My 1st look at Leonardo Molina, OF, Charleston

Leonardo Molina, courtesy of pinstripedprospects.com

Hey guys I took a run down to Greenville the other night to see the Drive (Red Sox) take on the Charleston Riverdogs (Yankees).  It was my 2nd look at Charleston this year.  They don’t have a blue chip prospect like a Brendan Rodgers but they’ve got a lot of 2nd tier players that are promising.  Park, Holder, Molina, Chris Gittens, and Jhalen Jackson to name a few,  I’ve written about Hoy Yun Park My 1st look at Hoy Jun Park, SS/2B, Charleston and Kyle Holder My 1st look at Kyle Holder, SS/2B, Charleston.  Today I want to talk about Leonardo Molina.

Molina, age 18, listed 6’2″ 180 lbs, bats and throws right.  Molina was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Yankees for $1.4 Mil in 2013.  He was a high profile signee,

I was hoping to see Molina in the Sally this season but I didn’t expect it.  At 18 he’s one of the youngest players in the league.  He didn’t start the season here, Charleston got a little banged up and they promoted Molina.

Molina’s got some wiry strength to him, and should be able to add another 10-15 lbs of muscle.  I guessed on the field he was 6’2″ 190.

At the dish Molina’s got an upright, closed stance, keeps his hands high and stays pretty quiet pre pitch.  His swing is linear and a little long but he’s got quick wrists and he really whips the bat through the zone. He utilizes a moderate leg kick for timing.  He’s got some pop, I watched him hit a long home run to left, it looked to be about 360′. He’s got above average raw power right now.

He’s a little raw offensively, particularly with his pitch recognition skills.  College arms are eating him up with sequencing, he could probably use another year or two in rookie ball.  Too soon for me to say if he can pick up spin.

I was hoping to see Molina in center but he played left field in both of my looks.  He didn’t get much action either night but there was one bloop that he froze on.  Not sure if he lost it in the lights or if he thought it would carry further.  I’ve read reports that he’s pretty good in center so I wouldn’t read too much into this.  I didn’t get to grade the arm.  He’s got above average speed.

Here we get many good looks at Molina’s swing, courtesy of Fangraphs

Molina’s an exciting young player, he’ll need a lot of time in the low minors but in 4 or 5 seasons he might emerge as an above average hitter with above average power.

Up next is a look at Leudys Baez a toolsy but raw OF in the Braves system.

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