After an unexpected Wild Card exit for the Cardinals, the baseball world has to say goodbye to two legends of the game.
And while Albert Pujols’ chase for 700 homers gave him the National Spotlight, it’s time we give Yadier Molina the recognition he deserves, especially when you use Stat Inflation to give perspective to his numbers.
After an unexpected Wild Card exit for the Cardinals, the baseball world has to say goodbye to one of the game’s best backstops.
But how does Yadier Molina’s career compare to the other catchers in MLB history? Let’s start by looking at his best attribute: controlling the running game.
After 19 seasons in the show, Molina caught 2,184 career games, which is the 4th-most all-time. In those games, he only allowed 565 stolen bases on a caught stealing percentage of 40.27%, second to just Pudge Rodriguez.
Compared to those who have also caught north of 2,000 games, Molina has allowed the least number of stolen bases, with Rodriguez allowing over 200 more in second place.
But, how much of this comes down to Molina playing in a league with less stolen base attempts? For this, we’ll balance the league averages and number of games played to see who would allow the least stolen bags.
|Player||Stolen Bases (Pre INF)||Stolen Bases (Post INF)|
Even after 21.6% inflation of stolen base attempts, Molina still has the lowest number of the group at 700 while also being on pace to throw out 472 runners.
But alongside Molina’s all-time abilities to limit stolen bases, hitting against a Molina-called game it’s difficult enough to get on base.
Over Molina’s 2,184 career games behind the dish, he has roughly a 3.80 catcher ERA, with some of the outliers taken out.
But, this has come over a career with higher offensive production, especially when considered against the league average of the other cather’s in his career comparisons.
So, this is how Molina’s career catching ERA would fair in a balanced era, and if he played in other timespans.
|Molina||Catcher ERA (Pre INF)||Catcher ERA (Post INF)|
|’91 – ’11||3.80||3.83|
|’69 – ’93||3.80||3.23|
|’74 – ’92||3.80||3.26|
|’72 – ’90||3.80||3.21|
Everyone knows the remarkable run that Molina has had with his career battery-mate Adam Wainwright, which makes up a large portion of his impressive numbers calling a game. But outside of this future Hall of Famer, the group includes Chris Carpenter (including his Cy Young), the earlier years of Lance Lynn and Carlos Martinez as the only players to produce double-digit WAR over their times with Moina.
Simply put, Molina did not have several premiere arms helping his career numbers.