Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is one of five finalists for the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
The others, according to MLB.com, are disgraced 2011 National League MVP Ryan Bruan, Chase Headley, Andrew McCutchen and fellow catcher Buster Posey.
Braun ought to be automatically disqualified because of his cheating past. But, while he is technically eligible after skirting a 50-game suspension in 2012 thanks to getting off a failed performance enhancing drug test due to a technicality.
Posey might be hard to beat since he plays the same position as Molina in a bigger media market. While his team went on to win the World Series, that shouldn't be a factor because the MVP award is supposed to recognize only regular season play.
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Still, Molina has a good case. He had the best offensive season of his career with a .315 batting average and 22 home runs. This from a guy who was considered to be an offensive liability early in his career when he batted .216 with six homers for the 2006 World Series champion Cardinals. Molina's offensive development, steady through his career up to this point, has been remarkable.
And that's not to mention that Molina was recognized last year as the best defensive player in baseball with the Platinum Glove Award.
Posey led the National League in batting average by default when his teammate, Melky Cabrera, was suspended for a failed drug test and then asked not to be considered for the batting title. He had a .336 batting average with 24 home runs, somewhat better than Molina's numbers at the plate. But Cabrera, who will likely be switched to first base at some point in his career, isn't nearly as good with the mitt as his Cardinals counterpart.
I'd love to see Molina recognized with the award. I think it's between the two catchers.