28. Sam Moll (191 points, 18 ballots)
Sam Moll’s case for the PuRPs list is really quite simple: he’s a near major league-ready, high-leverage lefty reliever. The just-turned 25-year-old was expected to move quickly after he was drafted in 2013, especially after a full-time conversion to the bullpen in 2014. Unfortunately, his ascent has been marred by a broken toe, bone chips in his elbow, and another injury in 2016 that kept him on the shelf for a month.
As a result, despite having completed his fourth professional season, Moll has just 160 2⁄3 innings of experience under his belt. Still, the 5’ 10” Moll has pitched well at every stop on the minor league ladder (until, arguably, Triple-A), so the ceiling is obviously there for a major league contributor.
After pitching very well for High-A Modesto and Double-A New Britain in 2015 (when he had a 2.63 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 9.7 K/9, holding opponents to a .193 BAA), the Rockies jumped Moll straight up to Triple-A Albuquerque in 2016. For the Isotopes, Moll struggled a little in a tough pitching environment against hitters that were on average 2.7 years older than him. In 47 1⁄3 innings over 42 appearances, Moll had a 4.94 ERA (4.72 FIP) with a 7.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. Despite the struggles, Moll’s potential and proximity to the Show made him an easy addition to Colorado’s 40 man roster after the season.
What Moll lacks in size, he makes up for in arm speed that produces lively 93-96 mph fastballs. He can get swings and misses with his heater as well as his slider, a mid-80s pitch with depth that works against lefties and righties. He'll even flash a plus changeup at times, though he doesn't use it much as a reliever.
Moll throws strikes and keeps the ball down in the zone, so he'd merit a look as a starter if his size didn't lead to concerns about how he'd hold up over a full pro season in the rotation.
Moll’s 40 man roster status and arm talent makes him very likely to be a contributor to Colorado’s bullpen as soon as this year—potentially in a set-up or LOOGY role if all goes well. I had hoped that Moll's presence (and that of others like him at Triple-A) would keep the Rockies front office from being tempted to throw money at a mediocre major league reliever this offseason, but well, Mike Dunn’s around now. Dunn’s a superior pitcher to Moll right now, but I’d wager that by the end of his contract Moll is a better option.
Ultimately, I ranked Moll 20th on my personal ballot with that high-leverage reliever profile and gave him a 40+ Future Value.