St.Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina Most Complete Catcher in Baseball
The St.Louis Cardinals are the best team in baseball and their record (44-25) reflects that this season. They also have a great pitching staff that is led by their ace pitcher Adam Wainwright and a couple of rookie pitchers in Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha and Tyler Lyons.
The one common theme that all great teams have is a catcher that can call a great game and handle the variety of pitchers on a staff. St.Louis has the best one in baseball and that is Yadier Molina.
Molina has always been a great defensive catcher, but his offensive skills needed time to mature. The time is now, because he has established himself as the most complete catcher in the game of baseball.
He blocks everything in front of him and you rarely see a ball get past him in a game. The pitchers have confidence that if they throw a breaking pitch in the ground, he will be able to keep the ball in front of him.
The other aspect of his game that has improved each year is his offense. Molina leads the NL and is tied with Miguel Cabrera for the highest batting average at .352. That is pretty impressive considering that he is a catcher, and he leads his respective league in hitting.
Another thing that stands out about him is that he does not strikeout that often. He has 244 at-bats this season and has just struck out 25 times. He is not a catcher like Buster Posey who will drive in runs, but he puts the ball in play more often.
He is valuable to the Cardinals also because they can have him bat in different locations in their batting order. They have had him bat 2nd, 5th and 6th in the line up with no decrease in his production this season, with his average in those three spots is at .350.
The spot he is most comfortable with is batting 5th in their lineup where he has a .355 batting average. He is a great hitter when runners are in scoring position, as indicated by his .403/.468/.961 triple-slash.
He is proving to be a great clutch hitter as well, by having a .323/.417/.804 triple-slash with two outs and runners in scoring position. Molina is everything the Cardinals could want in a catcher.