Elite Sports NY’s prospect profile will shine it’s light on New York Yankees’ outfield prospect Leonardo Molina.The New York Yankees have some intriguing outfielders in the organization like Aaron Judge, Slade Heathcott, Ben Gamel, and Mason Williams just to name a few.
All of those players mentioned bring a lot to the table, but one man on the rise is Leonardo Molina and he has been considered by some organizations to be one of the most athletic prospects they’ve seen.
Molina was signed on August 1st of 2013 as a 16-year old amateur free-agent out of the Dominican Republic for $1.4-million. Not bad for a 16-year old, huh?
He made his professional debut at the Gulf Coast League at that same age in 2014 and slashed .193/.267/.260 with one home run in 53 games. The following year he slashed .247/.290/.364 but scouts didn’t halt their positivity over his five-tools adjacent with his potential to be a thriving star.
Baseball America claims that the 6-foot-2, 165-pound outfielder was the best athlete of the 2013 signing class. Simply put, the Yankees got a steal. Let’s take a look at his scouting grades:
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 65 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
Although there aren’t many positives to snag out of his standard statistics from his first go around in professional baseball, Molina was able to reduce the number of times he went down on strikes from 51 in 2014 to 37 in 2015.
This season, he has only been fanned five times in 31 at-bats which gives him a K% of only 16% which is much better than his career total (24%).
Where Molina is right now, the only incredible improvement that could be made is with his bat but he already has impeccable bat speed featuring what Pinstriped Prospects called a “decent swing.”
Additionally, MLB Pipeline states that if Molina’s quick bat speed starts to coincide with his strength as he grows, we very well may have a future 20-20 player on our hands.
That’s very far into the future, however. In 2016, he’ll continue to receive at-bats at Charleston where he will patrol the outfield and work on reads at different spots.
Although it isn’t an official gig, a man with his speed and above-average arm will likely man the center field spot.