Yadier Molina is leading a weak crop of catchers in the National League All-Star race. What came as a surprise to me was that big brother Bengie Molina was fifth. This begs the question: Is Yadier really better than Bengie?
Here are the brothers' stats from this year:
Bengie: .259 avg/10 HR/39 RBI/.720 OPS
Yadier: .264 avg/4 HR/19 RBI/.709 OPS
Here are the brothers' 162-game averages:
Bengie: .276 avg/18 HR/88 RBI/.725 OPS
Yadier: .263 avg/9 HR/63 RBI/.679 OPS
Yadier has played in half the amount of games as Bengie. He will likely improve his numbers, but as of now, Bengie is the better offensive player. Both catchers also have a World Series ring—Yadier with the Cardinals in 2006 and Bengie with the Angels in 2002.
The defense is where the great debate begins. Bengie won two Gold Gloves, in 2002 and 2003 with the Angels. Yadier has won one Gold Glove, in 2008 with the Cardinals. However, Yadier will likely win a bunch more due to his great defensive prowess and a weak NL crop of catchers. Here's some defensive stats:
Both catchers call a great game. Yadier's career cERA is 4.09, while Bengie's is 4.07. This year, both catchers catch for two of the premier staffs in baseball. Bengie's 2009 cERA is 3.82 while Yadier's is 4.00.
Again, neither gets the edge here. Yadier has only committed one error in 2009 as compared to Bengie's two. However, career-wise, Bengie has a better average. Per every 162 games, Bengie averages 8.78 errors while Yadier averages 9.35 errors.
The edge goes to Yadier here. Both catchers have allowed two past balls in 2009. Over their respective careers, Bengie has averaged 14.71 past balls while Yadier has averaged 10.28 past balls.
The edge goes to Yadier, by a lot. Bengie has only a 32 percent caught stealing rate during his career. Yadier has a much better 47.5 percent caught stealing rate in his career.
Yadier has the slight edge on defense overall. Bengie has the edge offensively. So is Yadier overrated? It's too soon to tell, but I am positive that if Yadier is as good as people say he is. If he is then Bengie is definitely underrated.