April 14, 2017

Is Yadier Molina of the #STLCards legitimate #HOF material?

Yadier Molina
Now that the Cardinals' long-term catcher Yadier Molina, known baseball-wide for his defense, pitch framing and pitcher handling, has signed a new three-year contract with the team, per Great Red Satan, with more details from the hometown paper of record, that will keep him in a Birds uniform most the rest of his career, that's a legit question.

And, contra Adam Wainwright, but in agreement with this blogger, I think that Molina is not a likely Hall of Famer.

Right now, he's at 33 WAR and change. An absolute minimum of 50 WAR, with the exception of the injury-shortened career of Roy Campanella, is what you need.

In other framing, Ted Simmons, the last catcher really beloved in St. Louis, had 50.1 WAR and he's still on the outside of Cooperstown peeking in. (I think he should be on the inside, but I cite him as a benchmark.)

Heck, to be honest, and speaking of injury-shortened careers, I don't expect Yadi to catch the 46.9 WAR of Thurman Munson. And, arguably, he, like Ted, should be in Cooperstown. Do you really expect Yadi to get 13.5 WAR over the next four years, or even the next five if somebody gives him a one-year deal at age 38? I don't.

Among today's catchers, Buster Posey is definitely the most viable HOFer. After him, and sorry, Cards fans, but I put Russell Martin No. 2, though I think he will also fall short.

(While you're here, Cards fans, feel free to hit me up on the two polls at right for your guess on regular season and postseason finish.)

And Yadi is nowhere near the likes of Johnny BenchIvan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, Gary Carter, or Carlton Fisk, among HOFer maskmen of the relatively recent past.

Buster Olney at Red Satan makes a pitch for Yadi in Cooperstown based on the old "what's not in the stats sheets." Couldn't similar claims be made for others? Actually, beyond his actual stats, such claims were indeed made for Yogi Berra and Yankee pitching success. (That said, Yogi had 60 WAR beyond such claims.) Beyond that, Buster, like most the baseball folks at Red Satan, is a "Big Hall" guy.

Throwing out Campy, and guys who clearly shouldn't be there, like Rick Ferrell and Ray Schalk, the only catcher below 45 WAR is Roger Bresnahan, who semi-clearly shouldn't be there. Ditto for Ernie Lombardi. To rephrase, if Ted or Thurman aren't the bottom-line cutoff, Buck Ewing is. And, looking ahead, especially if Olney is trying to set up a Yankee bank shot, Jorge Posada is also .... not a  HOFer.

I'm a Cards' fan, but I'm also a realist and s small Hall guy. Yadi's not a HOFer, Buster.

And, no, Yadi Molina, while we're at it, Waino's not a HOFer either. Phat Albert is the only Cardinal of the last decade-plus who definitely is one. And, yes, I liked me some Jim Edmonds, but he wasn't a HOFer either, and I think the BBWAA got him right. Scott Rolen, starting this year, will be interesting; he's a borderline yes in my book.

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