Yadier Molina, Catcher, St. Louis Cardinals, #4
Date of Birth: 7/13/1982
Birthplace: Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Current Salary: $14,200,000
Yadier Molina, catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, is the younger brother of catcher Jose Molina of the Tampa Bay Rays and former catcher Bengie Molina. The youngest Molina, who has been with the Cardinals since 2004, may well be the most talented of the three, particularly in his fielding abilities. Since 2008, Molina has won seven consecutive Gold Glove awards (2008-2014). In 2014, he caught players trying to steal an amazing 47.7% of the time and he had a .998 fielding percentage.
Molina started as a backup catcher for the Cardinals in 2004, playing in just 51 games that season. The following year, he became the team's starting catcher. Molina's best season as a batter was 2013, when he batted .319, with 161 hits, 44 doubles, and 80 RBIs in 136 games. He won his first Silver Slugger award in 2013.
Molina finished the 2014 season with 114 hits, 21 doubles, and a .282 batting average in 110 games. In the postseason, he had 5 hits in 21 at-bats in 6 games.
In 2015, Molina batted .270 with 132 hits, 23 doubles, and 61 RBIs in 136 games. He again had an excellent year defensively, winning his eighth consecutive Gold Glove. He also won his fourth Rawlings Platinum Glove as the best defensive player in the National League. In 134 games as catcher, he made 56 assists, 1,064 putouts, and 7 errors. He caught players trying to steal 41.3% of the time and he had a .994 fielding percentage.
Molina had a strong offensive record in 2016, batting .307, with a career high 164 hits, 38 doubles, and 58 RBIs in 147 games. Defensively, as the Cardinals' catcher in 146 games, he made 60 assists, 1,113 putouts, and just 2 errors for a .998 fielding percentage. He caught players trying to steal only 21.2% of the time, a career low for him.
Career batting statistics for Molina through 2016 include:
- 1,611 games played
- 1,593 hits
- 308 doubles
- 108 home runs
- 703 RBIs
- 584 strikeouts to 427 walks
- .285 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Molina as a catcher through 2016 include:
- 1,582 games played
- 845 assists
- 1,0470 putouts
- 62 errors
- .417 caught stealing percentage
- .995 fielding percentage
Molina established Foundation 4 to aid childhood cancer victims in Puerto Rico.
Molina married his wife Wanda in 2007. They have one son and one daughter.