Exit Interview: Yadier Molina

Last year, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season.  This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2013 offseason.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.  Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.

This year’s Exit Interview series is brought to you by Bonfyre.  A large number of the United Cardinal Bloggers used Bonfyre all season long and found it a great way to interact and discuss things in a limited audience.  No need to worry about some pseudo-fan crashing your Facebook conversation or trying to explain fine points in 140 characters on Twitter. Invite who you want to the group and get to talking.  Share pictures as well–Bonfyre is a great way to document parties or other events, especially for folks that can’t be there.  Sign up today and give it a try.

Player: Yadier Molina

Season stats: 136 games, 541 PA, 68 R, 44 2B, 12 HR, 80 RBI, 30 BB, 55 K, .319/.359/.477

Hero/Goat: Hero 13, Goat 5

Overall grade: A

Positives: It’s tough to list all the positives that Molina brought to this season, even in the unlimited length of a blog post.  His offense continued to be at the top of the charts, his defense didn’t suffer much if at all, and his veteran leadership of a rookie pitching staff was beyond measure.  It’s telling that without Molina in the lineup the Cards went 12-14.  Sure, there are a ton of other factors that go into that sort of record, but it’s a symbol of just how this team goes without that man behind the plate.

Negatives: Well, he didn’t hit as many home runs as he did in 2012, though everyone on the team seemed to have a power outage.  He didn’t win the NL MVP, so there were some flaws in his game no matter how small.  He “only” had an OPS of .703 in the postseason and didn’t homer in the World Series.  There are nits, but you have to really look to be able to pick them.

Outlook: The Cardinals did a wonderful job when they locked him up before the 2012 season, as he well might have doubled his salary on the open market.  There seems little reason to think Yadi won’t be a dominant force again next year, crouching behind the plate to receive an Adam Wainwright fastball to start the season and continuing onward from there.

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