The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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Jul 7, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) walks off the field as rain falls during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

#15 Yadier Molina C

Ok, the teaser may be a bit of a reach. However, we all know how valuable Yadier Molina is to the St. Louis Cardinals. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest catchers to ever play the game, let alone play for the Cardinals.

The numbers can’t really do much justice for Molina’s career, but what stands out is his 30.9 fWAR. This is a number that stands for 17th among all Cardinal’s position players, but is largely based on Molina’s play after the 2006 season, when his offense finally came to life.

From 2007-2014 Molina finished with a fWAR under 2.0 only once with his 1.4 fWAR in 2007, rebounding from his -0.3 fWAR in 2006. Not having the ability to really valuate Molina’s abilities in calling a game or handling a staff does hamper Molina’s value some.

However, Molina’s current defensive value of 223.6 runs above average is something we do have to see where Molina ranks defensively. That number stands as second in team history among position players, with there being over 500 games difference between him and Ozzie Smith, who holds a 300.3 runs above average defensive value.

Molina’s .283/.336/.397 slash is still pretty good, and Molina does have one really good offensive season to hang his hat on, as in 2012 Molina slashed .315/.373/.501 hitting 22 homers and posting a wRC+ of 133. This was the second of three consecutive season that saw Molina post a wRC+ of 125 or better, totaling a 15.8 fWAR during those three seasons.

Molina still has time to add on to his already great resume and potential Hall of Fame case. Hopefully the thumb heals up and Molina can stick behind the plate a few more years. Regardless, Molina will retire as the greatest catcher to ever play for the Cardinals, and probably will end up being a top 10 player.

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