I bet the headline made you double-take when you read it.
Anyways, Yadier Molina made it official that the 2022 season will be his last. St. Louis signed the 39-year-old catcher to a one-year deal for $10 million two weeks ago. While most of the baseball world knew his retirement was on the horizon, Molina is going to give it one more year and then be done.
If you actually believe that Molina is not a first-ballot Hall of Famer, you need to rethink what you know about Yadier and baseball. Molina is a two-time world series champion, ten-time all-star, and has nine gold gloves; that is just a shortlist. So, based on that shortlist, is Yadier a first ballot? Absolutely, so let’s check out why the long-time St. Louis Cardinal will easily be in Cooperstown.
In over 8,000 career games, Molina has over 2,000 hits, just under 1,000 RBI’s, and a career batting average of .280 overall. While Molina has only collected one silver slugger award, he has filled his role on the offensive side of baseball. In his two World Series titles, Molina batted .412 in 2006 and .333 in 2011.
Molina has also finished in the top ten for batting average four times in his career. Molina is not known for his batting skills but his stats leave no doubt he is a reliable hitter. Yadier has been a consistent hitter and you can’t ask for much more. He has been reliable for the last 19 years and not many catchers pull that off when it comes to batting.
Most catchers are known for their defense and rightfully so. Molina should be credited for inventing defense from behind the plate. After nine gold gloves, four platinum gloves, and two defensive player of the year awards, Molina is legit. Yadier is one of the best catchers to ever pick up a baseball, much less play catcher. Molina is cementing his case this season despite his age as he has thrown out 42 percent of base runners.
I could spew out stats all day long but that gets boring. Essentially, Yadier is one of if not the best defensive catcher in recent memory. Molina has made his nearly 20-year career in St. Louis one to remember behind the plate. Molina also picked up his 300th career win with Adam Wainright
If the 2022 season really is Molinas last, that is going to be one heck of a farewell tour. Molina is going to go down as one of the greatest Cardinals and MLB catchers of all time. From his incredible defensive presence to his reliable bat, Molina is a class act of a player. St. Louis will probably cry for all of 2022 as Molina will wave goodbye to his playing career. Congrats on one heck of a career Yadier Molina, maybe you will see this.
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