The MVP case for Yadier Molina
Earlier this season, we in the STL Sports Network had a round table discussion on this site on Yadier Molina (Which you can read here). One of those topics was if we thought Molina could be the MVP of the NL, though it was earlier in the season, we had an internal disagreement. But with the season drawing a close, Molina really makes a strong case for the MVP. Here are just a few of the reasons that I believe Yadier Molina SHOULD be the 2012 NL MVP.
Let’s just get this out of the way now. Is there a better defensive catcher in the game? No. Is there a better defender at their position? No. Molina truly is a weapon defensively, if you don’t believe me, you are either blind or you don’t know that he has four (soon to be five) Gold Glove awards along with the first ever Platinum Glove. This season Molina has been on fire, he has a 47% CS rate this season as well as four pick offs and only four passed balls. He also has a .997 fielding percentage only committing three errors all of this season.
Yadier Molina has improved his offense each year, this year being no exception. He has set cyareer highs already in virtually every offensive category. He is currently fourth in the NL with his .324 AVG, he has 20 homers, 68 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases all of which are career highs for the 30 year old catcher. Maybe most telling of all of his offensive stats though is his 6.3 WAR, which we will highlight again later.
Has there been a more clutch hitter on the Cardinals this season? El Captain has been nothing short of the definition of clutch this season. With men on base Molina is batting .339, with RISP he is batting .330, and a solid .302 with RISP and two outs. Maybe the most telling of his clutch stats however is when the Cardinals are behind in a game, his average is .395. When the Cardinals are ahead, he is batting just .269.
Yadier Molina is called El Captain here at STL Cardinals Baseball because he is just that, a captain, a leader. Molina is the most trusted player in the club house. The pitchers look to him for help and guidance when he calls the game. He is looked up too by all of the Cardinals including his mentor-turned manager Mike Matheny. He is the player that seems to always come through and even start a rally.
5.) He is literally the most Valuable player:
Like I mentioned before Molina has a 6.3 WAR, what he does on the field and in the batters box truly makes him valuable. You take Molina off of the Cardinals and they would be no where near their current record. Sure you could argue this for many players like Ryan Braun or Andrew McCutchen. But what sets Molina apart is the defense and ability to call a game, not just his incredible offense and clutch. If Tony Cruz was our everyday starter, who knows how well the Cardinals pitching staff would do, not a knock on Cruz or anything.
If the Cardinals make the post season this year, it is all but because of what Yadier Molina did this season. He set career offensive highs, he is one of the most clutch hitters in the game, and his defense is superb as always. He has a chance to be in the top five in the batting title race, as well as being an overall offensive threat. What he means to the Cardinals makes him truly valuable, he brings all that you want in a star player. Sure he may not have 40+ homers and his RBI numbers aren’t that of a Braun or McCutchen. But keep this in mind he has been primarily a sixth or seventh place hitter all season, with far less RBI chances than what Braun and McCutchen, even Posey have had. The fans screwed up when Molina was not voted in to start the All Star game, but the writers have a chance for redemption. Sure he may be considered a Dark Horse but overall he deserves the MVP. If he won, I am sure not many would oblige, well except Reds fans.