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VEB 2018 Community Projections: Yadier Molina

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How do you think the St. Louis backstop will fare in 2018?

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the Viva El Birdos 2018 Community Projections series continues with catcher Yadier Molina.

Molina agreed to four-year deal with the Cardinals just ahead of the 2017 season, a deal that will carry him through his age-37 season. Ahead of the start of his 2018 campaign, the 35-year-old Molina announced in January that his final year of playing Major League Baseball will be in 2020.

In 2017, Molina played in 136 games, garnering 543 plate appearances. Maintaining a line of .273/.312/.439, Molina hit 27 doubles, a triple, and 18 home runs - helping to equate to a .316 wOBA. Molina’s walk rate decreased and strikeout rate increased in 2017; he dropped from 6.7 to 5.2 percent in the base-on-balls department and whiffed nearly three percent more often - a 13.6 percent strikeout rate, up from 10.8 in 2016.

Nonetheless, Molina’s 82 runs batted in were a career high and his .439 slugging percentage and total of 18 long balls were his best marks since 2012. And after missing out on the event in 2016, Molina was named a National League All-Star for the eighth time in his career last season.

For his performance in 2017, Molina was rated as the eighth-best catcher in baseball right now by MLB Network.

Six Cardinals ranked in MLB Network’s ‘Top 10 Right Now’ Series

It is now your turn to share how you feel Molina will fare at the plate this season. Fill out the required fields in the form below, submit it, and check back regularly over the next few weeks to make your projections for other Cardinals!

The video of Molina is credited to the official Major League Baseball YouTube channel.