SAM MOLL, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: January 3, 1992
Drafted: 3rd Round, 77th Overall, 2013 (Rockies)
How Acquired: Waiver claim (from A’s)
College: University of Memphis
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|Moll was a third round draft pick of the Rockies despite his small stature. He missed a lot of time his first two years with a broken toe and bone chips in his elbow. He had a big year as a reliever in high A and AA in 2015, but struggled in AAA in 2016-17. According to Baseball America in 2016, Moll threw a 93-96 mph fastball along with a slider that generated both grounders and missed bats. His velocity was lower as a starter at the beginning of his pro career and he showed a promising change that he hasn’t needed much in relief. In his brief major league trial in 2017, though, his fastball averaged only 92.4 mph. He’s been a moderately strong groundball pitcher throughout his time in the minors. The Pirates claimed Moll off waivers from Oakland.
Moll had a good debut in short season ball. He made six starts, then missed a month with a broken toe and pitched four times in relief after returning. Baseball America rated him the Rockies’ 15th best prospect after the season.
Due to a sore elbow that required him to have bone chips removed, Moll wasn’t able to pitch until August. He returned to short season ball then and struggled through nine relief outings. BA still ranked him 21st in the Rockies’ system.
Pitching in relief for good now, Moll had a breakout season. He spent most of it in the high-offense California League, but finished with 13 dominant outings in AA. On the season, he held left-handed hitters to a .495 OPS, while right-handers managed only .565. BA ranked him 22nd in the Rockies’ system after the season.
Moll had considerably more trouble in the hitters environment at Albuquerque in the Pacific Coast League. He got hit a lot harder and saw a sharp drop in his K rate. He still held lefties to a .643 OPS, but righties posted an .802 figure against him. He missed a month with elbow inflammation, with a lot of his trouble occurring late in the season after he returned. BA still ranked him 27th in the Colorado system and the Rockies added him to the 40-man roster after the season.
Back at Albuquerque, Moll continued pitching the way he had in 2016, except he had equally mediocre numbers against both RH and LH hitters. In mid-August, the Rockies sent him to Oakland for cash. He pitched much better in six outings in AAA after the trade and Oakland called him up in September. He got hammered in 11 major league outings. Oakland designated Moll for assignment in November and the Pirates claimed him.
Moll will likely compete with Jack Leathersich and Nik Turley for a bullpen spot in 2018, although it’s quite possible that the Pirates will try to get him through waivers at some point. Unlike the other two, he hasn’t had any meaningful success above AA. He does have two options left.
|2018: Major league minimum|
|Signing Bonus: $600,000
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut: 9/1/2017
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2023
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/18/2016
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2017)
MLB Service Time: 0.031
|June 7, 2013: Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 3rd round, 77th overall pick; signed on June 13.
November 18, 2016: Contract purchased by the Colorado Rockies.
August 16, 2017: Traded by the Colorado Rockies to the Oakland Athletics for cash.
November 20, 2017: Designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics.
November 27, 2017: Claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics by the Pittsburgh Pirates.