SAMUEL INOA, FIRST BASEMAN
|Born: October 6, 1998
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2015, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Pirates signed Inoa as a catcher, but a series of concussion and hamstring issues, as well as defensive problems, have probably relegated him to first base now. He doesn’t run well but has a good bat and some power. The injuries cost him a lot of development time in his first three seasons.
Inoa only caught in 23 games, as the team also had Gabriel Brito at the position. Inoa struggled at the plate and also had defensive issues, including a dozen errors.
The Pirates sent Inoa back to the DSL and he improved dramatically. He cooled off some after a huge start, but still hit well, with an OPS of 1.076 in June and .820 in July. He also reportedly improved a great deal defensively. He cut his errors down, although he still had too many with nine in a little more playing time, and he still threw out 27% of base stealers. Inoa’s playing time was limited by injuries. He missed time early in the season after getting hit by a pitch and missed all of August, except one at-bat, due to a hand injury.
Inoa moved up to the GCL, but was limited by hamstring problems. He played in only 19 games and caught in only eight. He played five games at first and otherwise served as DH. When he was able to play, he hit very well, with good power but not much patience.
Inoa spent the season at Bristol and divided his time between first and DH, so catching appears to be a thing of the past. He hit decently, with some power but a high K rate. His playing time was only sporadic all season. By the end of the season and in the playoffs, the team was using utility infielder Matt Morrow at first.
It’s not clear where Inoa can go as a first baseman, as the Pirates prefer to use the position to get time for utility players and backup catchers. He hit well enough at Bristol that you’d think he’d have gotten more playing time.
|2020: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $240,000
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2019
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 2, 2015: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.