MMs Top 25: #12 RHSP Marcos Molina

#12 RHSP Marcos Molina (LR#17)
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 200 lb
Age: 19
Acquired: 2012 International Signing, $100,000 Signing Bonus, Dominican Republic

2014: (SS-A) 7-3, 1.78 ERA, 76.0 IP, 10.8 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 0.842 WHIP
2013: (R) 4-3, 4.39 ERA, 53.1 IP, 7.3 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1.312 WHIP
2012: (DSL) 5-2, 3.58 ERA, 55.1 IP, 6.5 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1.120 WHIP

    For all the grief we give Alderson about his drafting skills, boy is his international scouting team good. Both Amed Rosario and Marcos Molina were international signings by Sandy Alderson in 2012 and both of them had breakout seasons in 2014. While Rosario mearly "held his own" against older and, by definition, superior talent, Molina flat out dominated the New York Penn League. As the Brooklyn Cyclones ace, he lead the league in wins, ERA, WHIP, and K's (By a ridiculous wide margin.)

     Molina carries some premium stuff with him. His fastball ranges between 92-94 MPH with a max of 96 and carries some "explosive" movement. According to Amazin Avenue's Jeff Pasternostro, "even by Penn League standards, I saw some bad, desperate swings at the fastball." As with many of the Mets recent SP prospects, he has a plus change-up that is well beyond his years. As the season went along, Molina abandoned the curveball and focused on improving his slider. He has tightened up the spin on it and he has developed it into a hard, biting, 2 plane pitch, that sits between 86-87 mph on the radar gun with a max of 89. With the development of his slider, Molina now possesses 3 plus pitches that could carry a ceiling of a rotation ace for an MLB team.

     Unfortunately, we cannot give him that super high ceiling yet. Molina's delivery still uses maximum effort to reach those mid 90's velocities. The amount of energy he expends disallows him the ability to hold his velocity deep into games. Reports have him starting games in the 94-96 mph range but slowing down to 90-92 by the 3rd inning and 88-90 by the 5th on most nights. Mechanically, he has not yet learned to use his lower half to generate power and his follow through has a significant amount of arm re-coil which could be shredding his elbow with each pitch.

     Just like with Rosario, Molina is still very young and not without his major flaws which is what makes him a high risk, high reward prospect. While conquering the NY-Penn League is an important 1st step, we have learned from countless occasions that even Brooklyn stats need to be taken with a grain of salt. Both Molina and Rosario will likely continue to climb the list like they did this year and we could very well could be looking at the next #1 and #2 prospects in the system by the end of next year. However, currently the risk is just too great. Specifically in Molina's case, it's two-fold. A) the motion screams bullpen right now and B) can he stay healthy with the max effort delivery

Ceiling: Dominating #2 MLB SP
Floor: Flames out due to an arm injury from the max effort delivery
Anticipated Assignment: (A) Savannah starting rotation


Tom Brennan said...

A few years ago, the pitching was so sparse in the minors a fan might've been tempted to suggest rushing Molina up to replace the injured pitcher - of course it wouldn't happen but we have depth now - who's to say Wheeler's replacement won't do as well?

I'D certainly imagine Gee is the new # 5 - but Montero, Matz and Thor are much closer to being tapped for the rotation if any other starters stumble. Waiting til Sper 2 for Matz and Thor just got a lot iffier.

Mack's Mets © 2012