St. Louis Cardinals: The unsurpassed greatness of Yadier Molina
The St. Louis Cardinals should count themselves lucky that their franchise player- just extended this season- is not only a great catcher but also a great human.
The St. Louis Cardinals are locked and solid behind home plate thanks to the greatness that is Yadier Molina. Yadi is hands-down (to St. Louis Cardinals fans at least) the best catcher in MLB. In addition, Molina is an amazing human being with a heart of gold.
We all know that Yadi is a proud Puerto Rican as was exhibited during the World Baseball Classic. Likewise, we all know that Yadier Molina is a force to be reckoned with behind the plate for any base runner attempting to take second or those poor souls who venture too far off of first.
This week, adding to the accolades above, we all witnessed the heart of Molina on display after his home country was hit hard by Hurricane Maria. No overstatement is necessary to describe the devastation that has befallen the small island nation and the deep need for aid in the rebuilding efforts.
To this end, Molina and the Molina family have generated a GoFundMe page to receive donations to assist families in the island nation in their rebuilding efforts. Our very own co-editor, Tito, hails from Puerto Rico and is joining in with the Molinas in their fundraising efforts (I too am helping using the model created by Tito).
Related Story: Hurricane Maria relief efforts
But wait, there’s more… In last night’s contest against the Reds, Molina collected another RBI on the season pushing his total to 82 runs batted in. This feat has yet to be matched this season in the National League.
Have a look at his numbers this season:
|14 Y||14 Y||14 Y||1744||6691||6083||601||1729||335||7||126||785||56||34||455||658||.284||.336||.404||.740||99||2456||224||52||42||59||49|
Now have a look at his best numbers from his career:
|162 Game Avg.||162||622||565||56||161||31||1||12||73||5||3||42||61||.284||.336||.404||.740||99||228||21||5||4||5||5|
While age is catching up with him, his numbers are not dramatically failing and some continue to get better. If Yadier Molina can maintain his health (and not become tired), then the St. Louis Cardinals should have a great return on their extended investment.
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Can we also take a moment to pause and bask in the sheer number of years in which Yadi has produced awards and outstanding numbers?
The difficulty facing the Cardinals, however, is that Yadi’s heir apparent is nipping at his heels. Carson Kelly shows all the promise that Yadier showed when Yadier stole the starting job from then-catcher Mike Matheny. Does this spell problems for the perennial catcher?
Not so fast. Molina has shown that he is THE catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. While Kelly could well be the catcher of the future, he might have to wait a season or to take over full-time. Or, Kelly might find himself with another club in the offseason. OR, Kelly might find himself playing a different position if his bat takes off.
Next: Free agent replacements for Lance Lynn
In short, adding to all of his great baseball abilities, Yadier Molina has shown this season that he has a golden heart in addition to his golden gloves and that makes him an outstanding St. Louis Cardinals player today and into the future.