The New York Yankees signed 16 year old Dominican outfielder Leonardo Molina, who is ranked number five on the list of top 30 international prospects. The contract is reportedly worth 1.4 million.
Molina is considered possibly the best overall athlete in this year’s international class and one of the top prospects in the Dominican Prospect League. He bats right and throws right.
Reports indicate that Molina has it all. He has a strong arm, excellent speed, and has impressed scouts with his great baseball instincts and defense. With the bat, it is believed that Molina will develop into a hitter who will supply both a high average and power.
Last spring, Molina toured Florida with a Dominican Prospect Elite Travel Team. It was during that tour that scouts touted him with that “best overall athlete in this year’s international class” designation. Players are unable to sign before they reach their 16th birthday, so the Yankees were unable to sign him until today.
MLB.com reported ratings on a scale of one to six. Molina’s has a potential to reach a level of five in hitting for average, four in hitting for power, six in running, six in arm strength, and five in fielding, according to the ratings.
With Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano and Vernon Wells all on the high side of thirty, and Brett Gardner turning thirty this month, the Yankees must prepare for the future. Molina is a big catch who could provide big dividends in a few years.