Yadier Molina excels with both the glove and the bat.With Baseball Tonight at St. Louis Cardinals spring training camp on Monday, here’s a look at notable “Stats to Know” about a team that always seems to find itself in the mix for the National League pennant.
Best of the NL
The Cardinals have had a winning record in all but one season since 2000.
Best Win Percentage Since 2000
Their 1,177 wins and .559 winning percentage rank second in the majors over that span, trailing only the Yankees in each category.
The Cardinals have also made the playoffs nine times in the last 13 seasons, second-most of any team.
No Pujols, no problem
The Cardinals barely missed a beat with the loss of Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Their first basemen finished with a combined .293/.348/.485 slashline and .832 OPS that ranked fourth-best in the NL.
Allen Craig fared the best of them, hitting .304/.349/.513 with 16 home runs in 390 plate appearances at first base.
Craig excelled throughout 2012 wherever he played. His .400 batting average with runners in scoring position was the best in the majors.
Molina on a roll
Catcher Yadier Molina is coming off of what was by far the best season of his career. He posted career highs in all three slashline stats and had his highest home run (22), RBI (76) and stolen base (12) totals. Molina also finished with 16 Defensive Runs Saved, the second-best total he’s amassed in a season.
Most Wins Above Replacement
Catchers in Last 10 Seasons
In all, Molina's 6.7 WAR was the highest by a catcher in Cardinals single-season history. Only Joe Mauer in 2009 and Buster Posey in 2012 have had a higher single-season WAR by a catcher for any team over the last 10 seasons (see chart).
Potential issue: starting pitching
Pitcher to watch: Trevor Rosenthal
Trevor Rosenthal lit up the radar gun with his late-season stint. Rosenthal had a 2.78 ERA in 22⅔ big-league innings in the regular season, then pitched 8⅔ innings with 15 strikeouts and no runs allowed in the playoffs.
Rosenthal hit 100 miles-per-hour on the radar gun 12 times in the regular season and then 19 more times in the playoffs. Despite not debuting until July, the 31 pitches of that speed were eighth-most in the majors last year.