Prospect Countdown #88 : Cristopher Molina

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #88 : Right-Handed Pitcher, Cristopher Molina

Cristopher Molina, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'3
WT : 170
DOB : June 10, 1997 (18) in Moca, Dominican Republic
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : Signed by Rene Rojas as International Free Agent, November 13, 2013
Last Year's Ranking : #92


Taking on an international free agent can be risky, not knowing whether you can fine polish them and turn them into professional players. For the Los Angeles Angels, they found a rock and polished it into a gem in Cristopher Molina. As he progresses through his career, his stock will rise and his work ethic will show that he's ready for the long haul of being a polished professional.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Molina's biggest weapon is his ability to change speeds, which is an advanced mentality and ability for his age. He started using his changeup more often this past summer, which has helped him become a more well-rounded pitcher.

Molina's fastball may be his best pitch, coming in at 88-92 miles per hour, tapping 94. He should add some velocity to this as he continues to grow into his tall frame. The fastball has some running movement to it, and could turn into a sinker with time and adjustments.

As stated above, Molina started using his changeup more often, but needs to learn to use if effectively. It has decent break, but he can't command it very well. He also needs to learn to use the same arm speed while throwing it, which will come with a more confident approach.

Molina's mechanics went from herky-jerky to a more polished delivery. There's still a lot of upper body movement in his delivery, which is the main cause for his control problems, but as he makes adjustments, he should come to a clean delivery, cutting the walk rates in half, or more.

The teen foreign prospect has a curveball that comes in from an 11-6 angle, and has been called an "out pitch." It sits in the high 60's, and has been a useful pitch with two-strikes to keep batters guessing.

Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Molina's professional debut found a rut in the middle of the season where he allowed 12 earned runs in 10.1 innings pitched. Statistics count for the entire season, but without that three game stretch, Molina posted a 1.63 ERA, 1.086 WHIP, and held bats to a .180/.285/.252 slash.

Molina hit a rough patch this past season as well, allowing 16 earned runs in 23 innings to end the season. Prior to those final five games, Molina recorded a 2.39 ERA, but saw increases in hits (7.17 H/9) and walks (5.50 BB/9). Despite the increase in numbers, Molina held bats to a .221 average.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Molina is still young and raw, which could mean a return to the Dominican affiliate for the 2016 season. He'll be able to iron out the mechanical needs, and do it against competition around his age and developmental level. Molina should take over the role of "ace" if sent back to the DSL.

Molina is nearing a trip state side to show his talents at the AZL affiliate. Coaches and the organization will be able to read into his abilities and a projections towards moving forward will be solely judged from that point forward.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

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



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