn on a fastball.
Possess an above average-average arm.
Time is on his side, as he still has plenty of it to fill out his frame, develop all of his tools, and progress in all aspects of his game.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
Wadye lost the end of his 2017 season to a leg injury and hasn't yet recovered fully.
Other prospects, like Scott Hurst, Chase Pinder, and Jonathan Machado have jumped him in the organization.
He's never put it all together at one time at the plate, and his 36+% strike out rate in 99 plate appearances this season is awful.
Because Ynfante can be a free-hacker, I don't know if he'll ever take enough walks.
He seems to have lost a step, albeit a small step, since the leg injury that ended his 2017 season early.
Has been susceptible and exposed by advanced-level breaking pitches.
At this point, it isn't easy to find a comparison for Ynfante. I think that, ideally, you'd want him to progress similarly to how Oscar Mercado has. Their tools and potential are similar, but Mercado possesses a unique understanding of the game that Ynfante (and most others) don't possess. I don't know anything about Ynfante's work ethic, but Mercado's work ethic is top-tier, as well. Maybe, just maybe, if it all comes together for Ynfante, as a 5% chance of an ultimate ceiling, you get a player similar to Adam Eaton. Think of Franchy Cordero as the most likely true ceiling of Ynfante. As always, I caution that there's a 20% chance at best of any player reaching their ultimate ceiling.
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