Michael Ynoa, signed at 16 to a splashy deal - the highest ever at that point for a non-Cuban amateur signing from Latin America - is finally in his first big-league camp.
Ynoa is 21 and has pitched only 39 2/3 innings in his pro career because of injuries, which resulted in Tommy John surgery in 2010.
He was delayed getting to camp, missing 10 days with chicken pox, which hits adults much harder than it does children. "It was bad, very bad," Ynoa said Thursday after unpacking his bags.
Ynoa is fully healthy, and he expects to be able to pitch in a game in about two weeks. He's added a cutter, something he picked up by watching Roy Halladay on TV.
"I feel good. I feel healthy," Ynoa said. "I will try to do my best and keep going."
A's coach Ariel Prieto worked with Ynoa for three years after he signed, and he said that Ynoa has great talent and intelligence in his favor and that his future is still bright.
"I believe this guy can be an All-Star," Prieto said.
Manager Bob Melvin never had set eyes on Ynoa until Thursday, "until he was ducking to get into the trainer's room. I think he could just reach out and put the ball in the catcher's glove."
Ynoa is listed at 6-foot-7, his height at age 16, but he appears taller. He is expected to start the season at Class A Beloit.

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