Yadier Molina has long been considered one of the single best catchers in baseball.
During his twelve full seasons as a Cardinal, he’s made seven All-Star teams, won eight Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, and two World Series rings. Beyond that and over the years, countless teammates have suggested that his value far exceeds that of which we see on the field or in the stat line.
But despite his many strengths, many fans (mostly outside of St. Louis, to be sure) raised their brows when the Cardinals decided to reward the 34-year-old Molina with a three-year/$60 million extension. Pin-pointing just how much he has “left,” it seems, is up for debate.
So far this season, Molina has been a below average hitter at the plate (.284/.329/.388). But last night, he reminded us that his talents and baseball wisdom extends well beyond swinging a bat:
How can you not love that?!
Molina catches Eugenio Suarez napping off third base and bails his pitcher out of a bases loaded jam (with just a two run lead) in the sixth. According to FanGraphs win probability charts, that pickoff took the Cardinals chances of winning from about 74% all the way up to 85%. That’s the sort of catcher you want on your team.
Here’s that play again:
And here’s what it did to Suarez’s face:
Yeah, we know, man. Yadi.