Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent
From: Monte Plata, Dominican Republic
Paden Bennett (25): I am a big fan of Robinson Yambati. As much as I would have liked to see him succeed and become a starting pitcher it looks like he might have found his groove as a reliever. He put some things together last season with Wilmington. Yambati pitched 25 innings with 31 strikeouts and 10 walks. Yambati is poised for a breakout season this year and I hope to watch him in Northwest Arkansas at some point this season.
Joe Cox (26): Robinson Yambati is a 6-3 righty that turned 22 earlier this season. Yambati is someone to be excited about after making an impression between A and high A last season. This was nice to see for Royals fans after seeing Yambati fall apart in 2011. Yambati is known to induce lots of ground balls and was able to limit his walks to 27 batters in 70 innings last season, which is a huge improvement from 2011. Yambati is used primarily in relief, averaging just over 2 innings per appearance last year. He made quite an impression upon reaching high A averaging 11.16 K/9 with an ERA of 2.16. This is a big year for Yambati, who has the potential and arsenal to reach the majors as early as 2014 if all goes well. It looks like 2011 is behind him and he is an exciting player to watch this season.
Damion Mandalas (21): As my peers have touched on, Yambati does an excellent job in inducing ground balls thanks to a three quarter delivery and keeping the ball low in the zone. I view Yambati as a guy that could rise fast and in most organizations I would expect him to surface at the Major League level by seasons end. Sure it was a small sample, but in 25 innings at Wilmington, the Monte Plata native 3.6 K:BB with a 65.6% ground ball percentage. When a pitcher can couple strikeout stuff with a knack for keeping the ball on the ground he has the potential to be dominate. Yambati will start the year in Northwest Arkansas, but I don't expect that to be his only stop in 2013.
Dan Ware (25): Yambati should be put on your "Watchlist" in 2013. Used as a complete reliever for the first time in his young career, making 17 appearances while throwing 25 innings and striking out 31 and walking just 10 batters. While pitching for both Wilmington and Kane County, opposing batters hit into 58% groundballs compared to just under 20% FB. His fastball sits in low to mid 90's, but is able to touch 96-97 when he's feelin' it.
Total Points: 27