Two St. Louis Cardinals are the slowest players in baseball. It just so happens to be future Hall of Famers Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols.
The St. Louis Cardinals are a team with World Series aspirations in 2022. So far, they look the part, as Nolan Arenado is on an MVP pace, Paul Goldschmidt remains Paul Goldschmidt and while the pitching staff, especially the bullpen, looks formidable.
But one thing that the Cardinals lack on the roster is speed and, via Danny Vieti of CBS Sports, they have the two slowest players in MLB: Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols. Molina ranks last in MLB in sprint speed (feet/second) with 20.4, according to Baseball Savant, while Pujols ranks second last with 22.9.
We all knew that both players were slow – after all, when both players are at or near 40 years old, that is bound to happen – but to be THE slowest players in baseball? I don’t think anyone knew or believed that. I know that I didn’t.
The good news for the Cardinals is that they do not need either player to be fast. For Molina, they need him to continue his excellence behind the plate, where his pitch calling, pitch framing and ability to throw out base stealers has him a near lock to enter the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. For Pujols, they will need him to continue his strong offense against left-handed pitching and soft-tossing right-handers.
It’s been the recipe, or at least part of it, behind the Cardinals’ strong start to the regular season. Pujols’ signing was seen by some observers as a move purely out of nostalgia. But in the first couple weeks of the regular season, he has made an impact both at the plate and in the clubhouse, with veterans such as Nolan Arenado publicly praising him for what he brings to the meeting room and clubhouse.
They may not be the fastest players, but they sure do find many other ways to make an impact.