Another installment of the In Appreciation Of series (check the tag at the bottom for previous installments) features Buies Creek pitcher Yoanys Quiala.
Quiala was signed by the Astros as a 21-year old out of Cuba in May 2015, where he could throw in the 96-98mph range. Quiala played in one season for Holguin in Cuba's Serie Nacional, throwing 52.2IP with a 2.22 ERA/1.20 WHIP, 33K:14BB. But those strikeout numbers would prove to be low.
He appeared in nine games in the Dominican Summer League, throwing 35IP, 26H/6ER, 34K:9BB, with a 1.54 ERA/1.00 WHIP...but he was two years older than his competition. 2016 saw Quiala come stateside and pitch with Quad Cities. In 19 appearances (16 starts) Quiala threw 97IP, but with limited success: 112H/55ER, 60K:23BB, 10 HR allowed, for a 5.94 ERA/1.39 WHIP.
Quiala did not make any of the Top Prospects list, and wasn't ranked on MLB.com's Top 30 prospects list prior to this season, which just may be his breakout season.
Pitching in his Age 23 season with High-A Buies Creek, the 6'3" 235lbs RHP is killing it, and his strikeouts are back. In 26.2IP, Quiala has allowed 22H/8ER, 35K:4BB. His 11.8 K/9 rate is more than double his 2016 rate. He has cut his walks by a third, leading to an 8.75 K:BB ratio.
Interestingly enough, three of his four walks came in the same game: April 15 at Winston-Salem. In his last four outings Quiala has thrown 16.2IP, 17H/8ER, but with 22K:1BB. Lefties are hitting .200 against him, righties .230. While he has allowed 4ER in 16IP vs righties, he has 26 strikeouts to two walks.
So here's to you, Yoanys Quiala.