Angel Molina, First Baseman/Catcher
HT : 6'0
WT : 175
DOB : August 20, 1997 (18), in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : Signed by Carlos Ramirez/Lebi Ochoa as International Free Agent, December 10, 2013
Last Year's Ranking : #78
Maybe the most prominent offensive name to come out of the Dominican affiliate this past season, Angel Molina is an interesting piece in the Los Angeles Angels farm system. As he grows, we'll learn more, but there's some desire in his game that could lead to a nice future in the organization.
There's a lot to be desired when it comes to Molina, but there's still plenty of work to be done. It all starts with his age (18) and physical maturity (6'/175). As Molina grows, he'll add muscle, which can convert to more power in his swing and more physical strength and athleticism in the field.
Defensively, Molina has somewhat been taken away from being behind the plate. This may have some to do with his overall size, which means he could return. Defensively, he still makes the right decisions, and stays in front of the ball while playing first base. His arm is accurate, and there's no real flaws in his arm strength. We expect the Angels to explore putting him behind the plate again next season.
Molina has a smooth swing, but can try and force a little too much which causes him to swing over the ball and either ground out or miss completely. Once he simplifies his body work, he should become something special at the plate, as his approach is up the middle and it's worked well for him.
Molina has some pop, which is credited to forcing at times along with his body maturing. As he gains muscle, and simplifies his swing, he should be able to find good line drive power, and be able to muscle the ball over the fences on occasions.
Molina has some speed, but is a strong base runner which makes up for not being the fastest guy around. He is quick for a catcher or first baseman though, which helps him cover ground on the right side of the infield.
It was a small sample size, but Molina impressed as a 16-year-old in his first taste of professional baseball. He finished the 2014 season with a .241/.281/.278 slash, with five multi-hit games in 18 total. Molina didn't have many opportunities to flash his bat in situational at bats, but did manage to go 4-for-9 with runners on with two outs.
Molina's second year as a professional was outstanding, for awhile. He finished the season with an admirable .273/.376/.410 slash, leading the DSL affiliate in nearly every offensive statistic. Molina collected 13 doubles and four home runs over his 51 games this past summer. Molina wore down in the final stretch of the season, going 8-for-47 (.170 BA) in his final 14 games, but this all came after he hit .309/.386/.456 with 11 doubles in his first 37 games.
Molina is so young that he could possibly register another season in the Dominican next season. However, he's shown that he can compete above that level which may lead to a trip stateside to play in the AZL.
There's not a set projection, as comes with most young foreign players. No ETA to the Majors, but he may be the best suited of this last year's DSL affiliate to get near or reach the Majors, after adding on weight and making the proper adjustments.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.