I watched a recap of the All-Star Game as I had to work, and in that recap the announcer who called Robinson Cano‘s homer yelled “Sweet swingin’ Robbie Cano!” as Cano rounded the bases.
Well, earlier in the night, someone else sent a ball flying out of the park, our own Yadier Molina. And this wasn’t your typical ASG. Only 3 total runs crossed the plate. In that light, Yadi’s homer is impressive.
I know Yadi isn’t the same hitter he used to be. Sports analysts love to bring that up, calling his ASG appearance a “respect” appearance more than anything, and when you look at his stats for this season on the surface you can see why they think that.
He has a .270/.303/.411 slash line. the average is down from .307 last year but has been climbing lately. I think he’ll end up in the .280’s. The OBP is concerning, but he’s never been a high OBP guy. He’s more of a contact hitter. the .411 SLUG, while slightly down from last year, is solid, and he’s on pace to have his most homers since his 22 homer season in 2012.
So on the surface, solid, but not all star worthy.
But here’s an interesting stat for you: Yadi has hit safely in 56 out 75 games he’s played in this year. Let’s compare that to Jedd Gyorko, who is hitting .300 and leads our team with 3.4 WAR (and should’ve been at the ASG). Gyorko has a hit in 49 of the 78 games he’s appeared in.
Part of that is due to two hitting streaks of 15 games or more of Yadi. One is uncommon, but two have two in the same season is very rare.
So on a day by day basis, Yadi has contributed more consistently, and it’s not like Jedd’s blowing away Yadi in the homers department either, as he only has 4 more. Don’t get me wrong, Gyorko *has* been more valuable on offense, but if you dig deeper, you (and the analysts) might find, through his consistency, that Yadi contributed to the team on offense more than you think.
As always, thanks for reading.