Mets RHP prospect Marcos Molina made his Arizona Fall League debut Thursday, allowing one run and four hits, while striking out two batters, during two innings of work.
Molina, 21, had Tommy John surgery in late 2015, at which time MLB.com considered him to be the organization's top pitching prospect. However, he dropped to fourth on their list this past summer after having not pitched in a minor league game for more than a year.
In 2014, Molina was 7-2 with a 1.77 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 91 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 12 starts and 76 innings for the Low-A Brooklyn Cyclones.
"There were high hopes for Molina in 2015," MLB.com wrote in their most recent scouting report. "When healthy, Molina throws his fastball up to 94 mph with really good life. He'll combine that with a solid breaking ball and an average changeup to give him three average to above-average offerings, along with the ability to command all of them."
The future is still very bright for Molina, who I believe will have an impact at the big league level. I mean, he's still just 21 years old. And now that Tommy John surgery is behind him, he could become more valuable than he he was just a year ago.
I remember being very impressed with how Molina used his slider, getting guys to swing and miss on command. He had terrific control, was steely eyed and focused, and evolved and matured a lot as a pitcher from when he debuted a couple of years earlier. Actually, the last time I saw him, I recall thinking how his stuff, style and approach reminded me a lot of Jacob deGrom, who -- to put it in context -- is seven years older than Marcos.
Molina was about to hop on the fast track. Had he not been down a season due to elbow surgery, he'd be a super hot topic heading in to 2017. Instead, he's getting his feet wet in the Arizona Fall League and he'll use next Spring and Summer to get back on everyone's radar. However, a year from now, when he's all of 22, I expect it'll be like he never missed a beat.