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Community Projection: Bengie Molina

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When the Giants signed Bengie Molina, he was a consistently low on-base guy with decent power. Add in some good defense from behind the plate, and that’s still a pretty nice player to have. So the..wait, why is my Microsoft Word telling me that last sentence contains an error? Let’s see, right click for the suggested edit, and…

Suggested revision: "that’s still a pretty nice player to have batting seventh or eighth?"

Ah. But that’s not Molina’s fault. To his credit, he’s played the part well, hitting better with two outs and runners in scoring position. Even if that isn’t the kind of stat that stays consistent from year to year, at least we know that the believers in Bengie’s clutch ability aren’t just pulling things out of thin air. He had about 30 more RBI than you’d expect from a hitter with the same number of appearances, but only 50 more runners on base than the average hitter.

And he’s just so danged likable, too. When Pablo Sandoval came up from the minors with momentum like a, uh, panda with a lot of momentum, Molina wasn’t threatened. He said all of the right things, and embraced his newfound competitor. His teammates seem to love him. The broadcasters seem to love him. The fans seem to love him. Everybody loves Bengie!

There’s no way that I can predict more of the same, though. Great guy, great Giant, but bad player to bet on. Catchers age like bananas. You starting thinking about a delicious, yellow banana, but by the time you get to the kitchen, the thing’s a lump of charcoal. And Bengie isn’t the kind of physical specimen that is built for endurance. His knees have to be filled with spray-foam insulation at this point. He is the cleanup hitter, and his 16 home runs somehow led a post-1901 team, but this is the season when it all comes a tumbling down.

Bengie Molina

AB: 396
AVG: .255
OBP: .279
SLG: .352
HR: 9
SB: -2

I want to be wrong. I really, really do.