Some of the best and most well-known players in the MLB are featured in the National League Central; Andrew McCutchen on Pittsburgh, Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez on Milwaukee, and Joey Votto on Cincinatti.
But what has definitely become apparent this year is how good the catchers are in this division! The consensus for “best guy behind the plate” is Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals.
He is simply the most well-rounded and consistent player at the position and one of the best in the league period. But Milwaukee Brewer Jonathan Lucroy has been quite spectacular as well leading the majors in doubles and he may become the first catcher to finish a season leading the league in double hits.
Then you have to mention both Russell Martin and Devin Mesoraco of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds respectively. Martin has been amazing on defense as per usual, but this year he has raised his batting average to a solid .288 and an on-base percentage of .411 while doing everything he can to get the “Bucs” to the postseason.
Mesoraco on the other hand, became an All-Star this year (like the aforementioned Martin, Lucroy) and has been a monster with the bat with an average of .273, 20 home runs, and 63 RBI’s.
While the Reds and Pirates are still fighting to get into the October baseball discussion, the Brewers are at the top of the division with St. Louis right behind them.
Unfortunately, Molina has been injured since July with a torn ligament in his thumb. He hasn’t played since, which many thought would allow Buster Posey to be the guy at Catcher for the San Francisco Giants. And while he is still one of the best out there (AVG .287, 15 HR, and 61 RBI’s) he just hasn’t been as good or as consistent as Lucroy, Martin and/or Mesoraco.
We will have to see when “Yadi” comes back but until now, it seems that the moniker of “League’s Best Catcher” will stay in the NL Central.