Back in 2014 I was watching the Cardinals take on the Dodgers. MLB Network was televising the game, so the broadcast went into a little bit more coverage on certain stars that maybe fans of other teams watching the nationally televised game might find interesting. Of course that meant they discussed Yadier Molina and his prowess behind the plate; you cannot talk about the Cardinals, especially back in 2014 at the height of Yadi’s career, without mentioning Yadier Molina. Along with that discussion they posted a graphic. This graphic had me so amazed I immediately screen-grabbed it and posted it on Twitter. I cannot find that tweet, but I did still have the photo.
It has been over six years since I saw that graphic and I think about it often. Seems like now, after Yadier Molina took a rookie to school in a Spring Training game, it might be time to revisit it.
I went to Fangraphs and basically recreated that graphic. I searched team catching stats since 2005, added up stolen bases and caught stealing, and then sorted by number of attempts. Here are the updated results:
Not much has changed.
If you have been around awhile, you know I had to make a graph next. I took the total attempted steals each year for all teams and plotted them on a line graph in order to show just how far below the pack the Cardinals (and Molina) are in steals attempted against them. It is pretty telling like this:
Lastly, I looked at qualified catchers since 2005. Molina is the longest active catcher which put him at a disadvantage in the counting stats, so I added a column of steal attempts per game (Attempts/G) to help account for that. Here are the stealing stats for qualified catchers since 2005, courtesy of Fangraphs:
In the video above, not only did Molina call out the runner and dare him to try to steal, but he called for his pitcher to throw a changup at the batter’s ankles and then he threw him out by three feet. Even after 17 years in the league Yadier Molina is still the king when it comes to throwing out would-be base-stealers. Thou shalt not steal against Yadi.
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