Yadier Molina’s Career Compared to Hall of Fame Catchers

yadier molina hall of fame case

Comparing Yadier Molina's Career to Hall Of Fame Catchers

There have been a lot of great catchers over the course of baseball history.

One of the most recent catchers to join this list is Yadier Molina. 

The longtime St Louis Cardinals backstop was always a fan favorite. He was consistently among the best MLB catchers both offensively and defensively over two decades.

Now that he's retired, lots of people will be closely examining Yadi's Hall of Fame (HOF) case.

This article aims to contribute to this discussion by providing comparisons of Yadi's career stats and accomplishments to those of current Hall of Fame catchers.

How does he stack up to the best in baseball history?

Does he compare well to those in Cooperstown that played behind the plate?

Read on to see answers to these questions…

A Quick Disclaimer on Current HOF Catchers

There are approximately 16 players inducted into the Hall of Fame who punched their ticket to Cooperstown due to their play as an MLB catcher. 

picture of legendary catchers
Some of the legends we're comparing Yadi to. From left to right is Gary Carter, Yogi Berra, Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk.

In no particular order, those catchers are:

  • Johnny Bench
  • Gary Carter
  • Ivan Rodriguez
  • Yogi Berra
  • Mike Piazza
  • Bill Dickey
  • Ernie Lombardi
  • Gabby Hartnett
  • Roger Bresnahan
  • Roy Campanella
  • Ray Schalk
  • Rick Ferrell
  • Ted Simmons
  • Buck Ewing
  • Carlton Fisk
  • Mickey Cochrane


For this article, we don't include stats for Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Louis Santop and Biz Mackey as they played their career in the Negro Leagues. Those statistics aren't as consistent as MLB records, so a statistical comparison wouldn't be completely reliable or fair to those three.

Yadi's Offensive Comparisons to Catchers in Cooperstown

Yadi running the bases

Our analysis will start by looking at Yadi's offensive/hitting comps with the 16 HOF catchers. 

  • bWAR: Yadi is in the bottom half of this list for his career Wins Above Replacement (WAR), as measured by Baseball Reference (aka bWAR). His 42.1 career bWAR total is 13th out of 16, higher than only Roy Campanella, Ernie Lombardi, Ray Schalk and Rick Ferrell.
  • At Bats: Yadi's 7,817 at bats is fifth most among the HOF group. He has more AB's than guys like Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra and Mike Piazza.
  • Runs: Yadi sits in 12th place in runs among HOF backstops. 
  • Hits: His 2,168 hits are fourth most among the group. Only Pudge Rodriguez, Ted Simmons and Carlton Fisk have more.
  • Home Runs: With 176 career homers, Yadi is 12th out of 16 in career home runs by the HOFers.
  • RBIs: Yadi is a rare catcher to have more than 1,000 career RBIs. His total of 1,022 RBIs is 10th out of 16.
  • Doubles: Molina is fourth among catchers in the HOF in doubles, with 408.
  • Batting Average: Yadi's .277 batting average is 12th out of 16. 
  • OBP: With a .327 career OBP, Yadi has the lowest OBP of any catcher in Cooperstown.
  • OPS: His .726 OPS is 15th out of 16, higher than only Ray Schalk.
  • Stolen BasesWith 71 career stolen bases, Yadi has the sixth best SB mark among the group of Hall of Famers (aka HOFers).
  • Total BasesHis 3,118 Total Bases puts Yadi at ninth best out of the 16 Hall of Famers.


When compared to existing Cooperstown catchers, Yadi shines in offensive categories like at bats, hits and doubles. 

He is on the lower end of the spectrum for career stats like bWAR, batting average, OPS and OBP. 

Despite this, he is only last in one of these categories and finishes above one or more current HOFers in every other grouping.

Yadi's Defensive Comparisons to Catchers in Cooperstown

Yadier Molina catching 2022
Yadi behind the plate in his last career home game, October 2, 2022 against the Pirates (source: Getty Images)

Let's shift gears now to defense. How does Yadi's stats while playing behind the plate stack up to catchers enshrined in Cooperstown?

  • Games: Yadi is third in games played out of the 16 HOF catchers. Only Ivan Rodriguez and Carlton Fisk have played more games behind the dish.
  • Innings: Similar to games played, Molina is third among the HOF group with 18,294.2 career innings played as a catcher.
  • Chances: Yadi has more career chances as a catcher (16,267) than any of the HOF members.
  • Putouts: With 15,122 putouts behind the plate, Yadi has more putouts than any catcher in baseball history.
  • Assists: Molina is 7th out of 16 in the HOF group with 1,062 assists as a catcher.
  • Fielding Percentage: Yadi has the highest fielding percentage (.995) of all catchers in the Hall of Fame.
  • Caught Stealing: Over the course of his career Yadi threw out 381 runners attempting to steal, which is 9th among the HOF group of 16.
  • Caught Stealing Percentage: He is 12th out of 16 with a 40% caught stealing, or CS, percentage. Of note, the league average over this same period of time was 27%.
  • Errors: Yadi only had 83 errors behind the plate during his 19 year career, which is better than (e.g., the lowest) all the HOF catchers.
    Double Plays Turned: Molina turned 137 career double plays as a catcher, which is tied with Bill Dickey for eighth best among the HOF group.


While Yadi was an all around great catcher, his defense stood out more than anything else. 

He maintained an incredible career fielding percentage - higher than anyone already in the HOF - had a very low number of errors, and he was feared by base runners due to his arm speed and strong pop time.

When it comes to Hall of Fame consideration for Yadi, his defensive stats (and reputation) alone make him a lock in our opinion.

Yadi's Career Awards and Postseason Accomplishments

Yadi with gold glove
Molina receiving one of his many Gold Gloves.

Hall of Fame voters and pundits alike look not only at a player's statistics but at his other career accomplishments as well. 

In this section, we'll review Yadi's major achievements during his career, of which there are many.

  • All Star Game Appearances: Yadi was a regular at the Mid-Summer Classic, as he had 10 career all star game appearances.
  • Gold Gloves: Molina earned a total of nine Gold Glove awards as a catcher, third most all time behind Ivan Rodriguez and Johnny Bench.
  • Platinum Gloves: Yadi is the only catcher with multiple Platinum Glove awards. He earned a total of four, which is second all time only behind Nolan Arenado.
  • Silver Sluggers: Yadi earned one Silver Slugger award in 2013. 
  • MVP Shares: Although Yadi never won an MVP award, he earned MVP shares in five seasons.
  • World Series Championships and World Series Statistics: Molina was a member of two World Series winning Cardinals teams (2006 and 2011). In a total of four World Series campaigns, Yadi maintained a .328 World Series batting average with four runs and 12 RBIs.


Yadi's trophy case at home is full. He clearly achieved a lot during his career. 

But is Yadier Molina a Hall of Famer? 

With all things considered - both his offense, defense and major career accolades - our assessment is yes, he is most likely a Hall of Famer and will probably be in Cooperstown one day. 

We don't think he's a first ballot Hall of Famer, but nonetheless, we do think he's deserving of induction one day.

Comparisons to the 16 current Hall of Fame catchers is very useful in that it demonstrates that Yadi belongs among this elite group.

Thanks for Reading!

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Scott Perry is the owner and lead author at Catchers Home. He's a former baseball player, a current coach, a husband and a Dad. He remains as passionate about baseball today as he was as a kid.