Buster Posey always will be connected to the Molina family.
When he took over for Bengie Molina as the Giants' everyday catcher in 2010, Molina was coming off a 20-homer season for San Francisco the year prior. But Posey was one of the most talented catching prospects in ages, so the Giants traded Molina to the Texas Rangers on July 1. To keep the Posey-Molina connection alive, the Giants and Rangers squared off in the World Series that season, with the Giants winning in five games.
Posey, then only 23 years old, hit .300 with one home run in the 2010 World Series. Molina hit .182, and Posey then outplayed Bengie's younger brother, Yadier, throughout the last decade.
Yadier has been a star in his own right, constantly sharing All-Star Game appearances with Posey on the NL roster. How does he want to be remembered? Just like most every other athlete: As the greatest at his respective position.
Yadier Molina, unfiltered, with @MarlyRiveraESPN: https://t.co/ewJoc7QTm2 pic.twitter.com/y6blDcbPu9— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 14, 2020
Posey, unfortunately for Molina, has something to say about that. For as impressive as Molina's resume is, Posey has been the better catcher, even with Molina having six more seasons than Posey under his belt.
Let's first look at the accolades.
Posey (1,258 regular-season games): .302/.370/.456, 1,380 hits, 140 HR, 128 OPS+, Rookie of the Year, NL MVP, 6-time All-Star, 4-time Silver Slugger, 1 Gold Glove, three-time champion
Molina (1,983 regular-season games): .282/.333/.405, 1,963 hits, 156 HR, 98 OPS+. 9-time All-Star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, 1 Silver Slugger, two-time champion
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Molina has been the better defender while Posey has been stronger offensively. However, the Giants catcher has fallen off in recent seasons as Molina has held steady. Molina, who has played his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals, actually has been a better hitter in the playoffs than Posey over a larger sample size.
Posey's 53 playoff games are nothing to Molina's 98. And Molina has hit .273 with a .683 OPS compared to Posey's .248 batting average and .649 OPS. But it doesn't mean a thing without the rings, and Posey has three to Molina's two.
Now, it's time to get nerdy. The advanced stats simply like Posey more than Molina. Posey's 41.8 bWAR is 19th all-time among catchers. Molina is four slots lower at 40.1 despite playing over 700 more games.
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Though Posey has fallen off a bit, his peak was better than Molina's, too. His 36.6 WAR7, which is the sum of the seven best WAR seasons for a player, is the ninth-best for catchers in baseball history. Molina is much lower at 24 overall with a 28.8 WAR7.
The last WAR we'll look at is JAWS, a combination of career WAR and WAR7. Posey's 39.2 is the 15th-best for catchers, and Molina's 34.5 is 24th-best. The calculations don't come up Cardinals. They go the Giants way.
Both are all-time greats behind the dish for their abilities to affect games offensively and defensively. Neither one is the greatest catcher in baseball history.
Once again, though, Posey outplays a Molina.