Prospect Countdown #92 : Cristopher Molina

Oh how sweet it is! The Angels have a new grouping of international prospects and their stock is rising drastically. Scout welcomes the international stars to the Top 100 Prospect Countdown, Prospect #92, Cristopher Molina.


Cristopher Molina, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'3
WT : 170 lb
DOB : June 10, 1997, Moca, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Signing 2013 (Signing Bonus N/A)
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Has mastered the "peace sign," "rocker," and "shaka" in all his selfies / Haircut is a mix of Yasiel Puig and Ronaldo / Easton gloves, yes!


Jumping into the international prospects, this young Dominican product has a strong upside from a rotation role. When he signed in 2013, little was known about him, and still not a whole bunch is. However, we've seen clips and reels to put Cristopher Molina high on our prospect rankings, and deservedly so.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Molina has a quality fastball that is still developing with age. It has good running movement and sits anywhere from 88-92 and is steadily picking up more velocity as he grows into his body and makes small adjustments to pick up arm speed.

Molina's best potential pitch once he learns to command it is his curveball which falls from a 12-6 angle, and sits in the high 60's. Molina uses this as his go-to two-strike pitch on nearly all occasions.

Molina has a changeup that is developing, as does with most young pitchers. This will be the key to him staying a starting pitcher or reliever.

Molina is still growing, and will pick up both velocity and learn to command his pitches more. Speaking of, his command is slightly shaky. He has worked hard on this, but needs to build some confidence.

While adjusting his command, he stopped throwing from a herky-jerky motion, and started to take velocity down to throw strikes. This allowed batters to adjust as well, and capitalize on finding these strikes. Molina will need to find a way to create good command and maintain a confidence, which may come with small mechanical adjustments.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Molina got his first look at professional baseball in 2014, posting a 3.49 ERA, 1.306 WHIP, and recorded a 1-3 record. Molina hit a rut in the middle of the season where he allowed 12 runs in 10.1 innings, which enlarged his ERA drastically.

Molina rebounded well though and went on to get back to his dominance, not only pounding the strike zone, but keeping batters to a weak spot. Over his final six appearances in 2014, Molina kept batters to a .182 against average, and walked just 5 of the 87 batters he faced, helping his .258 against on base percentage.

Molina's strongest outing was on June 16th, where he allowed just one hit and walked a pair over five innings, while striking out eight.

Situationally, Molina shined with slashes of .133/.220/.156 against batters leading off innings, and .231/.310/.231 with runners in scoring position with two outs.


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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Molina still has some learning to do, and he will be in the Dominican Summer League once again in 2015. He could possibly take over the ace role while there however.

There is no ETA for Molina when it comes to the Major Leagues, since there is so little known about him. He should make it to the Americas soon to pitch in the next two seasons, where coaches will get more information on him and he can progress at an even quicker rate.




For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout.


Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.




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