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Monday, August 26, 2013

Should the Cardinal’s Yadier Molina Be Considered for National League MVP?

Yadier Molina went on the 15-day disabled list at the beginning of the month with a right knee sprain. He returned on August 15 and has shown no ill effects from his stay on the DLMolina has started in nine of 11 games and is 15 for 39 since returning. Heis batting .366 in his last ten games and .335 overall, to lead the NL in batting average. The Brave’s Chris Johnson is four points behind. He has ten home runs and 60 RBIs. An argument can certainly be made for Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is batting .298 with 31 homers and 101 RBIs. Or perhaps Freddie Freeman with his .313 BA, 16 HRs and 85 RBIs.

But the fact is, not only is Molina leading in average, he is leading his team to wins. The Cardinals went 6-7 while Molina was on the DL. They relinquished their lead in the NL Central to the Pittsburgh Pirates just before he went on the DL and are just now recovering. Molina is tops in baseball when it comes to leading a pitching staff and is one of the best defensive catchers in the game. He has only three errors this year and a .996 fielding percentage. He is well on his way to his sixth consecutive Gold Glove.
So now the question is: should Molina be considered for MVP? Conventional wisdom says ‘yes’. But the voters are clearly in love with home runs and RBIs. Goldschmidt has nearly double the number of power stats that Molina has and will probably get more consideration based on that. But no one can discredit the positive effects that Molina has on his pitching staff and his team overall. If the season ended right now, he should be the evident choice.

Chad Bunch

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