Mets, Red Sox, Others Interested in Cuban Defector Ernesto Molinet

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Ernesto Molinet is a 29 year-old first baseman who defected at some point after the 2013 Cuban National Series. Like Daniel Carbonell, Molinet's defection has mainly gone unnoticed in the press. Even Spanish-language accounts are difficult to find. Someone needs to direct his agent to Jesse Sanchez's twitter account. It's possible that Molinet "retired" early in Cuba and received permission to travel abroad, as occasionally happens, but I find that unlikely, since his absence from Mayabeque's roster to start the 2013-2014 season made waves among Cuban baseball followers.

Ernesto Molinet Dominguez stand 6'0" tall and weighs 210 pounds. He is a veteran of the National Series, having played 10 seasons. The bulk of those were with Havana, where he started in 2003-2004. When Havana was broken up into two teams in 2012, Molinet joined Mayabeque. In the second half of the split 2013 season, he was a reinforcement for Cienfuegos, serving as DH while Jose Dariel Abreu played first. Early in his career, Molinet played some outfield and second base, but he has largely played first since the 2011 season. He will turn 30 this June.

Molinet is currently working out in Guatemala, and is being scouted primarily by teams in need of some depth at first base: the Mets, Pirates, Phillies, Rays, Giants, and Red Sox have all shown interest. Although older than the typical defector, it's possible that he could make an impact at the big league level. Molinet was an on-base machine in Cuba.

 

Ernesto Molinet Stats

  Team Age PA AB H 2B 3B HR SB CS R RBI HBP BB SO
2004 HAB 20 158 133 30 7 1 3 0 0 14 20 4 17 25
2005 HAB 21 207 172 55 10 3 4 1 5 25 37 4 23 29
2006 HAB 22 355 308 94 21 3 6 0 2 55 49 9 33 45
2007 HAB 23 362 301 80 18 2 3 4 1 37 41 8 48 49
2008 HAB 24 377 309 87 17 2 18 2 2 57 71 8 56 48
2009 HAB 25 393 309 102 17 2 12 2 4 66 54 9 71 43
2010 HAB 26 310 240 72 16 1 9 0 0 40 44 5 63 37
2011 HAB 27 330 271 93 16 0 18 0 0 59 62 3 53 34
2012 MAY 28 131 95 35 3 0 5 0 0 21 19 5 28 15
2013 MAY 29 169 130 38 4 0 6 0 2 21 20 5 34 16
2013.5 CFG 29 145 116 35 5 1 2 0 0 18 19 3 25 13
Totals     2937 2384 721 134 15 86 9 16 413 436 63 451 354
  Age PA AVG OBP SLG ISO OPS+ BB% K% lgBB% lgK%
2004 20 158 0.226 0.323 0.361 0.135 78 11 16 8 13
2005 21 207 0.320 0.412 0.483 0.163 136 11 14 9 14
2006 22 355 0.305 0.385 0.451 0.146 110 9 13 10 12
2007 23 362 0.266 0.380 0.369 0.103 105 13 14 10 12
2008 24 377 0.282 0.403 0.524 0.243 128 15 13 10 12
2009 25 393 0.330 0.463 0.515 0.184 136 18 11 10 12
2010 26 310 0.300 0.452 0.488 0.188 129 20 12 9 12
2011 27 330 0.343 0.452 0.601 0.258 152 16 10 10 11
2012 28 131 0.368 0.519 0.558 0.189 180 21 11 9 12
2013 29 169 0.292 0.456 0.462 0.169 157 20 9 9 12
2013.5 29 145 0.302 0.434 0.414 0.112 132 17 9 10 12
Totals   2937 0.302 0.423 0.479 0.177 129 15 12 10 12

 

Cuban Comps

  Yr Age PA OPS+ AVG OBP SLG ISO BB% K% lgBB% lgK%
Ernesto Molinet 10-13 26-29 1085 147 0.320 0.458 0.518 0.197 18.7 10.6 9.4 11.7
Jose Abreu 11-13 24-26 1014 245 0.393 0.537 0.802 0.409 18.4 10.9 9.4 11.6
Yenier Bello 10-12 25-27 1012 96 0.284 0.336 0.458 0.174 5.3 8.8 9.5 11.7
Alex Guerrero 10-12 23-25 1033 153 0.316 0.406 0.586 0.270 10.7 11.2 9.5 11.8
Alexei Ramirez 05-07 23-25 1177 147 0.287 0.419 0.526 0.238 10.9 7.7 9.3 12.3
Yoenis Cespedes 09-11 23-25 1194 151 0.334 0.420 0.629 0.295 11.2 10.5 9.8 11.9

Given his age, comps are difficult to come by. Despite lacking the power of Jose Abreu, Molinet drew free passes at a similar rate. In his prime, his walk rate was consistently about twice the league average. He also has some power and doesn't strike out very much.

 

Video

For more Cuban defector profiles, go here.

GW

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