Best Pitching Performance by a Position Player — Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
For nearly two decades, we’d watched Yadier Molina crouched behind the plate, playing in over 2,000 games as the St. Louis Cardinals All-Star backstop.
In a season that has served as a retirement tour for Albert Pujols, Molina, and possibly Adam Wainwright, the two position players got to take the hill for the first time in their long careers.
Molina entered in the ninth inning of a blowout win over the Pirates in May. While it wasn’t the best performance by a position player statistically, it was certainly the most enjoyable.
The 5-foot-11, 225-pound catcher allowed four runs — including a two-run blast from something called a Jack Suwinski — before shutting the door on Pittsburgh. Molina averaged 58.2 mph on his pitches, according to Statcast, though he nearly touched 70 on the gun with a heater.
He pitched again in June — in a loss to the Rays — and even recorded a strikeout. One can only hope his 18.00 ERA makes it onto his Hall of Fame plaque along with his hitting career totals.
Honorable mention: Garrett Stubbs striking out Danny Jansen with a fastball after throwing a few rarely seen eephus pitches.