The 2017 World Baseball Classic was the most fun I’ve had watching Yadier Molina. The passion and excitement he played with throughout the tournament was unreal. There were so many great moments for Yadi I decided to give you my top three moments of the 2017 tournament.
Number three: Blonde Yadi takes Venezuela deep
Yadi’s debut in the tournament was definitely one to remember. First, we got out first glimpse of what Yadier Molina looks like as a blonde. Personally, I was a huge fan of it. It also started a national phenomenon in Puerto Rico for anyone to get blonde hair as well.
Yadi’s debut also included a two-run home run in their route of Venezuela,11-0.
Number two: Yadi comes up big against the Dominican Republic
When Puerto Rico found themselves against the Dominican Republic in the second round of the tournament, flashbacks to the 2013 final weighed heavily on the minds of the Puerto Rican players. The Dominicans defeated Puerto Rico in the championship game in 2013, but Yadier Molina was set on not letting that happen again.
Of course, what’s revenge if you don’t go up against one of your best friends who just happens to play on the St. Louis Cardinals as well?
With a huge grin on his face, Yadi stepped up to the plate to face his good friend, Carlos Martinez. The two have never faced each other in a competitive game. With two on and two outs, this happened:
My favorite part of that video is Molina’s reaction as he laughs at Carlos Martinez’s reaction to his base hit. It’s pure gold.
Molina’s next big moment came in the bottom of the sixth with Puerto Rico leading 2-1. In typical Yadier Molina fashion, he took the first pitch he saw and did this:
As much as we get on Yadier Molina for swinging at the first pitch, when he times it right, good things like this happen.
*The last thing that capped off the night for Yadier Molina and Team Puerto Rico was the caught stealing of Nelson Cruz in the eighth. The video just speaks for itself:*
Trying to steal, Nelson? Yadier mind. The throw was perfect, and the tag by Javier Baez was about as wild a play as you’ll see.
Number one: Yadi picks off Profar
Yadier Molina and pickoffs are synonymous in St. Louis, but that didn’t stop Yadier Molina from pulling off an insane pickoff on the Netherlands’ Jurickson Profar in the semifinals of the 2017 WBC. With a guy on second, Jurickson Profar laced a single into right field. Eddie Rosario’s throw came home, and then this happened:
Normally we see Yadi pick someone off first or third when a pitch is made, but after a base hit? I think what made this my favorite moment form the WBC was Profar’s face after he realized what happened.
Molina has been responsible for many of those faces.