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The Carthage Press
by Mike Thomas
Close Race Between Posey and Molina for All Star Catcher
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Buster Posey and Yadier Molina have clearly been the best catchers in baseball over the last few seasons. Both catchers have won two championships and are leaders on their teams. Posey won the MVP last season and Molina could win one this year. Posey has a slight lead in the All Star voting despite Yadi having a superior season this year. Both deserve to make the All Star team and will certainly be in New York for the All Star Game next month. Giants fans have made a great effort to put Posey ahead of the voting, but maybe Yadi will have a voting surge to put him over the top.

Last season, Giants fans stuffed the ballot box to put in Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and Melky Cabrera as starters. Matt Cain was the starting pitcher, giving them 4 starters. While there was some controversy about it, all four played a role in the National League's victory last July. The Giants also won the World Series last fall. Sandoval is again leading the vote at third base over David Wright, something as controversial as Posey leading Molina. Wright is having a better season and Sandoval has missed time due to injury. However, it is understandable that a defending World Champion would be popular and it's players are doing well in All Star voting.

This post isn't about degrading Posey's skills or talent. He is a great player, 2-time champion, batting champion, Rookie of the Year, and a MVP. He's done all of that in only 3 and a half seasons in the big leagues. He's a solid defender and calls a good game. Still, Posey's defensive capabilities pale to Molina, who is the best in the game defensively. Molina has won 5 straight Gold Gloves and the Platinum Glove last year as the best defensive player in the National League. Offensively, Molina is having the better year as well. Here's a quick comparison below.

               AVG   OBP   SLG    R      H     2B    HR   RBI

Posey      .311    .385    .494    30    78    20      8      42

Molina     .358    .403    .509    33    95    25      5      41

Last season, Posey had the better offensive season, but it was close. Posey won the batting title and hit 24 home runs and had 103 RBI's. Molina had his best offensive season last year, hitting a career high 22 home runs and batting .315. Posey is considered to have more power, but Yadi has the better slugging pct. this year despite 3 less home runs. Molina is also leading the National League with a .358 batting average. There was a better case for Posey last year, when he won the MVP. It is clear that Molina is having the better season to date, and it's difficult to understand why he is second in voting to Posey.

Molina could challenge for the MVP himself this season. He may not be able to match the 22 home runs from last season, but he is only 3 doubles away from matching last season's total. Molina leads the National League with 25 doubles coming into today's game. Yadi has started an incredible 69 out of 75 games this season. He is the most durable catcher in the game, but the Cardinals might want to rest him more in the second half. It's hard to set down a guy like Molina when he is such a force behind the plate and at the plate. He is also done a great job with the pitching staff, which has used 10 rookie pitchers this season. Molina will certainly make his 5th All Star team, but it should be as a starter this year.







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