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Two decades of dominance: Molina's prowess behind the plate shows in one astounding stat

During his tenure, not only did other teams not steal bases off Molina. They flat out didn't attempt them.

ST. LOUIS — For nearly his whole career, it's never exactly been easy to break down Yadier Molina's value into one number.

His WAR isn't particularly impressive. His offensive stats have often been league-average at the catcher position. But when you watched a game, his impact was impossible to miss.

Now that his career is over and all that's left is his eventual call to Cooperstown, we get to look back on the entire body of work for one of the all-time figures in Cardinals history.

And there's one stat in particular that stands above the rest.

Since 2005, Molina's first as the team's full-time catcher, Cardinals catchers have allowed the fewest stolen bases of any team in the majors (per Fangraphs). But you may have already guessed that. What's really eye-popping is the gap between the Cardinals and everyone else.

From 2005 to 2022, the Cardinals allowed 887 stolen bases, according to stats kept by Fangraphs. The next closest team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowed 1,310. That's 423 more than the Cardinals.

But Molina's impact can be broken down even further than that. Not only did the Cardinals not allow stolen bases during Molina's tenure, they flat-out scared teams away from even attempting to steal.

There were only 1,370 stolen base attempts (stolen bases and runners caught stealing) against the Cardinals from 2005 to 2022. The Diamondbacks, the next closest team, had had runners attempt to steal 1,883 times. The team with the most stolen base attempts against them in that time period was the San Diego Padres with a whopping 2,532.

In fact, the average of all 30 teams in that time span was 2,146 attempts. The Cardinals check in 776 attempts below the average.

Molina caught 18,294 and two-thirds innings in his career. And for most of those innings, nobody wanted to even test him.

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