Baseball

What To Expect Out Of Yadier Molina In 2022?

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Yadier Molina is in the twilight of his storied career. The 10-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glover, and two-time World Series Champion announced after his contract extension back in August that 2022 would be his final season in the big leagues. Despite his age, Molina continues to defy time and the odds, further cementing his place as a first ballot Hall of Famer. He’s still able to compete at the highest level and be and come through in the clutch. Here is what to expect out of Yadier Molina in 2022?

Molina’s Accomplishments

“Yadi”, as he’s become affectionally known, made his debut in 2004 as a backup to Mike Matheny on a team that won 105 games. After Matheny’s departure in 2005, Molina took over the full-time catching duties. Though his hitting needed some work, he was already a great defensive catcher, and early on, he proved why trying to steal a base on him is futile.

It was in 2006 when Molina really began to shine. His defining moment of that season came in Game 7 of the NLCS against the Mets. With the game tied at one and a runner on base, Molina sent a deep drive over the left field wall at Shea Stadium that put the Cardinals ahead 3-1. St. Louis would stay there when he and Adam Wainwright worked together to strike out postseason nemesis Carlos Beltran and send the Birds to the World Series. They would go on to defeat the Tigers and Wainwright and Molina would be at the center of the celebration.

From then on, Molina took off. His hitting improved drastically. The power numbers started to climb, and he even went on an eight-year run where he would win a Gold Glove in the National League, while also sandwiching in another World Series title in 2011.

As Molina aged, injuries began to take their toll, and the Cardinals fell on hard times. But that didn’t stop the future Hall of Famer from fighting through the pain. He was still a leader in the Cards clubhouse. He continued to be selected to the NL All-Star team, he won another Gold Glove, and he helped the Cardinals rise from a team hovering around .500 to the clear contender they once were.

What to Expect

Molina may be turning 40 next July, but he, like Wainwright, has proven that age is simply a number. He has defied the odds time and again, showing that he still has what it takes. He still is able to hit for a decent average, get on base, and show off his arm when runners attempt to steal a base.

Molina hit .252 with 11 home runs and 66 RBIs in 2021, which is pretty solid for a catcher his age. If he can keep doing what he’s been doing, while continuing to be a strong veteran presence in the Cards’ clubhouse, then we know what to expect out of Yadier Molina in 2022.

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