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 2020 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 2020 season (majors only) separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.
156 PA - .262/.303/.359/.662
2 doubles, 0 triples, 4 homers
12 runs, 16 RBI, 0 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.
523 PA - .290/.340/.436/.775
23 doubles, 0 triples, 16 homers
55 runs, 74 RBI, 5 SB, 1 CS
Molina hasn't had 523 plate appearances in a regular season since the 2017 season. I REALLY don't think that he can stay healthy enough to do that - but Yadi's proved me wrong in the past about plenty of things. This would easily be his best season since 2016. I just don't see it happening.
432 PA - .237/.283/.357/.639
16 doubles, 0 triples, 11 homers
37 runs, 50 RBI, 4 SB, 1 CS
Unfortunately, this is the way his trend is looking the last several years. I really hope that it doesn't come to this and that if it does, they turn to another catcher more often.
(my system projection)
475 PA - .263/.312/.396/.709
19 doubles, 0 triples, 13 homers
46 runs, 61 RBI, 4 SB, 1 CS
Molina hasn't had 475 plate appearances in a regular season since the 2018 season. I don't know that he can stay healthy enough to do that, but I'd think there's a chance. The slash line looks eerily reminiscent of his actual 2019 season.
If I had to pick one of the three for what I believe personally that Yadier Molina will do statistically in 2021, I'm going with "The Cerutti."
Link back to all of my projections (this will not be updated until approximately Friday, March 5th).