“Bring me your finest meats and cheeses!”
Bengie Molina totally went Fernadno Tatis, minus the double grandslams, against the Mets last night as the Giants rolled to a 9-4 victory. I was skeptical when the Giants signed Molina to a 3 year deal but so far he’s been one of the better hitters on the team. With last nights explosion Molina has moved behind Bonds as the second best hitter on the team according to EQA. Barry is posting a (.417) EQA and Molina is posting a (.299) EQA. For those unfamiliar with EQA check out this link. It’s a statistic that measures the total offensive value per out. It works like a batting average, .260 is league average.
Comparing to other catchers Molina finds himself in good company. Ranking again by EQA, Molina is the 6th best catcher in all of baseball. Only Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, Russ Martin, Victor Martinez, and John Buck rank ahead of Bengie. Ranking by VORP, Bengie places as the 4th best catcher in baseball. The VORP data was last updated on May 7th and I don’t know if it includes this last 2-HR game, if not, you might see his value bumped up a little bit.
At current time, Molina is hitting (.333/.365/.515). Do I think Molina can keep up this pace all year? I don’t think he can but that doesn’t take anything away from his great start. PECOTA has Molina projected at (.275/.320/.438) at this point it’s not hard to see Molina maybe exceeding expectations some and hitting his 60% or 75% percentile. Catchers at age 32 usually don’t have career years and that’s what Molina is on pace for.
Looking at Molina’s career splits by month May has tended to be his best month with the bat, hitting (.327/.349/.440). He drops off a little in July and bounces back a tad in the last months. It’s not hard to imagine that fatigue could play a factor for his July production. Molina has started the bulk of playing time at catcher this year, starting 27 out of 31 games. Bochy should try to keep him fresh as best he can.
Bold Prediction: As long as he can keep hitting 2 homeruns per game, I think he’ll be fine.