Projecting Yadier Molina In 2014

Yadi Molina is entering his 11th season in MLB and as a Cardinal. During his career, he has played in over 4600 innings, the vast majority of which has seen him control the game from behind the plate. Born in 1982, Yadier still has some good years before he starts the ol' mid 30's decline. What can we expect him to do in 2014? There are numerous statistical projection systems that we can use to logically ascertain a somewhat concrete expectation.

One projection system oddly only predicts 109 games for Yadi. Steamer explains how they come about their ideas over here (opens in new window). Beyond that, though, there is not a whole lot of deviance from the system's slightly different predictions. Fans being the exception, which is more optimistic and not exactly the same type of system as the others (a sabermetrically inclined fans' average prediction based on votes). I am tempted to leave out this system, but I also like having a more human element that may spot things like career trends better than formulas, etc.

The other two systems used are perhaps the more accurate ones. ZiPS is the most accurate, while Oliver is also widely used system. Averaging these 4 systems together we can come to the conclusion Yadi will have something around a 119 wRC+ season at the plate, well above average and near very good or even elite for a catcher. And the expected 12 to 13 home runs would be quite nice as well. The projections systems all agree with the idea that Yadi should get more off time this season, averaging out at about 131 games. Yadi would not like that but it seems legit.

Power-wise, a .139 ISO is expected. Projections think he'll hover just under .300 batting average, but I think that's pretty low. More importantly, if he's around the .346 on-base percentage, he's a valuable hitter. But what about the big picture? Including defense, his expected average total WAR is 4.7 wins above replacement level. I'll bet he gets to 5.