2020 Projection Series - Yadier Molina


Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.


Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of Yadier Molina's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.

The 2019 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2019 season separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.


2019

452 PA - .270/.312/.399/.711

24 doubles, 0 triples, 10 homers

45 runs, 57 RBI, 6 SB, 0 CS


This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right)" projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.

THE GOOD

(best case)

468 PA - .292/.342/.455/.797

24 doubles, 0 triples, 15 homers

53 runs, 71 RBI, 6 SB, 2 CS


How could this happen? Well, that’s a slightly tamed down version of what Yadier Molina averaged from 2011-2013. If the Cardinals take my advice and play Andrew Knizner in two scheduled games per week; this could save Yadi’s legs a bit and give him that extra oomph. However, as I said, these numbers are now 6 years past and this is not likely.


THE BAD

(worst case)

386 PA - .239/.285/.351/.636

14 doubles, 0 triples, 9 homers

36 runs, 48 RBI, 4 SB, 1 CS


How could this happen? Yadi is in his age 37 season. That’s how. And truthfully, that’s not too far a departure from what he hit in 2015 - which was his age 32 season - OR what he hit in his age 21-23 seasons in 2004-2006. This is not likely, but it’s certainly a possibility.


THE CERUTTI

(my system projection)

425 PA - .265/.314/.414/.728

20 doubles, 0 triples, 13 homers

44 runs, 59 RBI, 5 SB, 2 CS

Every year, I keep saying that Father Time never loses. Well, Yadier Molina is (at the time of this writing) at the end of his contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. He keeps defying Father Time to an extent. Molina claims he wants to play another couple of years beyond this one as well, his age 37 season. I am not going to be the one to tell him he can’t. Neither are the Cardinals, I believe. What I do want to see the Cardinals do is begin to tell him how often he’ll be playing. Manage his load a bit so that Father Time doesn’t have to. Injuries have been the ones managing Yadi’s load the last few years. Take a look at his number of games played and plate appearances from 2016-2019:


2016 (age 33): 147 games, 581 PA

2017 (age 34): 136 games, 543 PA

2018 (age 35): 123 games, 503 PA

2019 (age 36): 113 games, 452 PA


My projections notice that, obviously. I personally feel like THE CERUTTI projection is going to be fairly close to Yadi’s actual line. I feel like THE BAD is a lot more likely to happen than THE GOOD, however.


Link back to all of my projections (and the primer at the top).