5 Reasons Why St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina Deserves the 2013 NL MVP
Yadier Molina: 5 Reasons He Should be NL MVP
The MLB season is nearing its conclusion and that can mean only a few things. First, the playoffs have arrived. Second, many teams will be making tee times. Third, families are planning vacations. Finally, the MVP awards are going to be awarded soon.
For those who may be new to the MLB, here’s a quick scoop on the MVP. This award is handed down to two players, one from the National League and one from the American League. The award has been around since the 1930’s and is a prestigious award. Many believe and say that the MVP is given to the “best” player in both leagues.
The MVP award, in my opinion, is rewarded to the player who a team could not replace and who signifies the optimal pro. This is a player who is great both on and off the field and who leads by example.
Statistics aren’t everything, or at least they shouldn’t be, when deciding who should win MVP. Sure, having great stats help, but a MVP should be a player who guys turn to and say, “without him, we don’t win.” If there is any doubt from any fan or teammate that a player can be replaced and the success will remain, then this player should not be given the award.
Personally, I don’t think there is one player in the National League who is more deserving of this honor than St. Louis Cardinals catcher, Yadier Molina.
Within the next five slides, you will see why I believe Molina is a no-brainer for NL MVP.
5. Cardinals Losing Record Without Molina
Without Molina’s presence in the line-up, the Cardinals struggle dearly. Molina has played in 124 games. That number should show the durability that he displays. Catching is a position that takes a hold on a person’s body after a while but Molina has toughed it out and battled almost ever day. However, in the 26 games he has not started, the Cardinals are 11-15.
Backup catchers Tony Cruz and Rob Johnson have tried hard to fill in his place but it is clear that his team does not win unless Molina is behind the plate. Without him, the entire game plan changes for both teams and there is a clear gaping hole.
4. Molina Controls Pitching Staff
Whenever a person sits down and looks at pitcher’s numbers, they either are amazed or confused. The most important stat that people look at for pitchers are wins and losses along with ERA. However, no one truly dives deeper than the record to see how the catcher impacts the game. In Molina’s case, he controls the game.
Every pitcher on the staff for the Cardinals has great respect for Molina. This can be seen throughout all their games. How? Well just look closely. Very rarely will you ever see a pitcher shake off any of Molina’s signs. This shows that they trust his game plan and believe that whatever he calls will work out.
If a pitcher doesn’t have command, you will always find Molina coming out to not only talk, but demand that the pitcher bares down and throws strikes. Most of the time, it works!
Don’t believe me? Well how’s this. During the teams annual FanFest this year, ace of the staff Adam Wainwright was on stage and said of Molina, “Yadi is the best catcher in baseball. He makes our job a lot easier. He gives us a great sense of confidence. He’s incredible, we’re all very spoiled.”
3. Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position
A very big stat that seems to fly under the radar to many fans is a teams batting average with runners in scoring position. This stat will show fans how their team hits with guys either on second or third base. It is a stat that in reality shows how clutch a team’s hitters really are.
Heading into September, the Cardinals were hitting a ridiculous and unheard of .340 with runners in scoring position. Want to take a guess who was top three on the team in this average? You guessed it, Molina!
Molina currently is hitting .317 with 12 homeruns and 66 runs batted in. With runners in scoring position, Molina is hitting over .340. This proves that Molina is an extremely clutch hitter and is one of the guys that Mike Matheny would chose to be up in any big game situation.
2. Best Defensive Catcher in MLB
When Molina first came into the league, he was known as a guy who was a good defender. If you were to use the words “good defender” to describe Molina now, it would be like calling Stan Musial an average player.
Molina has developed his craft and is without question the best defensive catcher in the MLB. He has won five Gold Glove awards, two back-to-back Platinum Glove awards in 2011 and 2012 and has been first in the MLB in caught stealing percentage three out of the last four seasons.
Molina strikes fear in base runners eyes and basically shuts down all running attempts. Along with his laser arm, Molina is a brick wall behind the dish. I can’t remember the last time I ever saw a ball go through Molina’s legs. The guy is mechanically sound in every part of his defensive game and I expect a lot more gold and platinum heading his way.
Of all the great things that Molina does, being a leader has to be at the top of the list. Molina does so many great things on the field but he is always been a true pro off the field. You will never see Molina in trouble with the league for any off the field incidents and has never been linked to any PED’s.
The guy leads by example and it’s seen every day. During this past weekend, Molina was out on the field teaching the young catchers his ways. The game was at 8:15pm but Molina went out of his way and was on the field around 2:00p.m. to work with Cruz, Johnson and recently added youngster Audry Perez.
Molina was seen showing the catchers different techniques and gave great advise. It was appreciated not only by them, but head coach Mike Matheny. Matheny was quoted on the Cardinals website saying of Molina, “Anything Yadi says is gold to these guys, and it should be. Coaches will say things and, yeah, it'll carry some weight. But when Yadi takes the time to come out there, that's pretty special.”
It is clear to see that Yadier Molina has all the credentials for a MVP. His stats speak for themselves but his true professionalism and class speak even higher of the 31 year old. I am proud to say that Molina catches for my favorite team and believe he should get a MVP trophy to put alongside all those Gold and Platinum Gloves!!