St Louis Cardinals: 5 Ways That Yadier Molina Can Win MVP in 2014
5 Ways Yadier Molina Can Win MVP in 2014
There’s no question that St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is one of the best, or maybe the best, at his position. What is interesting about Molina is how much he truly helps his team in ways that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Now that veteran David Freese has been traded to the Los Angeles Angels, Molina’s leadership will be even more important. Molina is by far one of the most valuable players on any team, but can that kind of player win the MVP in today’s baseball?
The Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera won the MVP in the American League, and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen won in the National League in 2013. Cabrera fits the mold for the usual power hitter MVP, but he was a no-brainer because of how consistently dominant he was, nearly snagging a second Triple Crown in a row. The Angels’ Mike Trout has come close to an MVP the last two years, and likely would have won if it wasn’t for Cabrera. Trout fits the mold for MVP in the same way that McCutchen fits -- they both hit well and are consistently two of the best at their position.
For a player like Molina, his game is not as in your face dominant as the others who have won, but it’s not as far-fetched as some might think. The Tigers’ Justin Verlander won both for having an outstanding statistical season, and I believe for a few of the intangibles he brought to the table. In order for Molina to win the MVP, there are several things he needs to do to make that happen.
5. Enhance the Pitching Staff
Molina makes any pitching staff better, but for him to be considered an MVP, his best qualities need to stick out. The Cardinals’ pitching staff needs to be one of the best in the league for Molina to get MVP.
4. Batting Average and On Base Percentage
MVP voters need to be wowed by Molina’s batting average and on base percentage. In 2013, Molina hit for a .319 average and his on base percentage was .359; those numbers are very good. His batting average was top 10 in the league, but his on base percentage put him at 32nd in the league. That’s still good, but his on base percentage needs to jump out.
3. Power and RBI’s
Molina had 12 homers and 80 RBI’s in 2013. Hitting 12 homers is not going to cut it, but if that bumped up to 20 or more, then you got something. With 80 RBI’s, he was tied for 43rd in the league. That’s a good number, but that needs to jump over 100. Basically, Molina’s power numbers need to get him in the top 25. In true valuable player status, this shouldn’t be as critical, but today, if you’re not a pitcher, you need to hit for power and produce runs to be considered.
2. Stay Healthy
Molina is a catcher, and not a super young one at that. Catchers get tired and get hurt, and that can cause hitting numbers to dip. He needs to stay healthy for most of, if not the whole season, to be an MVP candidate.
1. Keep Winning
MVP players need to be on winning teams. McCutchen proved that in 2013. He’s always been an MVP caliber player, but as soon as the Pirates became a winning team, McCutchen got the MVP. The Cardinals are always in the mix, but going deep into the playoffs might be the icing on the cake for Molina’s MVP chances.