Yadier Molina still elite?

This post is way later than I expected. Here it is nonetheless though! Enjoy!

Yadier Molina vs Brian McCann/Yasmani Grandal/Matt Wieters

Yadi has been one of the best backstops in the history of the game. He was recently named to his 8th all-star game, not sure it was deserving this year however. Molina has always been a very steady option at his position in fantasy baseball, but he hasn’t been flashy. He’s only reached double-digit HR’s three times in his career, but it was three straight seasons from 2011-2013. He’s only eclipsed 60 RBI five times, most recently tallying 61 RBI in 2015. One of the things that helps Yadi compared to other backstops is his batting average. You’re not going to find many catchers with a lifetime average north of .280, Yadi is a career .284 hitter. Yadi had a batting average spike of .307 last season after 2 seasons below his career average; this year he’s batting .269. Molina has seen a bit of a “power surge” as he’s already sitting at 9 HR, his career high is 22. The aura surrounding Molina may be dying down as he’s definitely on the backside of a hall of fame career, but how far has he slipped among catchers? Would you take any of the three pitted against him today over Molina going forward?

I’ve been a Brian McCann fan since his days in Atlanta. McCann himself boasts a hefty 7 all-star game selections, but none since his selection in 2013, his last year in the National League. Everyone thought his move to New York was going to bring to light the 40 HR potential, but he only managed a high of 26 HR’s in his 3-year stay in the Bronx. McCann has found himself in somewhat of a platoon this year in Houston, sharing the duties behind the plate with Evan Gattis, having played in 56 of the teams 86 games. Even with the platoon McCann is still putting up decent numbers. He’s at 10 HR and 43 RBI, which would put him on pace for 25 HR and 107 RBI if he was playing a full season behind the dish (140 games). Those numbers would be right with his career numbers, even a bit higher on the RBI total. Being in that potent lineup in Houston certainly helps boost those RBI numbers, but you can’t hold that against him! McCann is currently .255/.335/.438, which are some of his best numbers in his last 5 seasons. Call on the field: Give me McCann even in the small platoon he’s in. Him and Molina are close, but being in that Houston lineup gives McCann a leg up here.

Yasmani Grandal is a guy that feels like he’s been around forever, but he’s only got a little over 4 years of service time. Grandal can kind of get lost having spent his career entirely on the west coast. If I asked how many of you knew Grandal debuted with the Padres and spent parts of 3 seasons there how many would raise your hands? I’m thinking very few. His first year “on the map” was his last year in a Padres uniform. Grandal has reached double-digit HR’s each of the past 4 seasons, including this season already, with a career high of 27 last year. It’s not a secret Grandal has some pop in his bat, as seen by his career ISO of .209 while in LA. Unfortunately for Grandal he’s only a career .243 hitter, which is just fine for the catcher position. Call on the field: It’s another close one here, but I might have to take Grandal over Molina by a hair. Again, the lineup Grandal is in pushes him ever so slightly ahead.

Matt Wieters has always seemed to me as a guy who was much more hype than success. As far as his MLB career is concerned he’s been fine. Through 8 ½ seasons in the majors he’s put together a season average of 21 HR, 80 RBI and a .255 average. That’s absolutely nothing to scoff at, but the hype that surrounded him preceding his career might make those numbers look a little less. His first year in the majors Wieters hit .288 in 96 games. Aside from hitting .308 in 26 games in 2014 he hasn’t come close to that number since. Wieters is likely going to give you 15+ HR each year, but that’s nothing if he’s only going to net you .230-.240 at the dish. Wieters still ranks as an arguable top 10 catcher in standard fantasy formats, but working a platoon of two guys might be a better option for you. Call on the field: I’ll take the aging Yadi over Wieters. Nothing about Wieters interests me.

Here are my rankings of these 4 catcher options:

  1. Brian McCann
  2. Yasmani Grandal
  3. Yadier Molina
  4. Matt Wieters

The top 3 guys here are pretty dead even. You could throw all three names in a hat and pick one out each day to use and be about the same. I’d go even as far to say matchups would determine who I valued more on any given day!

Also, due to the All-Star game next week we will take a week off! There will be a scheduled post going out Wednesday with each of our top 10 hitters and pitchers at the halfway mark. Keep an eye out for that!


All info courtesy of ESPN.com, cbssports.com & baseball-reference.com


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