Cardinals: Salvador Perez speaks about what Molina has meant to him
Yadier Molina has been one of the best catchers in baseball history, especially over the last two decades. His offense has been stellar and his defense has been elite, fueling what has been a sustained run of contention for the St. Louis Cardinals.
So it is no surprise that catchers, including Kansas City Royals All-Star Salvador Perez, have been mimicking Molina behind the plate, telling MLB Network: “I try to get as low as I can to help my pitchers & try to get better at that. …I try to do my best. I follow Yadi Molina, try to be like him hopefully & play for a lot of years in the big leagues.”
Molina, of course, re-signed with the Cardinals this winter on a one-year deal. Signing him was pivotal for the organization, as they are eyeing another deep postseason run after trading for Nolan Arenado, and Molina’s presence means the most important leader in franchise history will be in St. Louis for another season.
It is unclear how much Molina has influenced Perez, or if the two have even spoken, but trying to learn from Molina is a wise move for Perez. Molina has played in at least 110 games in each full season of his career. He’s slashed .281/.333/.404 with 160 home runs and 932 RBI in 16 seasons. And he’s won nine Gold Gloves in his career, winning the award eight years consecutively (2008-2015).
But Perez has been one of the best catchers in the American League for the Royals, becoming one of their most important players during their World Series runs. He has only been in the league for nine seasons, but has won a handful of Gold Gloves (5) and is on his way to having similar production at the plate as Molina.
Sustaining that for two decades, like Molina, will be difficult for Perez. But he has clearly established himself as one of the best catchers in baseball and mimicking Molina likely helped play some part in that.