Posted by Thomas Brennan at 10:00 AM
Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS: # 16 MARCOS MOLINA
Boy, back in 2014, Marcos Molina had the Mets fans excited. He was clearly the best pitcher in all of the NY Penn League, starting 12 games and going 7-3 with a sterling 1.77 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 91 Ks in 76 IP, at the tender age of 19.
He certainly looked like the next elite arm after Harvey, deGrom, Thor, Matz, and Wheeler...with lots of folks speculating as to where he'd fit in the Mets' rotation and when he'd make it to Queens. Hard fastball, mature stuff for his age...lot to love.
But some said his motion was very high stress and worried about his arm's durability. Those folks, sadly, got it right.
Marcos faltered in St Lucie in 2015, going 1-5, 4.57 ERA in 41 IP before succumbing to the dreaded Tommy John Surgery jinx. Which cost him the rest of 2015....and 2016.
He did get in some winter ball after the 2016 season, and did well enough, with 16.2 IP compiled, tossing to the tune of a 1.38 WHIP against strong offensive competition, but with only 8 K's. But he stayed healthy.
Hopefully, he has had a fine prepping winter, looking to optimize his mechanics in order to stay healthy.
But the 6'3, 190 righty Molina is not without competition, given that the Mets' minors now has quality in it i.e., the likes of righty #1 pick Justin Dunn, and lefties PJ Conlon and Tom Szapucki, a trio who will serve as real competition in vying for Mets' 25 man roster spots by late 2018, with a roster that right now looks to be crowded with pitchers of very fine quality and quantity. But you can never have enough good pitching, the saying goes.
So job 1, as Marcos most likely starts his season as a Binghamton Rumble Pony starter, is to get back to that dominating 2014 level, and stay healthy. He is a name we've seemingly heard for years, but he is just turning 22 in March, so he has ample time to show that he can be a star for the Mets by, hopefully, 2019.
Wishing you a healthy, dominating season, Marcos.