Signed from the Dominican in 2015, Mota has moved fairly slowly through the system. Now 22 (and 23-years-old this May), he’s yet to play at full-season ball entering 2019. That will change this season, however, and the way he threw during my backfields looks, Mota’s prospect stock could be on the rise.
An extra-physical presence, the 6-foot-4 righty appears broader than his 190-pound listing. Built thick through the shoulders and hips, he cuts an imposing figure on the mound with the velocity to match. His fastball touched 98 mph this spring, sitting comfortably at 95-to-96 mph with heavy life and occasional run. His command within the zone was scattered, though double-plus velocity helps bail out his spots over the plate to some degree. Mota’s best secondary pitch was a power slider in the high-80s. It showed late with flashes of sharp bite, inducing swinging strikes at best. His changeup is a crude third pitch, coming in at 89-to-92 mph. Mota overthrows it and could live to get a bit more separation, though flashes of late dive hint there’s room to develop the changeup.
Mota has worked as a starter to date, and while he limited walks at a solid clip last summer in the New York-Penn League, aspects of his pitchability could ultimately cause a move to the ‘pen. He throws more consistent strikes with his fastball, with both off-speed pitches only able to be used for chases. Cleveland will give him every chance to develop in the rotation for now, in hopes pitching longer stints helps develop Mota’s command and changeup.