Marcos Molina prepared to shine in 2015

By Justin Weiss

While Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Juan Lagares stole the spotlight in 2014, one particular Mets prospect, a certain Marcos Molina, became the greatest prospect you might not have heard of.

Molina, 19, was signed by the Mets in January of 2012 out of the Dominican Republic, and made his American debut the next summer in the Gulf Coast League.

Since coming to the states, Molina has utilized his impressive tools to rack up 16 wins, a 3.07 ERA, 174 strikeouts and a 1.061 WHIP.

The tools that he possesses are potent. He employs a fastball that can reach 96 MPH, at times overpowering and dominating hitters. An advanced feel for a changeup gives him an impressive secondary pitch, and his third pitch in his arsenal, a slider, permits him to change things up regularly.

While that slider may appear a bit slurvy, Molina is an above-average athlete with surprising control. Last season, he utilized that impressive command to amass an imposing 10.8 SO/9.

“He’s going to be on the fast track, I think,” Brooklyn manager Tom Gamboa said before the 2014 season. “Every once in a while you get a guy who’s just different, just a cut above the rest. For a 19-year-old, he has unbelievable mound presence and poise. It’s the whole package.”

Molina was that impressive in 2014, aggregating a 7-3 record, a 1.78 ERA, an 0.842 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 76.0 innings pitched for Brooklyn. While the NY-Penn League isn’t awfully competitive (it is single-A short season, after all), Molina was still named the league’s best pitcher before the season.

“This is my first year here,” Brooklyn’s skipper told “They tell me that a year ago, [Molina] got flustered in the [Rookie-level Gulf Coast League]. There were people in the Mets system who were concerned about him handling the crowds and the lights.”

“He’s matured so fast from last year to this, that from Day 1 here, he’s been in total command and poised in all his outings,” Gamboa said. “It’s just a credit to him and his growth and maturity and the God-given ability that he’s got.”

The biggest question mark surrounding the 6’3″, 188 pound righty is his unconventional delivery. Fans leave the stadium puzzled at the Dominican’s strange delivery.

As far as Molina’s arsenal, Gamboa said “he can throw all of them in any count. It really puts the hitter at a disadvantage. It’s just a case of him getting a better feel for pitching and reading hitters’ swings and knowing what to throw to upset their timing. I just can’t say enough good things about his development, watching him from March until the end of August now, how fast he’s come and how focused he’s been.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he went right to [Class A Advanced] St. Lucie and got a taste of Double-A,” the first-time manager said. “He’s just a different guy that’s going to be on a little faster track than normal.”

Marcos Molina isn’t supposed to be in the big leagues until 2018. He may end up being a reliever, or – like many prospects – may not even end up playing in the Majors. But Molina impressed nearly everybody who crossed his path in 2014.

He’s looking to do the same in 2015.

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