Mets360 2016 top 50 prospects: #8 Marcos Molina


Marcos Molina, SP


tumblr_nlqh8mSk2g1sirxiro6_1280Biography: Born March 8, 1995 in Santiago, DO Molina joined the Mets organization as an international free agent in 2012 for $100,000. His 2014 campaign sprung him onto the map, as has rated him the 6th best prospect in the Mets organization. He could be another quality arm to move up the Mets minor league system, as we have seen plenty of successes promoted from within the organization making an impact on the big league team.

Scouting: His mid 90’s fastball is his best pitch, followed by a slider which could become a plus pitch, and a changeup. The ability to command his pitches enables Molina to keep the ball in the yard, and not issue too many walks.

2015: Molina started the season with high expectations after excelling in his 2014 campaign. However, an elbow strain knocked Molina on the disabled list, and he had to get Tommy John surgery in November. He struggled putting hitters away, as hitters hit .295 against him, which could be attributed to the nagging injuries. His stock has decreased this season, but it should increase once he returns to the mound.

Brian: “It seems the Mets didn’t do the best job handling Molina through his injury last year.  Surgery shouldn’t be the first option but at some point you have to admit the obvious.  It’s disappointing to have happened but after having gone through surgeries with nearly every other top-shelf pitching prospect, it’s business as usual in a way.”

Rob: “After Matz, Molina is the Mets’ top pitching prospect. He lit the prospect world on fire with his dominance in 2014 in Brooklyn, then hit a wall as a 20-year-old in A+. Turns out, he was hurting. The Mets handled him pretty oddly, though, as he vanished after an abysmal start in May with whispers of Tommy John surgery, reappeared in August for three games, then was again shut down and had the surgery anyway. There’s still the chance he ends up in the bullpen, of course, but he should be given every chance as a starter.”

James: “You thought the Mets pitching prospects were all promoted and on the big league ball club. Well, there is one more waiting in the wings. Marcos Molina is only 20 years old, but his 2014 campaign in Brooklyn put him on the map. That year he went 7-3 with a 1.78 ERA, 91 striketouts in 78 innings. The stuff is there, but the main question is how will Tommy John impact his pitches?”

David: “Molina is ranked this highly because of the extreme lack of pitching currently in the Met system.  He’s talented but strikes me as having a ceiling closer to a #3 pitcher.” 



17 comments for “Mets360 2016 top 50 prospects: #8 Marcos Molina

  1. Eric
    December 13, 2015 at 9:25 am

    In 2 or 3 years Mets will need some replacements for one or two of their starters so nice to have Marcos up and coming

  2. James Preller
    December 13, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I have not seen him, and I do think he’s the best prospect in the system (which is almost an indictment of the Mets system, which is nearly barren of top-shelf pitching). One caution is that Brooklyn is so pitching friendly. It’s just an easy place to put up sick numbers. In 2012, everyone was raving about that legendary starting staff: Cessa, Lara, Mateo, Robles, and Ynoa. Amazing WHIP & K numbers (everyone under 1.00 WHIP except Cessa. K/BB rates off the charts. But it’s a long road from Brooklyn to NYC. It’s similar to getting too excited about a hitter’s stats in Vegas. That aside, I’m hopeful for Molina; raves from those who have seen him.

    • TexasGusCC
      December 13, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      James, I agree with your point. They haven’t done a good job of recognizing upper caliber arms, or maybe developing them. None of the arms we have now were drafted during Alderson’s regime. In fairness to Alderson, he found very few position players, so he went to the extreme in that direction. They passed up Fernaandez to take Nimmo, and they passed up Michael Wacha to take Dom Smith. Let’s see how they turn out because criticizing is easy. But I agree, there aren’t any high end arms now that Fulmer is gone but high end arms are hard to find.

  3. Michael Geus
    December 13, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I saw Molina throw 5 one-hit innings in Brooklyn, he looked great. Reminded me of Meija, and I was worried at the time about arm troubles, he has a violent motion. That continues to be my concern, but this is a guy to watch.

  4. Michael Geus
    December 13, 2015 at 11:24 am

    As a Brooklyn to Brookkyn comparison, I also saw Gsellman twice and Molina looked far better, much more dominant.

    • December 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      FWIW – we have Gsellman at 18 and Molina at 8, despite the fact the former has reached Double-A and the latter will miss 2016.

  5. Eraff
    December 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    A #8 on a kid who flashed at Brooklyn and then did an elbow is a good amount of projection of both talent and his surgical recovery.

    They gave up depth and quality Arms to get Uribe, Johnson and Cespedes.Tough to criticize this front office on the “lack of pitching” at upper level MILB—they’ve pushed a good number of players/pitchers up to the big team over the past two years… along with the trade pieces.

  6. James Preller
    December 14, 2015 at 9:02 am

    I love Fulmer, but never saw Gant or Whalen as anything special.

    Just speaking truth here. Sandy had arrived for all of five minutes before the blogosphere declared how he had “fixed” the Mets farm system. That remains the overwhelming narrative. And my point is, simply, that after five full drafts, they really haven’t brought in much in the way of quality arms. That’s something that needs to be addressed if we buy into the idea of a pipeline in recognition of the fact that it will be hard to retain our top-shelf starters. Honestly, I’m not seeing the next wave of live-armed relievers either. It can be fixed; but also, it must be fixed. Across five drafts, I think they have fallen far short in the pitching department. On the plus side, the Mets sure have a lot of mediocre SS in the system! Today, I most like Buccera, Smith, Rosario, and Herrera. Outside of Molina, there’s not a single pitcher I am excited about.

    • December 14, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Alderson brought in Wheeler and Syndergaard but you give him zero credit for those guys because he traded guys he inherited to get them. “Those deals are easy,” is what you always say. If that’s the case, why don’t more clubs do them and why aren’t the clubs who do them regularly reaching the World Series within a few years? Do you think the Braves are going to make the World Series before the decade is out? I sure don’t.

      When Minaya was fired all people complained about was how he had a bloated payroll and ignored the farm system. Now five years after he’s gone, all we hear about was about his guys were the reason the club made it to the World Series.

      Minaya took over as Mets GM after the 2004 season and 11 years later the view on his farm system is completely different than when he was let go. Is it not among the range of likely outcomes that after the 2021 season, an equivalent period to today with Minaya, that a few of Alderson’s guys have worked through the farm system and are contributing in the majors? Is it really so unbelievable that in 2021 we may looking at some combination of Dominic Smith and Dilson Herrera and Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto and Kevin Plawecki and Brandon Nimmo and Michael Fulmer and Marcos Molina and Chris Flexen and Corey Oswalt and Robert Gsellman and others are in the majors, playing key roles for teams, even if those teams are not the Mets?

      You’re so eager to bash Alderson at every chance possible because you don’t like how he’s been anointed a savior. I get that, I do. But they don’t make it to the World Series without his contributions and there are talented players who will be future contributors to playoff and hopefully World Series teams. I’m going to celebrate that rather than continue to piss and moan that success didn’t happen in a New York minute.

      • December 14, 2015 at 12:54 pm

        I thought this thread was dedicated to the state of the Mets minor league system. No?

        In my eyes, it’s mediocre. And when it comes to pitching, it’s below average. What’s wrong with saying so?

        I’ve given Alderson plenty of credit over the years, but I’m going to stay balanced. When it comes to the Mets minor league system, I don’t think he’s done anything special with it. I wanted him to trade Dickey and Beltran and in both cases applauded the moves — and the return. I liked moving Byrd, too. When you aren’t trying to compete, these aren’t particularly hard deals to make. I don’t see you handing out medals to the Atlanta GM.

        I do make a distinction between players that are drafted by the organization compared to those that are traded for. I don’t see Wheeler and Syndergaard as successes of the Mets minor league system. At the same time, “development” is critically important and that seems to be solid. The system feels more organized and professional throughout, a far cry from the Tony Bernazard days.

        • December 14, 2015 at 1:05 pm

          One last point. Imagine that today Sandy trades Matt Harvey for 3-4 top prospects. Will that demonstrate that he’s done a great job with the farm system? To me, I don’t think so, since the ideal is to build it without sacrificing ML success. It might be a solid organizational move, and a trade to applaud, but it’s not, to me, “Wow, look at what a great job he’s done with the farm system!”

          • December 14, 2015 at 2:20 pm

            You’re welcome to that POV.

            But I don’t think you’re allowed to be so over-the-top dismissive of people who look at the fact that he brought in guys to the minor league system who turned around and had success – assuming of course that they had success. Not every top prospect makes it and if guys spend time in your farm system and do make it — that has to count.

            • Matty Mets
              December 15, 2015 at 11:03 am

              I’ll take the middle road here. I agree with Brian that there’s more to managing the minors than drafting. Since Sandy and co. have come aboard they’ve done a great job of trading for prospects and they’ve really turned around our development within all levels of the system. That said, I also agree with James that I think this organization has done a lousy job in the draft. I understand that when Sandy came aboard we had a crying need for bats, so he focused on that with his drafts. But 5 years later, we’re still waiting on Nimmo who no one is sold on. And nobody’s raving about Smith or Lindsey either. Conforto is the only bright spot here.

        • December 14, 2015 at 2:09 pm

          OK, let’s look at the ATL deals:

          Heyward, Walden – Miller, Jenkins
          Tough to gauge this since they turned around and traded Miller but I thought it was a good deal at the time because they were unlikely to be able to sign both impending FA outfielders. Jenkins has serious control issues.

          Upton – Fried, J. Peterson, D. Peterson, M. Smith, int’l money
          Got a backup 2B, an OF/3B with a .665 OPS in A-ball, a no-power OF and a guy who missed the year with TJ surgery

          Verdict – This trade will depend upon Fried’s development.

          Gattis – Folty, Thurman and Ruiz
          Traded a power-hitting catcher because they thought they had a two-way star in Bethancourt. Woops, they’ve already given up on Bethancourt. Folty was OK in Triple-A but got knocked around in the majors. He’s only 23 maybe he’ll turn into a useful SP#5. Thurman’s the same age, did OK in Hi-A and got knocked around in Double-A. Ruiz put up a .657 OPS in Double-A at age 21.

          Verdict – Too soon to say but not looking particularly good this moment.

          Kimbrel, Upton – Maybin, Quentin, Paroubeck, Wisler, competitive balance pick (Austin Riley)
          Got rid of a ton of salary. Got an unexpected good year out of Maybin, Paroubeck hit well in the PIO and Riley hit well in the APPY.

          Verdict – Good move for ditching salary (like Sandy’s K-Rod deal) and could turn into great deal if one of low minors guys makes it.

          Simmons – Aybar, Newcombe, Ellis
          Traded defensive star for stopgap SS and two prospects. Lots of conflicting reports on the quality of those guys.

          Verdict – Good idea to sell high on Simmons though not sure they got the best deal they could have.

          Miller – Swanson, Blair, Inciarte
          Miller performed exactly as they should have expected and they opted to trade the 25 year old for three young guys. Early results like the haul.

          Verdict – A few years away from knowing.

          Overall: I liked the Heyward deal when it was made because they didn’t have the money to keep both Heyward and Upton and I thought this meant they were keeping Upton. Personally, I’m not enamored with the Upton deal but recognize that it could work in their favor if Fried makes it. I’d say the Gattis trade was not a plus, especially with how bad they missed on their judgment of Bethancourt. The Kimbrel deal will either be good or great. The Simmons deal was a good idea but, in my opinion, poorly executed. The second Miller deal looks like a good idea, expertly executed.

          So, I see a mixed bag. The good news for the Braves is they made a lot of moves and at least some of them will work out. We can argue whether it was the right approach to torpedo the 2015 season – an idea that was certainly defensible at the time, but one that hindsight proved to be likely a mistake with the way the Nats played. If the Braves kept their 2014 team together and acquired a pitcher, things might have been entirely different for them. It’s also likely if the Braves hadn’t tanked the season that the Mets wouldn’t have won 90 games.

          We also have to factor in that the Braves would have received draft picks for both Heyward and Upton if they had allowed them to leave via free agency. The Mets weren’t going to get a draft pick for Beltran and after his 2013 season, we weren’t getting one for Dickey.

          I like both Miller deals, I like the Kimbrel deal. Kudos for those. Not jumping for joy over the Upton deal or the Gattis deal or the Simmons deal. I see a lot of work to be done to get the Braves back to the playoffs. Mets had six seasons under .500, with one or two of those being injury-related, before they broke through last year. Braves have been under .500 two years now. Let’s see what the next four years hold for them.

  7. Eraff
    December 14, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I think we’re almost at a point where some folks might actually go to an A, A+, AA game and boo a Draft Pick who has “Flopped”.

    on the Pitching Front, none of us “Saw” Colin McHugh…and nobody was very much interested in DeGrom before he began stifling big league hitters.

    I have my Hate Card for this ownership and “The Troika” front office…but I can’t fault them for Drafting Position guys at the top when they have 20-24 year old pitchers stacked 6-8 deep at almost Major League levels of the system—now that they’ve traded some of them, they will need to balance their ranks.

    • December 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Ridiculous. This isn’t about booing players. It’s just an honest assessment of a system that’s backsliding a bit.

      Valid point about McHugh and deGrom — though they were both drafted before Sandy arrived to fix everything. But, yes, guys do seemingly come out of nowhere. I hope so.

      I’m sorry that these criticisms are coming off like “hate,” because that’s not my intention. I’m simply not that impressed with the current farm system.

  8. Eraff
    December 14, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Jim… I believe the system is a bit thin now—here’s a link to the 40 man roster
    …use your own judgement on participation on the 25—- it’s fairly safe to speculate that they have 8-10 arms with less than 3 years of MLB experience who will active roster this year…maybe more. Most of them are 26 and Under.

    They were guys at A+ who were sucked up/pushed up thru the system in the past two years.

    They set their pitching over the past 4 years—-as a starting point. They have been hell bent on providing positional players as an add on.

    Look…the reason I hate Ownership is that they shouldnt have needed to suck for 5 plus years—-a big market team should be able to re-load and build out…maybe not as a true contender, but certainly not as a dog.

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