It is a no-brainer to any St. Louis Cardinal fan and the objective baseball fan that Yadier Molina deserves the starting nod over Buster Posey for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game hosted in Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium. I’ll give you my take on the situation and let you know why I feel so strongly about it.
Statistical Analysis: Going by numbers alone, it’s clear to see that Yadier Molina is having the better season. Many baseball pundits rely on stats to determine value, and I personally think they’re usually a good measuring stick to determine a player’s value to their team. Given that, Yadi is hitting 16 points higher in batting average than Buster Posey, though Molina’s average has dropped 14 points this month. Molina has 12 homers to Posey’s 10, RBI and runs are pretty negligible. Yadier Molina is slugging .518 to Buster Posey’s .483, and Molina also has a 35 point lead in OPS.
One stat that doesn’t get a lot of play when it comes to catchers is stolen bases. Molina has 7 to Posey’s 1. Not known for his incredible speed, Yadier Molina has been a king of the bases on both offense and defense thus far. As far as defense is concerned, Molina has thrown out 13 of 35 would-be base stealers this season: 37.1 percent (behind only Miguel Montero of the Diamondbacks at 51.2% and Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies at 41.4%). Posey’s percentage is 14th in the league, a 25.0% clip, allowing 36 steals thus far. Molina has just 2 errors, to Posey’s 7.
The Value: Buster Posey was the 5th overall pick out of Florida State in 2008. Yadier Molina wasn’t picked until the 4th Round. That’s not to say that players drafted higher are necessarily better, because we all know that’s not always the case. However, Yadier, as the youngest of 3 MLB catching brothers, has always had something of a chip on his shoulder. I’m sure I’m a bit biased, and anyone on the West Coast probably has their opinion otherwise, but Molina is the better catcher. If perhaps anyone should be starting ahead of Molina, it’s Carlos Ruiz.
The Vote: It was reported by Mark Newman of MLB.com that fans cast 2.9 million (yes, you read that correctly) votes yesterday for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. As of last count, Yadier was at 3,119,530. Posey stood at 3,335,982 – a difference of 216,452. I know it may seem like a lot to overcome, but given that anyone is eligible to vote up to 25 times, that’s 8,568 people voting as many times as they can. I personally voted from 5 different email addresses yesterday, and have noticed that the “YesToYadi” hashtag on Twitter has gotten a lot of play in recent days.
Cardinal Nation has the absolute best fans in baseball, and I’m proud to say I’m a Redbirds fan! All-Star Game voting ends at 11:59 PM tonight, so get your votes in. This is my humble plea: Let’s make a push to get Yadi starting! We all know how much he deserves it! Now that the All-Star Game means homefield advantage, they’re not out there playing just to have fun, and the competiton level has increased over the last few years. The managers want this one, and so do I for the Redbirds, who will hopefully go for #12 in ’12. You may think I’m dreaming, but if they can reel of 5 of 6 the rest of the way, they’re sure to be where they want to be come October.