Yadier Molina is so good he sees and celebrates home runs before they happen

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

There’s a reason St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been among the best in Major League Baseball for 16 seasons. And that reason became clear during Thursday’s 6-5 victory against the Colorado Rockies.

The nine-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion and possible future Hall of Famer can see into the future.

That has to be the secret to his success. Otherwise, how could we possibly explain why Molina started celebrating Dexter Fowler’s go-ahead, two-run home run during the seventh inning before the pitch to Fowler was near home plate.

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That is truly amazing.

Molina’s arms were up before Fowler started his leg kick, let alone his swing.

Then the magic happened. Immediately after Fowler did swing, the rest of the St. Louis dugout began celebrating what would to be the game-winning home run.

St. Louis Cardinals' catcher Yadier Molina celebrated Dexter Fowler's go-ahead home run before the pitch left the pitcher's hand. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)
St. Louis Cardinals' catcher Yadier Molina celebrated Dexter Fowler's go-ahead home run before the pitch left the pitcher's hand. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)

The real reason Yadier Molina celebrated early

So what gives here. Is Molina really psychic?

Of course not. But he does have the next best thing: A great mind for baseball.

Some would argue Molina has the best mind among MLB’s current players. If not the best, he’s certainly near the top.

If you watch the Fox Sports Midwest video until the very end, it’s clear Molina was putting that mind to use. He had a really good read on Rockies pitcher Yency Almonte, which is amazing considering Almonte had only faced St. Louis once before, for three total batters, in 2018. In fact, Thursday was only the 27th appearance of his MLB career.

Fowler was only the second batter Almonte had faced in Thursday’s game. The 25-year-old right-hander walked pinch hitter Matt Carpenter in a good eight-pitch battle to begin the inning. Based on what Molina saw through that at-bat and the first two pitches to Fowler, which were both out of the strike zone, he could sense which pitch was coming based on how the reliever came set before his delivery.

Even more impressive is the confidence he had in Fowler to recognize the same thing, and then capitalize on it by smoking the baseball 401 feet.

Predicting your own home run is one thing. When you’re celebrating a teammate’s home run before he swings, you’re on another level.

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