|DOB:||07 13 82|
Became a Cardinal
Selected in the fourth round (113th overall) of the June, 2000 First-Year Player Draft. Received a $325,000 signing bonus. Retired in October 2022.
Led the team in batting at .305, eighth in the NL. First among NL catchers in average and hits (145), second in doubles (32) and third in RBI (65). His 14 home runs were a personal best. Set a Cardinals World Series record with nine RBI.
Played in 136 games, batting .262 with six home runs and a career-best 62 RBI. His 122 hits ranked 2nd among NL catchers. Led all MLB catchers in innings played (1138.0), games started (130) and assists (79). Led all NL catchers with 465 at bats and eight stolen bases.
Led all MLB catchers throwing out 44.4% (28 CS-63 ATT) base stealers, his fourth NL title in that category in seven ML seasons. Ranked 4th in the NL in hardest to fan (10.2 SO/AB) striking out just 51 times in 465 AB.
Led the majors in games started by a catcher (136), the most by a Cardinals catcher since 1977 (Ted Simmons, 139). Also led the majors with eight pickoffs, increasing his career total to 34. Swiped nine bases, tying the Cardinals single season record for a catcher.
Molina set a career highs in at-bats (444), hits (135), RBIs (56) and runs scored (37). He finished the season, hitting .304/.349/392, new career highs in each category.
The season took its toll on Molina’s body, he missed almost the whole month of June because of a fractured left wrist, suffered a concussion in September, before he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Molina improved to .275/.340/.368 in 2007.
Molina struggled at the plate during the regular season, hitting just .216 with six home runs in 129 games. He caught 41% of would-be-base stealers, and picked off seven runners.
Molina was one of the Cardinals best hitters in the post-season. In 16 games, he hit .358/.424/.547 with two home runs and eight RBI, including a dramatic game-winning home run in the top of the ninth inning in game seven of the NLCS.
Molina threw out 50% of would-be-base stealers in 51 games and hit .267 in 2004. In 2005, he absolutely shut down the opponents’ running game, throwing out 17 of 31 (55%) runners attempting to steal.
Molina’s two older brothers, Bengie and José, have also been major league catchers.
National League Player of the Week – August 26-September 1, 2019.
Darryl Kile Award: 2015
National League All-Star: 2009-15, 2017, 2018, 2021 (did not participate)
National League Gold Glove Award: 2008-15, 2018
National League Platinum Glove Award: 2011-12, 2014-15
National League Silver Slugger Award (catcher): 2013
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals Player of the Year: 2012, 2013
Fielding Bible Award winner: 2012, 2013 plus four prior years
Wilson Cardinals Defensive Player of the Year: 2012, 2013