MLB Player Profile: Yadier Molina
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By Landen Crouch ( Cardinals Correspondent) Follow @LandenCrouch
For the majority of his career, Yadier Molina has been highly touted as one of the top catchers in the game of baseball. In recent years, that label has evolved even deeper, as it could now be said that Molina is one of the game’s best overall players. With yet another fantastic year under his belt in 2012, the question remains: how long will Molina be this good? Hopefully for Cardinals fans, this peak of Molina’s career will last several more years and possibly even continue to rise.
From 2005 to 2007, Yadier Molina was best known for his abilities on defense, but he struggled to be a consistent hitter. That changed in 2008, as Molina really seemed to grow as a hitter. He posted a career high .304 Batting Average – that stood until he set a new career high in 2011 (.305). New career highs have been the theme for Molina over the last couple years, as he seems to be consistently topping great years with even better ones.
Yadier Molina Highlights in 2012:
In 2008, Molina set the bar high for himself, with career highs in BA (.304), Runs (37), Hits (135), RBI (56), SLG (.392), and OPS (.740). In previous years, from 2004-2007, Molina was never more than an average hitter, never even reaching 100 hits in a season. But it was that 2008 season that changed everything. Molina followed the 2008 season with two more fairly consistent seasons, posting very similar numbers. In 2011 though, everything changed, and it seemed Yadier Molina had figured it out. He became lethal at the plate, adding yet another weapon to a fantastic Cardinals lineup. He set seven new career highs in offensive categories in 2011, including Runs (55), Hits (145), HRs (14), RBI (65), BA (.305), SLG (.465), and OPS (.814).
The 2011 season was a career year for Molina, who for the first time in his career received some votes for the NL Most Valuable Player award. When the season ended, the Cardinals made resigning Yadier Molina a priority, and he signed a 5-year extension worth $75 million. In the past, it seemed like a lot of players work very hard to get a giant contract, only to relax and collect paychecks. Molina was quite the opposite though. He signed his big extension, and followed it up with another huge year, setting NEW career highs in each of those seven offensive categories again. In 2012, Molina posted new career highs in Runs (65), Hits (159), HRs (22), RBI (76), BA (.315), SLG (.501), and OPS (.874). Because of his fantastic year, Molina receive a lot of votes for the MVP this time around, finishing 4th.
This article is definitely about numbers, and a lot of them. I know numbers can be confusing sometimes, but they are important to the game. They give us concrete examples of who the best players are. When you truly read into these numbers, you can clearly see the improvement that Molina has shown in his time with the Cardinals.
He has had a fantastic career so far and has grown into a fan favorite in St. Louis. Yadier Molina has set the bar very high for whoever will follow him as the next Cardinals catcher. There is no doubt in my mind that if he can put up a couple more years like 2011 and 2012. Molina will go down as one of the greatest Cardinals ever and may have a chance for some Baseball Hall Of Fame consideration
For the first time ever in 2013, Molina will be heading into a season in his 30′s. He is already one of the best players in baseball, and it seems that he has just now reached his offensive peak. I fully expect the guy to have at least another 4-5 years of time to continue his fantastic play behind the plate, and grow even more as a hitter. Could he possibly even win an MVP Award? Perhaps only time will tell, but it is going to be fun to watch. The baseball gods have been good to the city of St. Louis, and we are blessed to be able to see and embrace the greatness of Yadier Molina for years to come.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of www.mlbreports.com and their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our Cardinals Correspondent Landen Crouch. Landen is a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has followed them almost religiously since he was 7-Years-Old. In recent years, though, he has discovered how deep his passion for the game of baseball is. His dream is to visit as many ballparks as he can in his lifetime. Landen does not currently cover sports professionally, but as a hobby. He is studying Vocal Music Education at Arkansas Tech University and is his final year in the program. He is set to graduate in December of this year. Follow and Interact with Landen on Twitter Follow @LandenCrouch
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Posted on January 17, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2004 World Series, 2006 World Series, 2011 World Series, @landencrouch on twitter, busch stadium, gold glove award winner, Landen Crouch, NL ALL-Star, NL MVP Voting, st louis cardinals. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.