1. Nestor Molina, RHP 01/09/1989 H: 6’1” W: 180 – (Nathaniel’s take) Nestor Molina had a breakout season in 2011, posting unbelievable strikeout-to-walk ratios at both High-A Dunedin (115/14 in 108 1/3 IP) and Double-A New Hampshire (33/2 in 22 IP). Originally a third baseman/outfielder, Molina converted to pitching in 2008, and wasn’t even a starting pitcher until this season, so his huge year caught many by surprise. While Molina’s pure “stuff” isn’t quite as good as his numbers suggest, it’s no slouch, either: he works at 89-94 mph and boasts a very good splitter. Molina will probably start 2012 in either Double-A or Triple-A, but he’s very polished and should end up in Chicago at some point during the season. Don’t be surprised if Chicago initially lets his two pitches work in relief upon his reaching the majors.
Our Instinct: We had Molina #3 in our Blue Jays Top 10 and scouted him ourselves. Tom Belmont took the above video of Molina in July, and it’s been used on several notable sites. We love what Molina brings to the table, but as Tom said in his Prospect Instinct|Nestor Molina article, he’s not going to be an ace, nor does he have the body to be a workhorse in the middle. He figures to be a nice fit as a #4, however, as Nathaniel suggested, he could end up in the White Sox bullpen.
Reports for the other prospects (2. Addison Reed, 3. Tyler Saladino, 4. Trayce Thompson, 5. Jeff Soptic, 6. Jacob Petricka, 7. Rangel Ravelo, 8. Kevan Smith, 9. Jared Mitchell, 10. Keenyn Walker, and Dylan Axelrod) at the link.